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Sep 19, 2011 09:47 PM

Campground Potluck ideas please!

We are taking our vintage travel trailer to a rally this weekend. There is a potluck Saturday night and I need to do better than last year, when I took hummus and pita chips from TJ's. Any kind of dish is fine (appetizer, main, or dessert) but I need to be able to make it with no oven, limited refrigeration (an old-fashioned icebox), and on a picnic table since my tiny trailer has no counter space. We are leaving Thursday so I can't really make too much ahead. Any and all ideas/suggestions are very much appreciated! Thank you!

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  1. Hello, If you have a cast iron dutch oven w/lid you can make a few things just using charcoal and fire. 1) Corn Bread (or other breads--Jalapeno bread...), 2) Some kind of Cobbler, 3) Baked Beans, 4) Chili, 5) some soups and I'm sure a bunch of other things.

    You don't mention a stove top so I will assume you have one so you can always do some non-mayo room temp pasta salads 1) orzo salad, 2) spaghetti salad or 3) other pasta type salad. I've had a lot of cool room temp pasta salads that I have really liked.

    Veggies can usually withstand a few days at room temp. You can always do grilled veggie kabobs adding portabella mushrooms as a meat sub. Some kind of grilled corn salad might be good also.

    I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of things but I hope this helps and spurs the chatter. I'd love to know what you end up doing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rocky Road

      I think baked beans are a great idea because so few people make them. You can make them at home and just re-heat on a stove or fire. I think they actually taste better a day or so later.
      Since people might be balancing plates on laps, I would probably not do a soup.
      Brocolli salad is popular in our area, the kind with raisins and a mayo type dressing. When I make something like that ahead. I mix the dressing at home and then put it together at the camp site. The ingredients don't need refrigeration. Just bring a plastic bag for any leftovers but there probably won't be any. Three bean salad would be another example. Use fresh or canned beans.

      Our club pot lucks are heavy on taco dips and light on salads because so many members are single males. We were lucky at the last one that one of the single guys brought a load of marinated meat to grill. Some just bring chips. Green salads aren't very popular with this crowd, either.

      Homemade cookies are always a hit. Make your favorite choc chip recipe but use chopped up peanut butter cups instead. You can get a package of unwrapped mini Reese's. Trader Joes has a very small size that doesn't need chopping.

      Are you trying for retro? Will you have electricity? If so, crockpot meatballs with the chili sauce/grape jelly sauce are always popular. However, if you are limited to propane cooking, I would make ahead and keep refrigerated or freeze and let defrost in the camp frig.

    2. I have a couple of ideas.

      1. Alton Brown does a pot roast without the veggies in aluminum foil. You could do that and bury the foil packet in coals. It will be fine. You could also roast veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper in aluminum foil for an hour.

      2. You could make a soup. load up a pot with whatever and some water and spices. Put the pot close to the campfire.

      3.If you really want easy. Buy or borrow a coleman stove. You could cook anything you would normally cook on a cooktop.

      4. If you are adventurous, you could use a solar oven to bake halibut or Salmon filets.

      5. You could always bring a lot of your favorite sausage, italian, smoked kielbasa, whatever and some hot dog buns. Ok you could bring some weiners. Some kids won't eat anything else.

      1. Ranch Beans/Trail Rider Beans/Chuck Wagon Beans....Whatever ya wanna call them.....

        You will need ~~~~~

        A 12 in. cast iron skillet
        4-6-8 slices of Bacon....
        1 Large Onion ..Camp diced.
        1/2-1 green bell...Camp Diced
        2-4-6 Cans of Beans...With all of the funky, gunky stuff washed off. ~ All of it!!
        Bottle of Ketchup
        Bottle of Mustard...
        Box of Brown Sugar....
        Worcestershire Sauce....
        Some water......
        Salt - Course Ground Black Pepper
        A little Garlic Powder..(Optional)

        Here's What ya do ~~~~~~~

        Coarsely Chopped the Bacon...Camp Cut
        Fry it and Remove from skillet...
        In the bacon fat, Saute the Onion and Pepper...Give it time to cook.
        Add the de-funked beans....
        Add just a little water so the skillet is not dry....
        Add. Salt, Pepper Garlic, 1 teaspoon (or more) Worcestershire Sauce...
        Add Ketchup...
        Add some more Ketchup....
        Add Mustard....Taste....Make em tangy...
        Now Add a handful or two of brown Sugar....Stir...
        Make em as sweet as you wanna.....
        Add back the cooked bacon....
        To Thin? Add a little Ketchup and let em cook. Lid off
        To Thick? Add a little water and cover....
        Just right? They want run all over da plates and they want be a pile of goo!
        They will be good....Don't expect to bring home leftovers!


        PS...DO NOT even entertain the thought of BBQ Sauce!! ~~ A wheel will will run off of the Chuck Wagon, and one of the mules will come up lame....

        1 Reply
        1. re: Uncle Bob

          Forgot to tell you....After you add back the bacon....Let em simmer for a spell....Stir occasionally


        2. I too will assume you'll have a Coleman stove top. One of my favorite camping meals is tamale pie, cooked on the stove top (sauteed onion, meat, beans, smidge of tomato paste, spices, frozen corn, chopped olives, etc.), topped with a corn muffin batter and cheese. Cover the pan (cast iron is best) and cook until topping is done. You could make the filling part in advance and keep in a plastic bag or container.

          1. Boozy Campfire Cheese! I do it with a big wheel of brie from Costco.