I love the great outdoors… it’s a great place to GET FRESH! This past weekend, Steve and I lucked into a nice forested site at China Beach Campground just past Jordan River, west of Sooke. And just because I’m not equipped with a kitchen doesn’t mean I can’t cook and eat well. The trick is to do a little planning and preparation a day ahead of time.
With our camping trip in mind, I toured the bustling Sidney Market last Thursday evening, stocking up on local food: potatoes, carrots, green pepper, tomatoes, blueberries, cherries, and cinnamon raisin bread from the Bread Lady.
Day 1 Dinner – Picnic Style: Galloping Goose Sausages with homemade local Potato Salad and Cauliflower Salad
I picked up the Galloping Goose Chorizo Sausage from the source (a 10 minute drive into Metchosin) a day in advance and froze two of them solid. The potatoes and carrots were procured at the Sidney Market, while the green onion and cauliflower remained from Tuesday’s trip to Daisy Farm.
TIP: “Field refrigeration” was achieved by keeping only the sausages and eggs in a much smaller cooler, packed full with ice, and ONLY opened to remove said sausages or eggs. This left the much bigger cooler for the other foodstuffs that merely had to stay “cool” but not “refrigerated.”
Local Potato Salad
10 small potatoes (Dan’s Farm)
1/2 jumbo green onion (Daisy Farm)
2 celery sticks
2 carrots, grated (Michell Valley Plants at Sidney Market)
1 lemon, juiced (2 tbsp)
3 heaping tbsp mayonaise
chives to taste (home garden)
2 tbsp fresh cilantro (home garden)
PREP/COOK at HOME: Halve then quarter potatoes into small bite size pieces. Boil potatoes for 10-15 minutes until tender. Meanwhile grate carrot, small-chop green onion and celery. Mix mayo, lemon juice, minced chives and cilantro in a bowl then stir in carrot, green onion and celery. When potatoes are cooked, strain and mix into the mixture, coating completely. Prepare the night before and refrigerate overnight; also allows the flavours to mingle!
Simple Cauliflower Salad
1 small head of cauliflower (Daisy Farm)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
PREP/COOK at HOME: Chop cauliflower into small florets and boil 2-3 minutes until crisp-tender. Strain and refresh with cold water. Meanwhile mince garlic and mince with 2 tbsp lemon juice and 3 tbsp olive oil. Stir all together and add salt, pepper and cilantro to taste. Refrigerate overnight.
Day 2 Breakfast: Cinnamon Raisin French Toast
This delicious cinnamon raisin bread came from The Bread Lady, who had a packed stall at the Sidney Market and by the end was totally SOLD OUT! Getting the cinnamon raisin bread meant I didn’t have to bring cinnamon with us (one less thing to pack).
4 slices bread
COOK: As usual: crack eggs and scramble in a bowl with a fork, dunking two slices bread for each egg then cooking on a hot oiled frying pan. (We could’ve used more eggs for this one actually, as the bread just soaked the eggs up, being so fluffy and thick.)
SERVE with maple syrup. (Local can be had from the Jam Lady I wrote about a few weeks ago, who taps their own maple trees in Cassidy, north of Nanaimo.)
Dinner Day 2: Mexican-Inspired Chorizo with Beans and Rice
2 pre-smoked Galloping Goose chorizo sausages, sliced
1 can black beans, organic, strained
1/2 cup rice
1 green pepper, diced (Dan’s Farm)
1 tomato, diced (Dan’s Farm)
cilantro to taste (home garden)
PREP at HOME: Slice sausages and freeze overnight in a ziplock bag. Mince garlic, chop green onion, green pepper, tomato; seal in separate small reusable containers. Measure and contain rice. Can of beans is a can of beans – don’t forget a can opener, which is also useful for its bottle cap opener!
COOK at CAMP: Start the rice first; bring 1.5 cups water to a boil, add rice, boil, then simmer for 15 minutes until rice absorbs water. In the meanwhile, heat oil in pan, cook garlic and green onion until fragrant (30-60 seconds). Add green pepper, cook until soft (5 min). Add pre-smoked chorizo, cook until golden (5 min). Add beans, heat through (5 minutes). Add tomatoes, heat through (3-5 minutes). Around this time your rice should be done and you can fluff it with a fork.
SERVE over rice and with a nice cold local Blue Buck Ale, courtesy our neighbours who traded it in exchange for use of our stove.
Breakfast Day 3: Pancakes with Local Blueberries and Canadian Maple Syrup
PRE-MIX DRY INGREDIENTS at HOME:
1 cup flour (rice flour)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
TAKE WITH YOU:
3/4 cup almond milk
oil for the pan
COOK at CAMP: Scramble eggs in a bowl with a fork, mix in almond milk, then dry pre-mix. Mix, but do not over mix. Cook as usual, flipping when bubbles form and pancakes are a golden yellow.
SERVE topped with local blueberries and maple syrup. Eat with whatever utensils you have left – our neighbour walked away with our fork, but they did leave beer after all!