Friday, April 17, 2009

Cookbook also for "Camping-Challenged"

I'm dedicating today's Old Cookbook Review to the hearty souls among us who call themselves, "campers". I've experienced camping with my family, and as an adult, I'm still trying to figure out and understand its popularity. I guess I'm a non-camper by nature. Actually, I think "nature" is my problem; I do not enjoy cold (or hot/humid) outdoor co-existence with bugs and poison ivy. Call me crazy, but a vacation where I'm able to sleep at night, in peace and comfort, between all the activities of one day and another, is for me; I've been told that I'm less grouchy that way! Fortunately, today's cookbook, Betty Crocker's Outdoor Cookbook, is for both campers and back-patio-grillers, alike.

This cookbook was printed in 1961 by General Mills Inc. Its Library of Congress catalog number is 61-9892. This is a small wire-bound cookbook that is actually part of a set of cookbooks offered by Betty Crocker in the 60's. I own the set, and we will review others from it in the future. They are all very handy in size and have lots of good recipes. The covers are made of material that can be wiped off if you need to clean them.

As I said, this cookbook is great for campers, but also includes the rest of us who like to picnic, grill, hike, fish, or have a clam-bake at the beach. It gives basic information on fire starting, outdoor cooking equipment, and which electric appliances are the most useful when you're on the move in your camper.

There are illustrations and full-color photos of folks in the woods, at the beach, poolside (in suits and summer dresses with pearls and heels, staring at the water...told you it was from the 60's) and on a boat. Even though the pictures are outdoor action shots of people and large spreads of food, there's not a bug in can of fly swatter; I want to live in that world!

In the middle of the book, it gives pictures and detailed instructions as to how to set up a clam bake sight on the beach; always wondered how they did that. Just as the outside activities are varied, so are the recipes. There are recipes for primitive type camping where you only have a campfire for cooking, as well as, foil-wrapped foods for the back patio grill. For the beginner, it gives tips on everything from "how to pack a brown paper bag lunch" to "hamper picnics" and what to take on a boat trip.

Most of the recipes in the book are fairly simple and require minimum preparation time; that's good no matter where you're eating in the spring and summer months. I think anyone who enjoys outdoor activities...or just eating food that's cooked outdoors, would enjoy owning this book; it would make a great gift for a couple who owns a camper, for their cookbook shelf.

Pg. 150 Bayonet Bread

Make biscuit dough: Add 2/3 C milk all at once to2 C Bisquick; stir with fork into a soft dough. Dip your hands in dough and pick up a small piece. Roll between your hands to form a ribbon about 5" long and the width of your little finger. Heat a peeled green stick over the fire (Willow is good for this) . Wind a ribbon of dough spirally around the stick, pinching tightly at each end to hold it onto the stick. Toast over hot coals, turning to bake evenly. With a good bed of coals, the bread will bake in just a few min. and slip easily off the stick. Serve with jam or butter.

Pg. 129 Foil-grilled Zucchini

Slice zucchini crosswise in 1/4" slices. Place portions (one per person) on double thickness of heavy duty aluminum foil. Sprinkle each with salt, freshly-ground black pepper, grated Parmesan cheese, and 1 TBSP. water; dot with 2 tsp of butter. Wrap foil securely. Cook on briquets about 15 min. or on grill about 20 min., turning once.

I learned to make this camp dessert years ago at 4-H camp in "Outdoor Cookery" class.

Pg. 156 Banana Boats

Cut a v-shaped wedge lengthwise in banana. Fill the groove with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and lay on hot coals. Grill about 10 min.

Check out Grocerycartchallenge today for the recipe swap!

1 comment:

  1. LOL. I think we are either campers or we are not. There isn't any in between, although the region and the particular campground will make a huge difference. We had the misfortune to spend the night at a particularly bad campground once and I told my husband that if this had been my first camping experience, I would never ever in all eternity want to go camping again.