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Old 03-14-2012, 09:52 AM   #1
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Do you prepare your foods ahead of time for short trips?

Since we've been camping in a trailer (all of six months), I've been preparing my foods while at home and freezing them for the trip. I make beef stew and freeze it flat, cornbread, etc. I even make homemade chicken pot pies (cooked) and then freeze. Sausage gravy. Puff pastry braided egg casserole. French toast casserole. Chili. So then when it comes time to eat, I just pop it into the oven or my cast iron pot to heat up. Then I toss the disposable aluminum pan or plastic baggie for easy clean up.

So this last trip my husband said, "Relax. Take it easy. Just make hamburgers and hot dogs and what not." I even bought pre-made patties (beef and turkey) from Trader Joe's and all kinds of gourmet sausages, aka hot dogs. I forgot to pick up my grass-fed hot dogs from TJ and won't buy any other type.

Well, I spent the entire weekend either at the grill, at the sink or going back and forth to bring out every kind of condiment in the world for the burgers.

While I don't mind the occasional time on the grill for some yummy teriyaki, organic, free-range TJ chicken legs, this was a bit much. Plus my husband doesn't do any cooking, clean up or know where anything is to help. So I'm thinking that it makes much more sense and helps me enjoy my camping weekends so much more when I prepare food ahead of time.

ALSO - if you can't tell, I make food from scratch using organic ingredients so easy fixes like pre-made meals or boxed foods won't work for me. We eat healthy but we're poor so I end up making most of our food from raw ingredients like they did about 50 years ago. I literally grind my own wheat from berries in my Vitamix and make my own butter from raw cream.

So I'm just wondering if you find it easier to make food ahead of time or how do you minimize your work time out camping? I DON'T want to spend my time on food prep/clean up when camping. I need some ME time!

Warmly, Kim
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:04 AM   #2
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I love to cook and I do like you. I make ahead and freeze... stews, soups, chili, you name it. I've also found that if I just pre-plan the ingredients, I can bring along only what I need vs. say a whole bag of flour for pancakes. We've also found that if we want to cook something from scratch like say a soup, if we chop everything up and put it in small storage containers, it's a real breeze to throw it all together at the campsite. I've even marinated meats then froze them for easy preparation for the grill... like a good steak, chicken, shrimp, etc.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:36 AM   #3
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I prep as much as possible before and put in ziploc bags & cook over campfire. I assemble all dry ingredients for pancakes (add wet later). French toast is easy enough to assemble on the spot. I pre-cut all veggies for soups, stews & chili (except tomatoes). I pre-cut all the necessary meat/poultry & bag up. I pre-boil & bag up pasta and beans (both travel very well). We "grow" our own meat/poultry! Hubby, or teenage boys, will grill hamburgers & hotdogs and fry the bacon, sausage, & eggs. I always make a breakfast casserole and just have to whip eggs and add milk at site. I essentially create a menu & prep beforehand, so all I usually have to do is "plop" all the ingredients in the pot or griddle. I still bring my spices & herbs & add there. They fit in a shoe box! Yes, alot of work before leaving, but this method has worked great for me! I also cook from scratch because I do have the time and fresh food tastes awesome! This is our first year with a TT and I was actually thinking about using my Crockpot some days (or most!) and was going to ask if anyone uses one. I checked & they only use about 1-3 amps.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:38 AM   #4
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That all sounds great. I think it will be easier to go with what I'm comfortable doing and just finding ways to make it easier. Like cooking times two and making two camping meals at a time instead of one. Then my second trip out is even easier than the first!

Kim - I'm super jealous that you get to grow your own meat. While I couldn't possibly have a cow to eat because I would immediately love it like a pet, I have wanted for years to raise chickens for eggs and meat and have a dairy cow. We love our raw milk and pay $10/gallon for it. Someday maybe this economy will turn around and we can move out to where we might have some land for a massive garden and chickens.

Thanks, Kim
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:17 PM   #5
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We do a little of it all. When you camp for a month or so it is hard to plan ahead. We use a crock pot a lot, buy fresh fruits and vegetables where we are from local roadside stands where possible. We are both involved in food prep and cleanup. SORRY Kim's husband!

We eat healthy but are not anal about it.

You may want to skip the Bacon Explosion thread. Ha
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:02 PM   #6
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Kim - I'm super jealous that you get to grow your own meat. While I couldn't possibly have a cow to eat because I would immediately love it like a pet, I have wanted for years to raise chickens for eggs and meat and have a dairy cow. We love our raw milk and pay $10/gallon for it. Someday maybe this economy will turn around and we can move out to where we might have some land for a massive garden and chickens.

Thanks, Kim
I hope you get all that too! I'm truly blessed to live on a farm with my high school sweetheart & 3 kids. We no longer raise a yearly pig b/c we've really cut down on fats & have eliminated most pork, except the tenderloin and occasional bacon & sausage, which I purchase. We do raise chickens, which most have gone into freezer and keep 9 (currently) for eggs. I'm able to grow a garden every year and do alot of canning. BTW, I spent 24 yrs in a subdivision before getting married & moving to a farm. I had no trouble adapting!
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:33 PM   #7
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I hope you get all that too! I'm truly blessed to live on a farm with my high school sweetheart & 3 kids. We no longer raise a yearly pig b/c we've really cut down on fats & have eliminated most pork, except the tenderloin and occasional bacon & sausage, which I purchase. We do raise chickens, which most have gone into freezer and keep 9 (currently) for eggs. I'm able to grow a garden every year and do alot of canning. BTW, I spent 24 yrs in a subdivision before getting married & moving to a farm. I had no trouble adapting!
You are blessed, indeed. You are living my dream life. Funny that it's not super-wealthy with my feet up and a personal masseuse. No, it's on a smelly farm with my own animals, lots of work opportunities and room for everyone to run and work on.

Kim in Phoenix
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:43 AM   #8
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We are both involved in food prep and cleanup. SORRY Kim's husband!
Hi Kim's husband! You are a big blessing for helping with the work. My DH helps out so much at home with clean up because he can't cook his way out of a paper bag, poor thing! But in our tiny trailer he's like a fish outta water. He doesn't know where anything is or where anything goes. His spirit is willing but I think it will take time for him to figure out "his place." I don't mean that in a derogatory way. We just have to find our groove.


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We eat healthy but are not anal about it.
That's just gross!

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You may want to skip the Bacon Explosion thread. Ha
My arteries exploded when I saw that.

But I love my TJ's applewood smoked bacon! I make these amazing cream cheese-filled, bacon-wrapped, BBQ sauce slathered jalapeno poppers (link below). Wouldn't be the same without bacon! I make my sausage gravy with their chicken sausage and we all think it's delicious. I don't mind pork at all but there's not a great source of natural pork available.

http://therecipegarden.com/?p=387
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:26 PM   #9
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I love being able to prepare ahead. Unfortunately because we love to cross over into the United states from Canada, there are food items that cannot be brought over such as fruits, vegetables and meats. But I will make muffins, cookies ect
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:47 PM   #10
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We really do not prep anything. We usually stop at the grocery store on the way out of town, stock up on all our items and load em in the cabinets and fridge and off we go!

Really have nothing but time when camping out so food prep is no biggie!
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