Monday, July 20, 2009

Banana Boat Recipe

My chef friend Georgia shares her “all time favorite” camping recipe, the classic Banana Boat:

  1. Slice one banana through the center, lengthwise, skin on.
  2. Pry banana apart and place torn chunks of marshmallow and dark chocolate chunks down the center of it.
  3. Wrap in foil and place on the coals in the fire.
  4. When you hear the banana sizzle, turn it over and repeat...
  5. Open up banana and eat the gooey center with graham cracker fingers...

Dungeness Cliff Trail

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Pictures: Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge

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Photo credit to my lovely sister, Anastasia Andrews

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dungeness a dud


We got back from our second camping trip of the year and it was decidedly mediocre.  The fun stuff was what the fun stuff usually is – the fire, the food, cousins. 

The big let down for me was the beach.  First, it was a 20 minute walk from the campground and you had to pay a daily fee, $3 a family, neither of which were onerous, but still an annoyance.   Second, the water was pretty rough with breakers big enough to knock the kids down. Third, collecting rocks, shells and driftwood is frowned upon because it’s a wildlife preserve.  I do understand the rationale for this but combined with the lack of tide pools for exploration, I found it kind of boring. 

Of course enterprising parents are sure to find stuff to entertain their children, but I’m looking for some WOW when we go camping.  Next time I’m on the Olympic Peninsula I’m going to check out the Salt Creek Recreation Area.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Family campout at Magnuson Park

summer08 055The city of Seattle is offering an activity filled overnight urban campout at Magnuson Park this weekend.  Families need to bring a tent, sleeping bags and $7 each and the city provides dinner, breakfast, smores and naturalist led activities at dusk and dawn.  Another campout is being held August 7.

Preregistration is required. Calll 206.684.7522 to get more info or click here to Register Online

If we weren’t actually going camping those weekends I would love to go.  I think it would have been a great ‘just mom and me’ night with the 4 year old. 

Are you going?  Let me know!  I’d love to hear what you think.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Easy camping menu v.2

Spring 09 019 I’ve amended the Spencer Spit menu to something that at first seemed simpler.  The menu itself seems a bit more streamlined but my shopping list is still out of control.  I suspect this is in part due to some misguided instinct to bring enough snacks to survive the apocalypse.  Is this a mom thing? Probably just a me thing…

Basic Weekend Camping Menu

Friday Saturday Sunday
Dinner: Pasta + salad: lett, tom, avo Hot dogs and beans (carrots and peas) Left-overs!
Lunch: Sack lunch: PB+J sandwiches (fruit) Croissants and cheese (fruit) Left-overs!
Breakfast: At home Pancakes and bacon (yogurt) Scrambled eggs with chopped bacon

Shopping list

Fruit and Veg

Dairy and Meat

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Snap Peas
  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Lettuce
  • UHT milk
  • Vanilla yogurt
  • Cheese slices
  • Hummus
  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Butter
  • Fresh pasta

Dry Goods and snacks

Condiments and staples
  • pancake mix
  • croissants
  • bread
  • hotdog buns
  • potato chips
  • coffee
  • hot chocolate
  • marshmallows
  • cookies
  • granola bars
  • baked beans
  • pasta sauce

One more thing – this menu is for feeding 6 adults and two kids.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Bacon – the camping wonder food

June 09 088So if you’re wondering - what we ate at Spencer Spit was somewhat different than what I actually planned. This wasn’t entirely unexpected and in practice the menu kinda’ streamlined itself.

The trick is knowing what you can cook once but use for more than one meal and this takes some experience. I’m happy to say my camp cooking revelation this trip was bacon. I only grabbed a package at the last minute but it turned out to be a staple food on the weekend.

Use 1: Saturday breakfast: Pancakes and bacon. OK so I kinda love bacon with maple syrup – I think it was one of those pancake breakfast fundraisers in my youth where they slop it all on your plate and pour the syrup over everything…mmmm

Use 2: Saturday lunch: Bacon sarnies. This is just an English way of saying bacon sandwich. I suppose you could add some lettuce and tomatoes….

Use 3: Sunday breakfast: Scrambled eggs with chopped bacon and whatever else you have left and don’t want to pack home

One ingredient – three meals! Camping food perfection.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Campsite activities for preschoolers: Fairy Houses

I found during our last trip that there were a number of occasions that required my attentions to be somewhere other than directly on the kids, while cooking or preparing the backpack for the days adventures. Of course I try to keep the time spent on these administrative duties to a minimum, but what do you do with the little ones to keep them occupied at the campsite?

Build a Fairy House

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On this trip I got the kids searching the campsite for a perfect fairy house location. I then sent them off collecting twigs, moss, rocks, and leaves. I instructed them to take stuff from the ground, no picking off of live plants! The collection was placed at the preferred location and dad helped with the actual structure when he had a minute.

This activity turned out to be a running theme for the weekend (my sister, who is studying to be a teacher, tells me this is a good example of project based learning). When we were on a hike berries from the ash berries became fairy food and salal leaves were turned into fairy guardians.

A big hit (and excellent post-beach, pre-dinner time occupier) was decorating the day’s collection of rocks, shells and driftwood. I brought some paints, brushes and just let them go at it. In case you didn’t know, painted shells make excellent fairy beds :)

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