Camp Food

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The food that we eat when we head off to the wilderness, oh my gosh, it is so less than impressive.

Every single time me and my Carrot head out to the woods for a little camping getaway, I get all ambitious and think I’ll be able to cook a masterpiece over the campfire. It never fails. I pack all kinds of ingredients: veggies and beans, butter and spices, canned tomatoes and chicken bouillon, rice, canned soups, pre-cooked chicken, cheese. I pack it all, knowing something will inspire me once I’m out there by that fire. With only one pot that is only for boiling water, two tiny little skillets, no plates and minimal utensils, I really believe that I’ll be able to cook up a gourmet meal.

And you know what, it hasn’t happened yet.

What ends up happening is a five-star breakfast (because my Carrot can rock a camp stove like nobody’s business when it comes to breakfast), some cold sandwiches on the trail for lunch and then a bazillion s’mores and beers for dinner. By campfire time, my feet hurt from all the hiking and my soul is happy from all the beauty and I suddenly don’t care what I eat. Sustenance in the form of alcohol and sugar does the trick just fine.

As we headed out Thursday afternoon for a very long weekend at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (to celebrate a whole successful year of marriage!), I was yet again disillusioned. I packed all kinds of ingredients for all kinds of great meals. I even got family advice for what to cook over the campfire. The grocery bag made sense. It possessed all kinds of delicious things that could easily come together (I thought). But an overpriced Dutch oven and an ill-fated pudgie pie maker mission forced my plans to go in another direction. At the last minute, we stocked up on Annie’s mac & cheese and various smoked sausages. And you know what, it was absolutely perfect.

I thought I’d share a recipe for campfire chicken & rice. I dreamed that maybe I’d whip up some peperone pizza sandwiches in the new pudgie pie maker. I even naively imagined I’d master cooking my first cake in a campfire. Instead, I’m here with some love advice after one blissful first year of marriage.

Don’t overthink. Don’t overplan. Indulge. Enjoy. Relax.

-Leek

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