Gateway National Recreation Area

Gateway National Recreation Area

Campfire Cookery: A Primer in Gourmet Outdoor Cuisine

July 7, 2011, 10:00 am

If you’re ready to revamp your campsite cuisine, look no further than Campfire Cookery: Adventuresome Recipes and Other Curiosities for the Great Outdoors, by Sarah Huck and Jaimee Young. The new cookbook showcases some of the most mouthwatering campfire concoctions we’ve seen in years.

But be forewarned, this is a book for a foodie, not a light-packing hiker. It’s evident from the opening pages that the recipes in Campfire Cookery are not meant for backpacking: in the cookery essentials section, a cast iron skillet and Dutch oven top the list. But fear not, savvy car camper, you’ll be rewarded for hauling these hefty fire pit accessories into the woods. Your campsite menu is about to be transformed.

No more hot dogs or instant oatmeal. Instead, think of your camping trip as a series of gourmet outdoor picnics. For breakfast there’s bruleed brown sugar grapefruit and bananas foster pancakes. Dinner options range from Dutch oven stews to rustic preparations of fresh-caught fish—all with recommended wine pairings! And if you can find room for a mid-day meal, just turn to the section on campfire teatime, complete with a recipe for cast-iron crumpets. And of course, all of these tasty treats can be garnished with a selection of homemade condiments that can be prepared before you hit the road.

As its title suggests, Campfire Cookery goes beyond just glorious recipes best prepared, and enjoyed, out of doors. It’s also got a bevy of great outdoor trivia and advice sprinkled throughout. There are tips on foraging for herbs, mushrooms, wild greens and even snails(!), and advice for firecrafting, including a chart that outlines the flavors imparted by different types of wood.

As you wind down the evening, give it a go at one of the gourmet s’more combos recommend by the authors. And when it’s finally time to focus on something other than food, turn your attention heavenward, using the stargazing chart and constellation lore in the back of the book to guide your night sky exploration. Later, refer to the book again for tips on telling ghost stories and songs to share and enjoy.

Campfire Cookery really does cover all the bases when it comes to the finishing touches that make a camping trip memorable. All you need to bring to the table is a sense of adventure and an appreciation for the great outdoors!