A Recipe for Success
Updated: May 6, 2018
It doesn't matter where I am going or what type of adventure I am planning, food always features in my planning. I like to make sure my menu is tailored to the activity to ensure I get the right nutrients in a tasty, easy meal. To complement my main blog I will publish recipe mini-blogs each month, or just when I feel inspired, to give you some new and interesting ideas for catering your adventures.
This is an introduction to my recipe mini-blog and provides some of my general advice on preparing and cooking food when exploring outdoors.
All my recipes can be cooked outdoors in one of three ways:
1, Prepared and cooked at home, frozen and reheated outdoors.
2, Prepared at home, assembled and cooked outdoors
3, Prepared and cooked outdoors, by the fire to really impress your friends and family
How much prep you want to do is dependent on how much time you’re going to have out in the field. If you want to simply heat up the components quickly then you can cook all this food and freeze it before setting off on the hike. Depending on where you are in the world depends if you need to freeze it or not. Currently I’m in Africa so the days are hot! Freezing is almost essential to keep your meals from spoiling before you get a chance to eat them. Obviously in cooler climates this isn’t such a problem. The food can be made at home and taken out with you to heat up over a campfire or made fresh in the wilderness with very little work. Dependant on where you’re going and what you are doing you may want to part prepare the meal and finish it off at the campsite. One way to do this is to pre-mix spices, pre-chop veg and meat (kept separately of course) and pre-make stock or sauces. Zip seal bags are great to cut down on weight but be sure to double bag and pack them carefully to avoid punctures. For liquids re-usable bottles are best or simply re-use empty water bottles.
Implements, tools and equipment.
When preparing food outdoors there are some basic items you will need. The list below includes many of the core items needed to cook, many of my recipes, outdoors. When posting recipes I will include the equipment needed, of the list below, for each recipe.
Basics for a field kitchen
Machete - Essential for cutting fire wood and clearing your cooking area
Trowel/spade/entrenching tool - great for clearing the fire pit and taking care of any unwanted fire spread.
Large chef’s knife - Great for chopping vegetables or butchering your fresh caught food
Small paring knife - perfect for peeling and taking care of the fiddlier jobs
Chopping board - This could be the lid of your cool box or any other suitable surface.
Long handled spoon (wooden or metal) - the long handle is essential to avoid singing the hairs off your wrists when stirring items over open fires
Long tongs (metal) - perfect for handling items on the grill without burning your fingers
Fish slice - For frying items like eggs or breakfast pancakes
Grill - ideally a clamp style grill to make turning food, en mass, easy
Heavy based pot - to cope with the ferocity of the fire a heavy base is essential, unless cooking on gas in which case much lighter aluminium can be used
Frying pan - as above cast-iron skillets are great however they are heavy. Lightweight pans can be used but be aware they may become damaged over intense heat.
When cooking outdoors remember to keep a careful watch on both the food and the fire. It’s a fine art juggling the perfect temperature and cooking your food to perfection, but it’s an art worth mastering! Be sure to plan your meals well ahead of time and plan your kitchen and how you will cook your food as carefully as the rest of the adventure.
Have fun and remember to feed your body as well as your soul!