Camp Cooking for the Homebound Family

Copyright Janet Groene 2020. To ask about placing your one for one year, one low rate on all six Groene sites contact janetgroene at

Sheltered in place, we are all camp cooks now!

Galley Recipe of the Week
Calico Ham Stew

    Shelter in place with this hearty one dish meal. Ham provides meaty goodness.  And this entire meal can be made from pantry ingredients! 

Small can of chunk ham, drained and broken up
15-ounce can diced potatoes, drained well OR
2 cups scrubbed, diced, cooked potatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups water, divided
3 chicken, vegetable, ham or beef bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoon dried, diced onion OR
Medium onion, diced
½ teaspoon crumbled thyme
15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can diced carrots, drained
15-ounce can  red beans, black-eyed peas or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon cornstarch

    Add water to juice from the ham to make 3 ½ cups. In a large pot sizzle diced ham and potatoes in hot oil until browned. Add 3 ½ cups water, bouillon, celery seed, onion and thyme. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in beans and carrots.
    Stir cornstarch into ½ cup of cold water until smooth. Stir into hot stew over high heat until sauce thickens. Serves 6.
Cook’s Note  For more portions and colors,  add a can of mixed vegetables.  

The Survival Food Handbook is a complete guide to provisioning your camper or boat for food emergencies, refrigerator failure, fire ban and other disruptions. Use supermarket foods, not that expensive freeze-dried stuff, and eat conventional meals while shut in.


Tips for the Camp Cook

    * My favorite sparker is a piezo lighter that needs no flints, fuel  nor batteries. It makes a spark to light a gas flame. Note that it does not make a flame to light candles or a fire. It's perfect for the gas stove and other gas fixtures and in never wears out

AT right is another piezo-electric lighter for gas. It's long-nosed for those hard-to reach spots in the camper fridge, furnace and water heater. It can also be ordered with a 20-inch extender. It requires a C battery.

    * Drop a rice cake into thin soup and turn it into a heartier meal.

    * If you make room in your on-board freezer for a few blocks of “blue” ice you’ll have back-up in case of fridge failure.

    * Binder clips, come in myriad sizes for dozens of uses around the galley. They grip, join, bind and hang up on a hook such as a cup hook. Catch a corner of a tea towel, wash cloth, hand towel, recipe card, garment, pot holder or anything you need to hang in a handy spot and it’s held securely. Keep a reserve supply. They rust eventually.


Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Carrots Ole!

    When it’s your turn to bring a vegetable side dish, you’ll get compliments for this colorful and unusual dish. Commercial size canned foods are available now in Walmart and many other supermarkets. They’re a huge time saver.


#10 can sliced carrots
1 stick butter
Medium red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
Medium green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup tequila

    Heat and drain carrots and put in a serving dish to serve now or nuke later. Add a few grinds of fresh pepper. (They probably already contain salt.)
      In a skillet, cook bell peppers in melted butter just until crisp tender. Stir in cumin and tequila. Pour over carrots.  Serves 8 to 10. 

    This beefy 50-amp hookup stands up to weather, wear and accidents. It twists and locks into place and has two bright LED lights to indicate incorrect electrical flow. It’s available in 25 and 50 feet. 

Freeze-Ahead Camping Recipe of the Week
    Make a big batch, then freeze in portions right-sized for you even if you’re only a crew of one. Use any unseasoned, canned beans in this recipe, more or less to suit your taste and your budget. I like a mixture of canellini and navy beans and black-eyed peas.     This is an ideal dish to freeze in boilable bags. 

Turkey Tropicale                       

1 boneless turkey breast roast, 3 to 4 pounds,  cooked and diced  

32-ounce carton chicken or turkey broth                     
1 bunch celery, sliced
2 large onions, diced
20-ounce can pineapple chunks
3 navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/3 cup minced cilantro
2 to 3 cans white beans, drained and rinsed 

    Put the diced turkey and any pan juices in a large pot. Add broth,  celery, onions, pineapple with its juice, oranges and cilantro. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until celery and onion are tender. Remove from heat and stir in beans. Cool and package, allowing 1 ½ to 2 cups per serving. Thaw, heat and serve as is or over rice. 

Cook's note: for more compact storage, use less broth now and add water or broth in camp to thin the stew to taste.

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