Saturday, August 23, 2008

1st Tent Camping Trip in 20 years

JR and I are going camping a week from today. All by ourselves! Amazing huh? No kids! No dogs! No cell phones! No laptops! OK, I lied, I'm taking my cell phone and laptop. The laptop is only to process photos that I will take and maybe post to this blog, and maybe check my email. But, not too much. This is supposed to be a relaxing time of renewal for JR and I.

We haven't tent camped in almost 20 years and I'm feeling a little bit of trepidation about the whole thing. We use to own a travel trailer or a 5th wheel trailer but no one can really call that camping. We called it RVing. Anytime you can fill it with fresh food & clothes, hitch-up, and be on the road in 30 minutes is not camping. We didn't worry about where we would shower or whether our air mattress would deflate or whether we would get rained on. We had a microwave for goodness sake. A bed with real sheets. And a bathroom.

Now we've scaled down. We are now the proud owners of a 3 person tent, air mattress, a couple of ice chests, and a 2 burner campstove. This should be interesting.

"Grab up the sun shower Pa we're hittin the road!"

We do have a big 3/4 ton truck instead of the stationwagon and 2 less little ones to drag along like we had 20 years ago but that doesn't make me any less crazed. Since this is the 1st trip like this in forever I've done what any good librarian would do. I've researched the best campstoves, sleeping bags, and tents for the money. I've started a collection of all the stuff I'll need to take in the spare bedroom. I've made copious lists and even started to buy the food. Yes, I know it is a week away but I can't seem to help myself. I want to be prepared. No surprises for me. No siree!

Since, I won't have a microwave or an oven I've searched the blogs for skillet recipes. I came up with a criteria for all the recipes. "One skillet", "ease of prep", "few ingredients", and "taste". Oh, I've thrown in "possible uses for breakfast or lunch" as a non-qualifier but handy to know. Geez! What geek I am!

I've decided to make each recipe before the trip. This way I will know if they will work and whether they pass the litmus test I've devised (it's the geek again, sorry).

The 1st offering was a cornbread Tex-Mex thing. I can't really give you the exact name because I tweaked the original recipe enough that it doesn't really work anymore. The original title was a Taco Cornbread Pizza. So, I fiddled with it so it fit the above listed criteria. Turned out really well and has the added benefit of become breakfast. Kind of a Hauvos Ranchos thing.

I've decided to make a S'more bar cookie today and one of the other skillet recipes tonight. I know the bar cookies don't fit the criteria but I will just take them along. As a vegetarian I really don't feel comfortable making regular S'mores (it's just not camping without s'mores), because of the gelatin that they use to make the marshmallows. (Gelatin is nasty stuff. Do you know what they make that stuff out of? YUK!). So I'm opting for the cookie bars. It uses marshmallow cream/fluff which doesn't have gelatin.

I'll post any truly outstanding recipes and if any of you have any please send them along.

BTW, this is where we are going...

and here

and here

and here

That ought to exhaust us old people.


P.S. God bless Photoshop and the National Park Service website for the wonderful photos.

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