Monday, July 26, 2010

Camping Lists

We are back from camping and already I have forgotten the sheer work involved and am thinking mistily of what a good time we had. But what I was thinking during the weekend was: I don't feel like walking to the bathhouse with 20 other women and remembering everything for a shower. . . I wish I had brought jam, a tongs, ziploc bags, my sink, and bacon. . .I want my bed and my pillow. . . just my bed. I really want my bed. . .

But I'm not going to dwell on that, because truly, we had a wonderful time.  The only thing we didn't do from Gyo Fujikawa's poem was swing in a hammock because by the time we got the camp set up and started on the process that was dinner, we didn't feel like hanging up the hammock.

We did follow the menu plan, with the exception of Saturday when my mother came to our site (she was lonely for her grandbabies) and yearned so seriously for a hot dog over the fire that we left the hummus in the ice chest and went to the camp store. My mother bought average hot dogs at the camp store for $4.50 a pound. I had bought locally grown & made organic sausage the day before for $5.50 a pound.

I don't usually have the opportunity or memory to compare prices so directly, so I was reminded again what a high price convenience and lack of planning really does have. And I resolved that next time we went camping, I would be sure to bring all the traditional camp foods that we hunger for.

Notes for Future Camping
1. put food in plastic lidded tub, a portable pantry, instead of all over the front seat of the car
2. tea kettle for campfire
3. longer clothesline
4. big mat in front of tent door
5. get/borrow ice chest with a drain plug
6.  tongs, ziploc bags
7.  sleeping bags for kids

Things To Repeat for Future Camping

1. matches, newspaper in coffee can to keep dry
2. self-inflating sleeping mats
3. 2 dishpans and a bucket
4.  the menu (plus bacon and hot dogs)
5.  tinfoil, clothespins in leftover container
6.  book light

Corn on the Cob Over the Fire
1. Strip a few top layers of husk off the ears of corn - you don't want to see/feel the kernels through what's left on the ear.  Lay the ears of corn in buckets or dishpans of water and soak for up to an hour.
2. Turn your gas grill on low or prepare a bed of coals.
3.  Line a grill with foil over a campfire and lay the wet ears of corn on in a single layer (I don't use foil at home on the gas grill). 
4.  Occasionally dribble more water over the corn and turn so that all sides are exposed to the heat source.  The corn is steaming inside its husk, so it needs to stay damp.
5.  Check in 45-60 minutes.  The husk imparts wonderful flavor, but the coveted part of the corn is where it has turned amber brown. Even better, however, is if you have a layer of burlap over the corn.

We set our small children up to the bench of the picnic table on their little chairs. It works beautifully, better than this photo shows (where is Ben's plate?).

This is a design note to myself of the gorgeous combination
of the grey sheet with rosebuds against the plaid sleeping bag. 


Unknown said...

That looks like the perfect camping trip! "It's all for the kids" - that's what I tell myself when I'm scratching at bug bites and the ground is still hard even after pumping up the mat in the middle of the night ; ) Ah, but it's all worth it for the family memories!!!

Deanna Beth said...

We're going camping in two weekends. I'm going to try the corn, and I'm taking note of some of your "wished for" items.

Elaine said...

I happened upon your blog last week and today I made "grilled cheese" sandwiches with Caprese salad inside like your camp menu mentioned.

Oh my goodness...I think I'm addicted! :)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful photos! It almost makes me want to go camping. Almost.

Rebecca said...

Whew. Thank goodness you're back.

Anonymous said...

IKEA lantern owners unite!

Christian - Modobject@Home said...

Welcome home! So glad it was a good experience... I've yet to try camping with my little brood!

Margo said...

DB, please do let me know how the corn goes.

Elaine, yes, who needs a metal contraption if there's no campfire involved? Glad you liked 'em. They were a hit with us too.

Christian, I vowed I would never take a child in diapers (kinda potty training) camping again. Just a word of caution :)

Anonymous said...

I just love the picture of the adorable little boy eating corn on the cob dressed in his shirt and puffy plastic pants. So many memories that brought back of going through that stage. 5 times!

I like your practical blog.


Margo said...

Valerie, thank you! Those plastic pants (rubber pants we call them, too) are nostalgic from my childhood as well.

BLD in MT said...

Oh, it looks like you all had some jolly good fun! I am so glad it went so well, expensive hot dogs aside. You know, we've taken the hammock camping probably a half dozens times and we've yet to set it up. Maybe its a sign I should donate it to the thrift shop....or maybe this poem is a sign I should just set it next time! Hmmmm.....

Anonymous said...

So cool!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful pastime! Have you tried a beach camping? I would tell you to buy the best tent for a beach and spend a couple of days far from civilization. It is very interesting.