Food Page - What food should we take initially?
While you are travelling it is best to keep it simple so that minimal time is spent cooking and maximum time is spent eating, drinking, socialising and sightseeing. It is a holiday after all. Buying things that don't go 'off' quickly is a good idea especially if you will be away from civilisation for a while for example apples are better than bananas, have long-life milk as a back up for 'real' milk, have crackers and crispbread as a back up for bread.
We usually have enough to easily last a week without needing to shop. As an example, this list below suits a week away on Fraser Island where shops are few and far between and driving depends on 4WDs navigating suitable tides. If for some reason you got stuck there a couple of extra days, you would still survive on the leftovers. As you can guess from the size of this list, food is an important part of holidays and camping.
In the freezer, we like to keep 2 meals worth of chicken breasts, 2 meals worth of mince, 2 meals worth of BBQ meat (sausages & steak), 2 pkt bacon, frozen water bottles. In the food fridge we like to have a variety of cheeses, tomatos, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, dips, 2L milk, eggs, cabana, sliced meat, jam, margarine. In the cupboard/food boxes we like to have plastic wrap (heh I know that isn't food but it goes hand in hand with food and cooking so I am listing things like that here too!), plastic bags (some resealable), foil wrap, dishwashing liquid, clothes washing liquid, cereal (usually weetbix), tomato sauce, dried herbs (basil, garlic, parsley), pepper, salt, bread, crackers (a variety), peanut paste, vegemite, bottle of bolognese sauce, bottle of chicken sauce (Chicken Easy - Golden Honey Mustard is my favourite), onions, potatoes, sweet potato, muesli bars and other healthy snack bars, peanuts, corn chips, spaghetti, rice, noodles, apples, oranges, dried mixed fruit and nuts, canned peas & corn, tins of tuna, smoked oysters in BBQ sauce (yum - you will notice a lot of nibblies), tin of leg ham, bottle of sundried tomatos, long life milk/cream/custard, fruit cake. In the drinks fridge or esky we like to have bottles of chardonnay, beer, cans of mixers (scotch & dry, rum & coke), cans of softdrink (lemonade, coke). Download Foodlist (26k)
Best restaurants and eateries
We can't list them all so will only rate the exceptional ones that we find when on holiday. We will let you know as we find them. Stay tuned to this site for updates...
Lake Barrine Cafe (near Atherton) We stopped for lunch and I can highly recommend their BLT toasted sandwiches with Aoli sauce.... yum!
Favourite Recipes when travelling
The recipe for May is Camp Oven Roast If we have more than one family we often have a couple of different meats in the large camp oven and a variety of vegetables in the medium camp oven. If it is just us we put the leg of pork in first for an hour then add the veges on top after turning the meat. We try not to put the camp oven too close in the fire. It is better to drag out hot coals to the side of the fire and place the camp oven on top and just replace the coals every 20 minutes as you rotate the campoven.
Times are a guesstimate only as it totally depends on the heat of the fire and where you place the campoven. For 4 people:
1. Leg of Pork or other meat suitable for roasting - roll around in olive oil and spinkle with salt and herbs to taste (haven't had a lot of success with crackling cooked over the fire so don't usually bother with it) Place in camp oven at side of fire on coals or on grill above edge of fire - not directly in flames.
2. Prepare veges (2 potato,1 sweet potato, piece pumpkin). Cut them to size according to how quickly they cook ie potato in smaller pieces than pumpkin or sweet potato. Crush an Oxo beef cube and a couple of spoons of flour and toss with veges in plastic bag to coat.
3. Prepare other veges (2 carrots, 2 cobs of corn, 2 onion). Cut them in 2 - 4 pieces depending on size.
4. After meat is on an hour take off fire, turn and place potatos and pumpkin on top. Put back on fire.
5. Half hour later put rest of veges on top.
6. Half hour or so later when meat is cooked, take out to slice, toss rest of veges and put them back in fire for 10 minutes.
7. Always keep a variety of packet mix gravies that can be made by mixing with a cup of boiled water. They are great for camping.
The recipe for April is Tate's Crumbly Pie This can be cooked in a camp oven or conventional oven (180C for 35-40 mins). An easy dessert.... I will concentrate on the camp oven as I am sure those with a conventional oven can work out what to do.
1. Purchase pack of 20cm aluminium pie dishes (or whatever fits nicely in camp oven). Preheat camp oven by placing to the side of the fire
2. Mix together 3 heaped dessert spoons sugar, half cup coconut and half cup self raising flour then add 2 heaped dessertspoons butter (melted) and an egg
3. Press half of this into the pan and spread it with 200g of drained pie apple
4. Crumble the rest of the mix over the top of the apple layer
5. Put pan in camp oven on top of grill tray (to keep it off the bottom), put lid on and place to side of fire or on a grill above the flames. Do not put camp oven in the flames. Keep rotating every 10 minutes so it cooks evenly and doesn't burn. Put hot coals on top of oven for last 10 minutes to brown top. Takes about 35 mins depending on fire.
