In addition to meeting Morimoto this weekend, I also went camping for the first time (I told you it was eventful!) Sure, I had gone on the occasional overnight camp outing when I was younger, but I had never gone real camping where I had to do the planning.
While there were various experienced campers speckled throughout the 10 of us that came, the majority of us were first timers unable to answer the questions: What are we going to do when we get there? How many tents do we need? How do you build a fire? (Don’t make fun…)
But I think the most important question of all (at least the one that rang through my mind over and over) was: What are we going to eat?
Ah yes, the concept of camp food alone bears a number of challenges. 1. Foods that require refrigeration have to survive travel to the campsite. 2. Uncooked foods must be easily-preparable by campfire. And in our case, 3. You have to have enough to feed 10 people!
Keeping in mind these obvious points was actually the easy part; organizing the group to bring certain items proved more difficult. We had a free-for-all. Since we were all coming from different directions, there were 4 cars of people. Essentially, each car took their own respective grocery trips (for which it felt like my car bought out the grocery store.) It sort of became a “bring whatever the hell you want to eat” fest, which surprisingly wound up working quite well.
We feasted on 30 hot dogs, 12 hamburgers (and their respective buns,) some varying amount of sausage (I didn’t bring it so I’m not sure), and pierogies for the main meal components. I thought I’d be hungry all night, but after throwing back two hot dogs and a hamburger throughout the night, I was stuffed.
Luckily for the pierogie-lovers (ok just me and Kim), we had a camping guru among us who happened to have a portable stovetop for camping (and the 8 person tent) along with every camping supply you could ever think of. A gas-heated stove, it was easier than ever to cook up those pierogies!
Not to mention, we had snacks and beverages galore. We had chips, chips, and more chips (potato, tortilla…AND pita) and all of the respective dips. We had marshmallows and graham crackers for some chocolate-less s’mores by the campfire. AND, despite recent butter flavor warnings, we even cooked….
What more could you need? We didn’t go hungry, and as for the activities…we ate, and we ate, and we ate. And that was enough for me. Ok fine, we also went paddleboating and played guitar by the fire. But, preparing and eating the food was my favorite part. Often in the kitchen, you’ll have one person cooking by himself or herself, but during camping, it’s a group effort and that’s what makes it fun.
I was part of the grilling team. I prepped the buns for the meat to be put on which was quite the satisfying experience, haha. Not like there were actually teams, but if I had to pick I’d say our team (myself and David who grilled) was the best. I mean, those burgers and hot dogs were pretty darn delicious…
For the morning, we brought orange juice, bagels and bananas. Some of the others brought muffins and the feasting continued.
So now that I’m a camper, a happy one at that (couldn’t resist,) I have some words of advice:
Do not leave your food out overnight when everyone passes out, the animals will not only come around and eat it, they’ll scare the crap out of you and not let you sleep (ok so maybe that was just me.)
Oh, AND, make sure you bring lots of stuff…
-Hillary, hoping to sleep better on her next camping trip