I like to cook. I really like to cook outdoors. And I really, really like to cook on a open fire. It's an art. It takes some getting used to. And once you master a few things, and a few dishes, you will have people in camp asking you to make a meal or two. Whenever I have gone fishing, camping, hunting, or just going to the hills for the day, I've cooked for myself. When I'm with friends or family, we share the duty of cooking meals and doing dishes and keeping a clean camp.
One thing that outdoorsmen and women have a hard time doing is baking. Now, if you have a trailer that has an oven or a portable oven that sets on your Coleman stove, then you can do some baking. A lot of it is done with canned biscuits and such. Or you take the biscuit dough and roll it out like a snake then drape it on a stick to cook it over the fire.
How many times have you done that? How many times did you have it fall off the stick into the fire only to have to fish it out and eat it anyway? I've lost track of how many times that happened to me. Now, with a good cast iron skillet or Dutch Oven, you can bake things on your outdoor adventures just like you do your baking at home. It takes some practice. And -- I can attest to it -- I've eaten some pretty bad things from learning how to get it right. And almost broken a tooth or two along the way.
'Course, I did a lot of camping and baking on my own and didn't need to worry about others having to eat what I messed up. I mean, it's pretty bad when you try to make biscuits and they are burnt black on the bottom to the point that they look like rocks and weigh like one and the tops look like molten lead. The birds can't pick them up and fly away. And the chipmunks break their teeth and scurry on their front legs with their back legs up in the air when they do manage to pick one up!
So, here is a basic baking mix to make and take with you on your outdoor excursions.
Mix 12 cups flour, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 pound of shortening, 1/4 cup double acting baking powder into a course texture. Pack the mix in 2- and 4- cup measurements into plastic bags.
Place them in your fridge before you leave, then keep in your cooler or trailer fridge while in camp.
When you are ready to try some baking. pull out one of the bags. Add some water or milk, a little at a time, enough to make a dough. Roll it out and cut out some biscuits. Or cook it up like a round of bread! Next, grease up the Dutch Oven or your big skillet, put the dough in it, and bury the dutch oven in the coals of your hot fire pit. After about 10 minutes, check on your biscuits. The tops should be a nice golden brown. If not, add some more coals to the top of your Dutch Oven.
It takes a few times of trying. Don't get discouraged if they don't come out right the first time. If need be, bury them. I don't think the EPA would be too upset. Or leave them out for the critters and have your camera ready!
If you do them in your skillet, you want it hot with enough grease in the bottom. Put the dough in the skillet, cook until the bottoms are brown, flip them over, put the lid on the skillet. then put the skillet close to the fire, and rotate the skillet every so often. Check the bottoms of the biscuits. When they turn brown, they should be done.
If you have a oven in your trailer, well cook them up just like you were at home. Same if you have one of them fold up ovens that sets on the burner of your Coleman stove.
Get the butter and jelly ready and FEED YOUR FACE!