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Jun 29, 2011 06:08 PM

Camping in cabins for a week.

So, i am not much of a camper and my husband has arranged for us to go camping in south carolina for 5 days with his family. There will be 6 adults and 6 kids in the cabin. Apparently, it is quite large. I brought up the idea of having each family cook two nights for everyone, just to divide it up. I am not sure how well the kitchen is stocked and I am also not used to cooking for such a large group. Any suggestions of simple dinner or lunch ideas with not a lot of ingredients that taste great? As I said, I am not much of an outdoorsy person, so this is all new to me! Not having the comfort of my spice cabinet and herb garden worries me! I am coming from across the country, so bringing food with me is not an option. I could bring spices, or things like that. According to the state park website, the nearest grocery store is 15 miles away.

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  1. Bring some chicken breasts or skirts steaks in a marinade in ziplocs. They can be frozen in the marinade. When it's your turn to cook , take out to thaw that morning, then you just need a fresh onion, & tortillas or rice and a can of beans, make fajitas for everyone. Assuming you have a grill, which is really all you need camping, and bring a cast iron pan which can be used on a grill, fire pit, stove or oven.

    1. For a crowd that big, I like spaghetti with a variety of toppings that anyone could add to make their own custom thing - marinara sauce, jarred pesto, olives, meatballs, cheese, peppers, etc.

      1. If volume and weight of provisions is an issue, Barry Farm sells a lot of dehydrated vegetables and fruits online. They are good if you are making soups, stews, and stewed fruit.

        1. Bring a variety of spices, garlic, salt, pepper--those things that would cost a lot to be individually for small amounts--and put those in your checked baggage in zip loc bags. That way, whatever is purchased--15 miles isn't that big a deal--you will have flavors to add to it.

          1. You might not be able to get away with this with the airlines, although I have for East Coast beach vacations for the past 10 years. Pack at least one good knife, wrap it in towels and then in an article of clothing that you can roll up. Or ask one of the E.C. family to bring 'one along. Not having a decent knife is torture.

            Escondido is right - dried herbs/spices in snack bags rule! and if you put one or two heads of garlic in a sandwich bag, and then that in a quart bag, you have fresh garlic, and 'not smelly' clothes.

            Could you possibly ask the E.C. family to purchase chicken, skirt, etc., and freeze them for you? That would work well...

            Lasagna, if you can get ingredients [pack a box of noodles?]. And again, this will probably have to depend on family for a pre-purchase, but pork butt in the East is frequently on sale, cooks simply and without much supervision and is always a big hit for a crowd. Our E.C. connection always makes pulled pork in advance and packs it in a cooler for several lunches. yummm

            2 Replies
            1. re: nikkihwood

              Bringing your own knife is a great suggestion and something I usually do. Once you plan your menus you can bring the rest of what you need in your luggage and carry-on and buy perishables once you are there. I would bring homemade cookies in my carry-on. Grilled chicken, watermelon and a good salad is always appreciated. I'm trying a recipe for potato and pea salad with chive aioli this weekend.

              Make sure somebody is bringing mayo, oil, and vinegar for everyone. Perhaps someone on the EC is willing to do shopping for some basics and split the bill.

              BTW our son once went on a camping vacation with another family. The teen friends were asked to contribute $20 toward food bill. Son was very disappointed that every night they had hot dogs.

              1. re: dfrostnh

                + another vote for bringing your knife. A french press w/ good coffee makes many people's day. Because I'm a recipe cook, I think through what I want to make, but I also bring a handful of printouts of low-effort odds & ends, so I can pull together cookies if I feel like it. If I were going to bring a single ingredient, other than spices, it would be a hard cheese. In my trips to South Carolina in the summer, I've bought wonderful, wonderful fruit from roadside stands; you might keep an eye out for that.