The recipe for March is Emily's Good Friday Tuna Dish This is great for holiday camping. Quick and easy....
1. Melt 3ozs of butter and add salt & pepper
2. Take off heat and add 4ozs of plain flour (yes it sounds like a white sauce doesn't it?) then place back on stove and mix for 1 minute
3. Add 3/4 cup milk and juice of 425g tin tuna and stir until creamy sauce
4. take off heat, add 1 cup grated cheese, 2 tblsp mayonaise, 1 egg, 1 teasp lemon juice, tin of tuna (optional chopped gherkin) and mix well
5. pour into casserole dish and cover with breadcrumbs and grated cheese and then bake in moderate oven for 15 minutes (or if camping omit this step)
6. sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese and serve
The recipe for December is Chrissy Eggs This is great for a special breakfast when relatives or friends gather for Christmas. Use 1 egg per cup (grease the cup with olive oil) and cook in microwave, 4 cups at a time.
1. Sprinkle small amount of shredded ham in bottom of cup (Optional to add some diced mushroom)
2. Break an egg on top of that and pierce the egg with a fork a couple of times (or else it will explode in the microwave)
3. Place a teaspoon of thickened cream on top of the egg
4. Sprinkle small amount of grated tasty cheese on top
5. Cook for 2 minutes in microwave for 4 cups, turn the cups and then 1 minute more
6. Scoop out with a knife and serve upside down on toast
The recipe for May is Corn Meat Fritters This is great for camping or any time you have left over vegetables and meat as you can adjust it and use anything in the batter. I will describe the basic recipe but feel free to adapt in any way you like.
1. slice up cooked corn meat (corned silverside) into cubes
2. make batter by beating one egg and mixing with 1 cup milk and 1 cup SR Flour and dash of salt and some herbs (if camping, you can use powdered milk and pre-mix dry ingredients before you come, adding water and egg before making - in fact you can use left over damper mix instead)
3. mix together in bowl with the batter: the cubes of meat, small tin of corn niblets, half cup grated tasty cheese (there should be more meat and veges than batter)
4. fry in olive oil by spooning 10cm rounds onto frying pan (like pikelets)
Alternative: Use thick slices of corned meat and dip both side in batter and fry. Serve with veges on the side instead of being part of the fritter.
The recipe for April is Bacon and Corn Cob This dip is served in a round bread cob and will feed large numbers. You can adapt it for cooking in the camp oven as well. The amounts are approximate only - adjust to taste
1. dice 2-3 rashers of bacon or equivalent of ham, 1 onion, 2 shallots
2. fry with 2 teaspoons olive oil (start with onion then add others) until cooked then put aside
3. mix together in bowl large tin (440g) of creamed corn, medium tin (340g) of corn niblets, 300ml sour cream, 1 cup grated tasty cheese
4. add fried ingredients and stir through - keep in fridge until 30 minutes before needed then reheat in microwave until warmed through again
6. Pour mixture into cob and place in oven until mixture starts to bubble
7. Put bread pieces around it, then back in oven until bread pieces are browned slightly
The recipe for March is Campfire Breakfast We rarely have bacon & eggs at home for breakfast but there is nothing better when you are camped somewhere that allows fires. Have a look at our breakfast cooking and tell me that doesn't make your mouth water!
1. get the fire going pretty well a while before you need it, you probably had a fire the night before so have plenty of good coals just waiting to fire up again
2. put the grill and camp oven on the fire to heat up while you chop up the mushrooms, tomatoes and onions
3. put them in the camp oven with a splash of your favorite sauce (I love a bit of ABC sweet soy sauce stirred through) and place camp oven either on the grill or on the edge of the fire so it doesn't get much heat - stir occasionally and take off the fire when cooked as the camp oven stays hot for ages
4. cook the bacon on the grill and then the eggs (you can do scrambled eggs in the camp oven also as long as you keep it in an area of low heat)
5. cook the toast on the grill just before the rest is ready to serve - see photo
The recipe for February is for Special Fish Dinner This is great for oven baked salmon but can be used on baked, fried or grilled fish of any type. [Remember that the camp oven works just as well as an ordinary oven.]
1. This is nice served with whole potato sliced thinly (part way through so stays whole), rubbed with oil and garlic salt and been baked in oven. I mention it first as it takes longer to cook than the fish so must go in first.
