Recipes

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As I’ve said before, I prefer to cook my meals ahead of time. Since my diet is restricted to organics, joining in on a meal plan with campmates is out of the question. Not to mention I’m not a member of a household yet, although there is a group with which I usually camp. I have a small tripod burner, but no sturdy table to use in the kitchen so it’s unwise to use it in fields of sun-baked grass. People literally have scars, both emotional and physical, from my mundane cooking. (Don’t worry, the doctors say they will heal in time). Besides, who wants to waste perfectly good event time or cook in the heat? Not to mention the lack of fun in cooking for one. If you’re a chef, then I recommend looking elsewhere for advice.
I favour finger foods so I don’t have to do dishes in camp or when I get home. My typical breakfast consists of fruit scones and tea. Even though I’m not in on my camp’s kitchen, I steal a bowl of hot water in the mornings for washing up and the tea in exchange for chores. In addition to set up, tear down, and generally keeping things tidy I’ll get up early to make the hot water and coffee or help with dishes.
There is the ever popular fruit, jerky, and bread and cheese. I bake a loaf of French bread and wrap it in a napkin or towel so I can just tear off hunks as I go, and pre-slicing cheese is always a good idea. I eat largely vegetarian because it’s hard to find organic meats where I live, not to mention they can be fairly expensive. If you can, sausage is a fine accompaniment. Other snacks for the sweet-toothed are cookies, fruit pies, or extra scones.
There are lots of period meat pie recipes out there; however, I haven’t tried them. My pie crusts always suck, not matter the recipe, but I make a batch of the dough. Then I cook up some hamburger and vegetables, fill up bits of the dough so that the finished product is shaped like a calzone that fits comfortably in the hand, and bake it at 350°F until browned, about 20-25 minutes. Cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and onions are good vegetables to use, basically making a stew without the stew. While spices were expensive and hard to come by, herbs were both grown and wildcrafted for a variety of uses. That being said, I still use black pepper and a dash of salt. Basil, fennel, garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme are good choices with varying degrees of authenticity.
My cooler is a Goodwill find, and therefore is a little battered but perfectly serviceable. The food needs to at least stay cool, even though it’s already been cooked and might not be reheated. I pack meals in either individual hippyware (it’s like Tupperware, but in a previous life was plastic food containers) or tinfoil, which can also be reused at home for scrubbing in lieu of steel wool. I square and hem cloth scraps for napkins and hankies, depending on the size. If I’m busy, I just grab a pie or a snack and use a napkin as both a plate and to protect my garb since tables tend to be rare commodities.
Here are some recipes for sweet baked goods from various sources.

Bannocks
2 cups hot milk 1 ½ cups instant oatmeal 1 egg
½ tsp. baking soda 1 tbsp. grated orange peel 1 tbsp. chopped almonds
In a large bowl, pour the milk over the oatmeal; let it sit for 10 minutes. Beat in the egg, baking soda, orange peel and almonds. Consistency should be like a thick pancake batter. If the batter is too thin, add more oatmeal; if too thick, add a little milk. Heat griddle over a moderate flame, grease. Pour the batter onto the griddle; cook until bubbles form. Flip and cook the other side. Best served with butter and honey. Yields: 12 (2 inch) bannocks

Scones, Lemon-Oat
1/3 cup margarine or butter 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
3 tablespoons sugar 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten ½ cup chopped almonds, toasted
4-6 tbsp. half-and-half 1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut margarine into flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, lemon peel and salt with pastry blender in medium bowl until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in 1 egg, the almonds and just enough half-and-half so dough leaves side of bowl.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; gently roll in flour to coat. Knead lightly 10 times. Roll or pat 1/2 inch thick. Cut with floured 2-inch round cutter or cut into diamond shapes with sharp knife. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush 1 egg over dough.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack. Split scones; spread with margarine and serve with strawberry preserves if desired.

Scones, Cranberry Cream
2 cups flour 1/3 cup sugar 1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt ½ cup cranberries 1 ¼ cup heavy cream
1 tsp. orange zest
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. With a large spatula, stir in the cranberries, cream, and orange zest. Gather the dough into a ball and knead it against the bottoms and the sides of the bowl 5-10 times. Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and pat the dough into a circle with a thickness of approximately 3/4 inch. Cut the dough into 8-12 inch wedges and place 1/2 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the tops with 2 to 3 tsp. of cream and sprinkle tops with cinnamon and sugar mixture (optional). Bake on the center oven rack for 12 to 15 minutes.

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