01 August 2011

Camping Food, Part II

This part two of a three-part series about the greatest summer food of all: the stuff you cook by the campfire...or in this case, over the campfire.

This weekend we spent two peaceful and quiet days at the ocean. What was supposed to be a short retreat to one of my all-time favorite locations, ended up being another entry in the Shawn and Carmel Adventure book. We arrived at our beach campsite only to discover that every.last.person. there owned at least one ATV. And when they weren't disturbing the peace of the ocean with their engines, they were tinkering away on them, and in the case of our neighbors, talking loudly and playing club music. Needless to say, we didn't spend too much time at our site. We retreated to another beach and the pub.

First up was a stop at Pelican Pub and Brewery in Pacific City for some delicious microbrews and dinner.
Doryman Dark beer, a bowl of clam chowder to share, and Surfer's Summer Ale

Being at the beach, I had to get seafood.

And of course that seafood was oysters...Oyster Po Boy with cajun remoulade

Saturday actually began our camp food adventures. I brought my griddle with me this time. I first fried up bacon for our BLTs (later) and then used the bacon great to start the potatoes. After throwing a bit of water on to speed up the cooking process, I added chopped red bell pepper (forgot the onion--d'oh!), cubed ham, then finally the eggs once it was all browned to perfection. Top with a little cheese, and breakfast is ready. We're calling this one the Boulder scramble.

Apparently I thought I was cooking for 20

We spent the day sitting on the beach at Tierra Del Mar enjoying perfect views and weather, as well as some much-needed quiet time. Although pretty busy, the sounds of the ocean won out over any other noise. After a long walk up and down the beach, we enjoyed a cold BLT lunch with a little glass of rose for me and PBR for Shawn.

Our "Miles from Ordinary" Portland style--with a PBR and New Seasons

For dinner, I finally won and got to roast hot dogs over the fire. Hot dogs are definitely one of my guilty pleasures, but I still won't eat the nasty who-knows-what-this-is-made-of kind. We went to Edelweiss Deli near our house where they make pretty much everything from scratch. In fact, that's where our bacon for the BLTs above came from. Shawn was ok with these hot dogs since he's been traumatized from visiting a hot dog factory earlier in life and refuses to eat them usually. Ironically enough after making the past statements, we also had a cheap can of chili to go with the hot dogs. We're not perfect. For buns, I used a par baked baguette from Fred Meyer, wrapped them in foil and set them over the grate to finish baking. We topped our dogs with the house made mustard from Edelweiss and sharp Tillamook cheddar cheese.

Messy goodness

Shawn made a special request for macaroni salad as a side dish. So, Thursday I go to get my recipe out of the Test Kitchen's Family Cookbook only to discover the one page I need is gone.* I have a lot of recipes floating around, but when I'm done with one from that book, I always put it back. Shocked, I had to deal with it and find an alternate or do it from memory. I opted for a combo. I started with this recipe from the Food Network for All American Macaroni Salad and improvised the rest. Their recipe didn't have hard boiled eggs in it. Seriously? What is mac salad without eggs? Blasphemy.

What I have deemed, The Beer Pelicans

In the end, we had a wonderful weekend despite some hiccups and discovered a new beach town to visit. Pacific City has to be one of the most beautiful and fun places I've been to in a long time. And although the beers and food at the Pelican Pub were a little spendy, I will definitely return, if only for
the Doryman Dark and the view.

Mel's Improvised Mac Salad
Adapted from Food Network

1 box  elbow macaroni, cooked, rinsed, and drained3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup minced red onion or Walla Walla sweet onion if in season
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup prepared mayonnaise
2 teaspoons good mustard
1 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper


In a large bowl combine the celery, onion, parsley. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, vinegar, sour cream and salt. Stir ingredients together, then add well drained macaroni. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*This is worth a mention...I tweeted that I had lost the recipe and the Test Kitchen was nice enough to respond and offer to send me the recipe via email, which they did about 2 hours later. Upstanding folks they are.

1 comment:

  1. Looks lovely. I will keep that in mind if we ever get to go camping.

    (but no hot dogs.) :)