When I first moved to California, my family was surprised by my enthusiasm for camping. Weren’t there bugs? Don’t you have to sleep on the ground? But California has so many amazing places to pitch your tent that these drawbacks are easily overlooked. Besides, there’s lots of ways you can camp and still be haute.
First, I recommend a big tent and an airbed. Bring along a regular set of sheets and comforters instead of a sleeping bag to make it feel more like home. We also brought along a tablecloth for the picnic table which made it more aesthetically pleasing and less yucky.
Another way to maintain the comforts of home has to do with food. Gone are the days of roasting weenies on a stick and eating beans out of a can. There are lots of great snacks that you can make ahead of time or cook at your campsite over the fire. If you want to get fancy like Kate and Shawn, one or both of these is really helpful: (grill and stovetop). We used them quite a bit over the weekend. They are inexpensive, compact, and easy to transport and use.
For this particular trip, The Hub and I were in charge of lunchtime snacks and breakfast.
Breakfast – The most important meal of day! Or at least, for me it contains the most important ingredient of the day – coffee. And you don’t have to skip out on it just because you aren’t near a Mr. Coffee maker or a Starbucks. Bring along a French press. We boiled water using Shawn’s stovetop and made delicious fresh coffee with the French press. Michael also used the stovetop to make bacon and eggs. The Farmers Markets are full of figs these days so I made a homemade fig-lime jam that I read about in Cooking Light a few issues ago. I brought along some English muffins and fruit and we had a full, nutritious meal to nourish us for the day!
Snacks – I brought along some of faves for a snackeriffic lunch. Perfect because they were all pre-made at home: roasted chickpeas, hard boiled eggs, veggies and homemade avocado dip, cheese and crackers, fruit. But our most exciting snack had to do with S’mores. Using a Food Network Magazine article for inspiration, I brought along a bag of assorted Hershey mini bars (Mr. Goodbar, Krackel, original, etc), honey graham crackers, peanut butter, marshmallows and white chocolate chips. In some instances we subbed Nickie’s chocolate chip cookies for graham crackers. We made some amazing combos!
Now I will share with you, the trick to making the perfect S’more. It’s a technique perfected by The Hub and should be used with every S’more. Before you toast the marshmallow, put the graham cracker on the edge of the grill with the chocolate on top. Allow it to sit there for about 3-5 minutes or until the cracker is toasty and the chocolate has JUST started to melt. Then toast your marshmallow and stack as usual. Now you have the perfect hot and melty S’more!
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