2. Sprinkle fish with SeasonAll (or favorite herbs/spices & salt) and bake in oven 15 - 20 mins or cook as circumstances allow when on holidays
3. Make sauce by mixing: 3/4 cup mayonaise, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 tablespoon sundried tomatoes (drained & chopped), 1 tablespoon chopped chives, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons grain mustard
3. Serve fish on bed of heated snow peas with sauce over top accompanied by potatoes
The recipe for January is Camp Sausages This is a great recipe for camping. You cook it in a camp oven over an open fire - well... on the coals near the fire anyway as in the flames would be too hot. Not too glamorous but certainly fills the spot. Amounts are approximate only - who measures anything when they are camping?!
1. Put half dozen sausages in camp oven, cover with water and boil (lid on) for 10 minutes then drain off fat & water and cut them into 2 cm lengths
2. Toss with 2 teaspoons of curry powder (or curry paste) depending how hot you like it and place back in fire (lid off) for a few minutes to brown
3. Add chicken stock cube crushed in a half cup of water or wine, a carrot, 2 potatoes and an onion (veges all diced) and stir through the mixture on the fire. Put the lid back on for 10 minutes or until cooked (depends on how hot your fire is).
4. Add half cup cream and cup of sate sauce (peanut butter will do if you have no sate sauce), stir and simmer (lid off) for a minute then serve over rice
The recipe for December is Rum Balls There are a lot of Rum Ball recipes around. This one has no sultanas and is the one my family likes best. You can't have Christmas without Rum Balls can you?
1. Crush a packet of plain biscuits eg Arrowroot, Marie, Golliwog (they have a more politically correct name for those now - can't remember what it is!)
2. Mix in to this: 1 cup dessicated coconut, 1 tin of condensed milk, 2 tablespoons of cocoa, 2-3 tablespoons of Bundaberg rum (to taste).
3. Form balls (2 - 3 cm diameter) and roll them in dessicated coconut and place in fridge to cool and harden.
The recipe for November is Pork Crackling Sure this isn't really a recipe for travelling BUT I get asked every time I make this what my secret is. So... here it is for all the world to see. How do you make the crunchiest, yummiest (and really BAD for you) pork crackling in the world?
1. Remove skin: Cut the skin off the pork BEFORE you put the leg of pork in the oven. Try to leave as much of the fat on the leg of pork as you can. Only cut off as much as you want to make into crackling.
2. Scoring: Use a really sharp knife to cut lines across the skin, not all the way through, at 1 cm intervals.
3. Salt: rub PLENTY of salt into the cuts and generally all over the skin
4. Bake: Place on a tray (no need to grease it as it provides its own) with skin up near the top of the oven. I usually have the pork in the oven at the same time (lower shelf) with oven on 190C for 30 minutes or until bubbling crispy skin. Turn oven back down to 180C once you remove the cooked cracking.
The recipe for October is Barbecued Mince Pizza This is great for when you don't have a pizza base or an oven - a BBQ plate and mince work miracles!
What you need:- 500g mince, 3 bacon rashers (chopped), 1 large onion (finely chopped), 1 clove garlic (crushed - that bottle stuff is great for this), 3 tablespoons tomato paste, 250g mozzarella cheese slices (or the prepared grated stuff is alright), 90g mushrooms (sliced), 1 tomato (sliced), 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, 1 small green capsicum (sliced), basil.
What to do:- Fry the bacon until crispy, drain. Mix together the mince, onion and garlic and press it into a 28cm pizza pan. Spread top with layers of tomato paste, cheese, bacon, mushrooms, capsicum, tomato, parmesan cheese and basil. Cover with alfoil and put on BBQ for 10 minutes. Drain the juices then put back on the BBQ until mince is cooked through and cheese melted. Slice it like a regular pizza and serve immediately.
The recipe for September is Prawn Cocktail This is for the holiday at the beach. When we stay at the Burleigh Tourist Park (caravan park) over the Christmas holidays the 'Seafood Van' comes around once a week.
What you need:- a kilogram of cooked medium king prawns (add other seafood if you have it), lettuce, mayonaise, worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, fresh herbs optional (parsley, basil).
What to do:- shred lettuce and place in bottom of individual serving bowls, peel prawns and place over lettuce. Mix together the seafood sauce: half cup of mayonaise, desertspoon worcestershire sauce and a desertspoon of tomato sauce then taste. This sauce is not an exact science so add more mayo to tone down the other flavours or add more tomato or worcestershire sauce if not enough flavour. Pour seafood sauce over prawns and sprinkle chopped fresh herbs on top. This seafood sauce is MUCH better than the store bought version! [Tip from Bob: You can also add about 6 drops of tabasco sauce to the mixture. Low fat mayo does not alter the taste.]
