Thursday, October 04, 2012

Camp Oven

One of my favourite childhood memories was going on amazing adventures – the Great Ocean Road, or driving from Melbourne to Brisbane – usually camping, or when I was a little bit older, we went caravanning. For some reason we would always take the back roads, and from the window in the backseat of the car, I would spend hours watching the colours change on the fields. I loved driving through one-street-towns, feeling the thrill of “different” - looking at places that I’d never been before, and likely never see again.

I still feel that way now, whenever I go somewhere new. My head is on swivels, and I am breathless with excitement as I struggle to take it all in and implant it in my memory. Can you imagine how excited I was when I first went overseas?

Anyway, the things I remember about those childhood trips are the small, insignificant things – having a 4th birthday cake around the camp table. A billion caravan parks along the way, each with new friends to meet for the day. My brother falling out of the top bunk bed in the middle of the night. The camping “toilet”, literally a bucket. Learning to play Canasta with my dad and beating him. The smell of the camping gear. Helping dad hammer in the tent pegs. Climbing out of tents with bleary eyes, and seeing a new mountain range, tinted with the first rays of sunlight…

My husband, on the other hand, did not have a family that enjoyed camping. His family did other great things, but he’s often said that its something that he feels he missed out on during his childhood.

So with that in mind, we plan to take big adventures with our two, and create a lifetime of memories for them.

We’ve talked about it for months now, planned it, dreamed about it, and have almost decided on a time frame. We have half of the gear from our life “before kids”… we just need to develop on it a little now, to cater for littlies. We do not have things like porta-cots, single air mattresses or kids sleeping bags. A bucket would do, but it would be kinda nice to have a port-a-potty too!

So our equipment list grows… and we expanded it a little more just recently by getting ourselves a cast iron Camp Oven.

Naturally, you have to practice using one, and so we set about creating a culinary masterpiece in our backyard so that we kinda knew what we were doing.

  It was really pretty cool to have a camp fire going in your own backyard, Skye loved it, and the dogs were mesmerised by the flames.

Roast Beef and veggies. Camp Oven Style.

It wasn’t a bad effort I tell you – the meat was lovely and tender and the veggies were cooked well – however they didn’t go crispy, and that is something we need to figure out before we head off to do it "for real" away from home.
Yes thats a lot of potato on the plate - what can I say, I love 'em!

We have done a couple more Camp Ovens in the last few weeks (meat only), and feel much more confident in our abilities. Now we just need to try a few other recipes and expand our repertoire.

Camping is going to be so much fun as a family!

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