Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Camping Food

Frozen hot dogs, peanut butter and jelly, pita bread, fruit, chips, and potatoes wrapped in foil which didn't bake through as I didn't know to pre-cook them, all unceremoniously carted down to the Rummana campsite in plastic shopping bags, sustained us during our first Wadi Dana camping adventures beginning about thirteen years ago. We've come a long way since then, each year learning a bit more about the fine art of preparing camping food that not only nourishes but also provides pleasure--and sometimes even a little envy from our friends at the next camping table. But it is envy in good fun: we enjoy sharing with each other the best of what we bring and we tuck away new ideas of what we'll bring the next year.

One of our first family camping trips to Wadi Dana---the frozen hot dog days. (This picture graced our Christmas card that year. I had planned to take the picture in Dana and had instructed the kids that the family picture must be endured FIRST--thus our cleanliness--and then they could go off and play with their friends.)

Back at the Bedouin/Eating Tent:

When we first began camping at Dana we couldn't find a cooler or a decent camp chair to bring with us but we now have a large white American cooler, third hand from an American Embassy family who brought it in with their shipment. All non-perishable food is packed safely in Rubbermaid containers, hauled over as extra-baggage pieces over the years. We are camping in style! Below are recipes we enjoyed this year in Dana:

Camping Pasta Salad

This has become our traditional first lunch when we arrive at Wadi Dana. Thanks for this great camping meal idea goes to some Swiss friends whom Dear Husband and the boys camped with in Wadi Rum one summer. The pasta is precooked, drained, and stored in a ziploc bag. All the other ingredients are pre-cut and stored in baggies or small plastic containers. When we arrive at the campsite all we have to do is to mix the ingredients in a large bowl and dress it with olive oil and a little coarse sea salt and spices.

The ingredients for this salad are flexible, depending on what you have on hand, but here is what I used in Dana:

One 500 gr. bag pasta, cooked and drained
sliced olives
cubed mozzarella cheese
tomatoes (cherry or grape are nice but I used regular ones cut into chunks, too.)
chopped red and yellow peppers
olive oil
chopped fresh basil (or dry if you don't have fresh)
maybe a little lemon pepper and or sea salt

You could also saute some vegetables instead: onion, garlic, zucchini, eggplant. Just depends what you have on hand.

Fellow camper, Jackie, shared this great dip with us:

Black Bean Hummus

1 clove garlic
1 15 oz. can black beans, drain and reserve juice
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 Tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Whirl all ingredients in the food processor, scraping down the sides. This is good served with pita chips--we make our own in Jordan!

This year the prize for the most ambitious camping dish goes goes to Tiffany. I could hardly believe my ears when I came back to the eating tent after an afternoon hike and Tayta ran up to inform me that Tiffany was making onion rings. "Really? Real onion rings? How is she doing that??" With a small propane burner and a small pot of boiling oil. Amazing. I would never have thought to attempt it. The onion rings were delicious and she made plenty to share. Here is the recipe she used from

A few more camping food notes:
  • We now bring our french press with us so that we can enjoy coffee with the baked goods that Tayta provides;
  • A typical Australian hamburger is served not with pickles but with sliced beets. Quite nice.
  • Twice baked potatoes are a delicious substitute for baked potatoes. Made ahead of time and wrapped in foil, they need only be re-heated in the fire.

1 comment:

Woman of the House said...

I'm enjoying your camping posts. I'm not a camping kind of gal myself, but seeing your posts makes me think maybe I ought to rethink that~~only our camping would be in the lush Appalachians instead of the desert.