The recipe for August is Marsala Chicken OK, I know we had chicken last month BUT that was pretty basic fare. This month we have a recipe with a bit more flair. Just because you are on holidays or travelling doesn't mean you can't make something a bit special.
What you need:- 4 chicken breast fillets, 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon butter, 6 slices mozzarella, 4 anchovy fillets, l2 capers, l tablespoon chopped parsley, 4 tablespoons marsala, 1 cup of cream.
What to do:- Melt butter in pan, add garlic and chicken fillets, cook a few minutes each side until brown. Arrange a slice of cheese, three capers and one anchovy fillet over each chicken fillet, sprinkle with parsley. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes then remove from pan and keep warm. Meanwhile, add marsala to pan drippings, reduce heat and add cream. Simmer for a few minutes uncovered before pouring over the chicken and serving with vegetables or whatever you prefer.
The recipe for July is Chicken Broccoli . Easy yet very tasty and popular with the kids - even though it involves broccoli.
LAYER 1 - Cook chicken breast strips in microwave (steamed) and place in bottom of casserole dish
LAYER 2 - cook broccoli in microwave (steamed) and place next in casserole dish
LAYER 3 - mix 1 tin of 'cream of chicken' soup with half jar mayonaise and place next in casserole dish
LAYER 4 - butter 4 slices bread and cut into small squares (16ths) and place next in casserole dish
LAYER 5 - sprinkle top with grated cheese
The recipe for June is Chocolate Oranges and Bananas. This one is for the kids – to keep them busy around the campfire.
Cut the tops of a couple of oranges to about one quarter down. Scoop out the flesh and eat…. Mix a packet chocolate cake mix and spoon into oranges. Wrap in alfoil closing it at the top.
This bit is for an adult ….. pull some coals to the side of the fire, sit the alfoil wrapped oranges in the coals. Leave in the fire for about 15 – 20 mins. While you wait get the bananas ready…
Leaving the skin on the bananas split lengthways. Chop up chunks of chocolate of your choice and push into the splits. You can sprinkle with nuts etc if you wish. Wrap up whole banana and filling in alfoil and place in side of fire with oranges.
When cake springs back on top when pushed, the Chocolate Oranges will be ready. The Bananas do not take quite so long to cook through and for the chocolate to melt. Remove from the fire. Leave a couple of minutes to cool.
They're now ready for the kids to eat – a spoon may be required (handy for beating off the Mums and Dads trying to steal the yummy treats).
The recipe for May is Convenient Chilli Con Carne. It is great for those who have not seen a butcher for a couple of days and want something hot, filling and tasty to eat.
In a pot….
Fry a chopped onion, stir in a can of baked beans or whatever type of beans you have (3 bean mix, kidney beans etc) then add a can of creamed corn and a can of tomatoes. To spice it up stir in a packet of chilli con carne or taco mix if you do not have one of these you can add sweet chilli sauce, ground chilli power etc. Thicken the whole thing with a dash of gravox.
Serve in a bowl with corn chips or rice and if you are lucky enough to have some cheese then grate it and put on top to melt in.
Tip: Just remember to have the windows down in the car the next day while travelling in the wonderful, wide, open spaces of Australia.
The recipe for April is Chicken Surprise
The surprise is that it always tastes different depending on which vegetables you have available and which bottle of simmer sauce is in the cupboard. When on holidays you want something quick and easy so you can't beat this. Even teenage sons can make this one!
chicken breasts or tenderloins
3 types of veges chopped (eg onion, broccoli, sweet potato, corn niblets, zucchini)
bottle of simer sauce (Golden Honey Mustard is my favorite)
macaroni or other pasta or rice
Brown chicken and onion in frypan first, then other chopped veges. Add simmer sauce (rinse bottle out with a third bottle of water and add also). Simmer while you cook pasta or rice. What can be simpler than that?
The recipe for March is Damper. It is great for outback camping in areas where fires are allowed.
1kg Self Raising Flour
10 desertspoons full cream milk powder (if milk used instead then add at end)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
handful of sultanas (optional)
Mix ingredients together and then add water (or milk if used instead of powder) a bit at a time until dough consistency. Sprinkle with flour & wrap in aluminium foil loosely and place on wire rack in camp oven. Push hot coals to one side of the fire and place camp oven on top of hot coals. Put some hot coals on lid - may need to replace these after 20 minutes. Ready in approx 40 minutes (depends on heat from the coals and size of damper) If available you can place on rack above fire with lid on. Click for photo of damper.
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