|Checking to see if there's a troll under the bridge before he crosses!|
|2007 - I'd actually dyed my hair brown so it didn't look like a cloud!|
As well as the recipes this book has hints and tips for campers, checklists and advice, and in my opinion it's all well done and useful - especially for beginners.
I've tested one of the recipes in this book, and as it's belting down I have done it inside on my hob, but otherwise I have done it exactly as I would when camping.
Penna Pasta With Sausage (page 103)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, roughly chopped (I used sweet white onion)
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
6 Italian sausages, skinned and themeat crumbled
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (I used powder 1/4 tsp)
2 tbsp chopped fresh Oregano (I couldn't get this anywhere, so used 1 tsp dried)
400g/14oz canned chopped tomatoes
350g/12oz dried penne
salt and pepper
Gently heat the oil in a large pan over a campfire, stove or barbeque. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 6-8 minutes until starting to brown. Add the garlic and the crumbled sausages and cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking up the sausages with a wooden spoon.
Add the chilli flakes and Oregano and stir well. Pour in the tomatoes and bring to the boil. Place over a low heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes until reduced and thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce into the pasta and stir well. Serve.
From my experience in the UK, you want recipes that are very easily cooked in a tiny space, in the rain, on a fire or burner that's suffering from being blown by the wind. Tins are your friend, short cuts make life much easier. More 'warming up' and less actual cooking is great, and you don't want to be using items such as raw beans when you can use canned. Another basic is that you only want to have 1 or 2 pans on the go, any more and you end up juggling pans so that you can keep half cooked foods warm while something else cooks.
I really feel a lot of the recipes in this book require a fair bit of cooking, or some ingredients that could be made easier for a camper who is unlikely to have a fridge or access to a supermarket full of fresh produce. If you were wild camping you wouldn't have many recipes left available to you as an option after 3 days without a fridge. This is a bit more of a 'glamping' cookbook.
That said, the recipes are interesting and full of flavour, they have loads of vegetables and good protein. There are plenty to interest most people, and a good selection including breakfasts, main meals, side dishes, snacks and lots of easy to cook desserts.
Just be prepared for a lot of washing up!
The Camping Cookbook has an RRP of £8, which makes it great value in my opinion. I think personally I'd simplify and cheat a few of these recipes, but overall the ideas and range is great, and you'll get plenty of inspiration - and will be able to gloat with full justification while you watch your neighbours eat instant cup noodle and digestive biscuits.....
I was sent the Camping Cookbook by Parragon for review