The world’s best camp tucker
Best-selling novelist, foodie and soft walker Serena Mackesy on how to eat well in the bush – continued…
CORN ON THE COB
- Corn cobs with the husks still on
The best way of all to cook corn. Soak the corn for a minimum of a hour in clean water. Put the damp cobs directly on the embers and cook for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally. Peel off the charred husks and eat with the butter. Delicious.
Protein, carbohydrate, fried: few things nicer.
- Tin tuna/salmon/crab
- Instant mash, made up quite thickly
- A tbsp flour
- An egg
- Small pot containing pinches of ground coriander seed, dried coriander leaf, parsley, ground cumin
- Oil for cooking
- Lemon juice
Drain the tinned fish thoroughly. In small mess tin, smoosh it all up with the mash, flour, egg and herbs/spices, salt, pepper. Put a bit of flour, salt and pepper on plate. Take spoonfuls of mix and roll into balls in your hands, then squash flat into ½” thick patties and dip either side in the flour. Heat oil – you don’t need much - until really hot (if you drop a crumb of mix into it, it fizzes and browns) then put the cakes in. Cook for 5-10 mins on either side until golden brown. Eat with lemon and whatever edible leaves you can find.
Make a stew and freeze it, taking it out and putting it into your pack just before you set off. It’ll be nicely thawed and ready to heat by the time you’re ready to cook, and act as a cooler for everything else in the meantime.
A classic boy-scout recipe. Cut an orange in half and eat it with a spoon, keeping the peel intact. Break an egg into one half of the orange, and put the other half on top as a lid. Wrap in foil and leave in embers for 5-10 mins.
A FILLING SAUSAGE STEW
Great, sustaining peasant food:
- Sausages: any kind
- Tinned tomatoes
- Lentils (the orange ones – half a cup a head)
- Onion, garlic
- Dried mixed herbs
- Stock cube
Fry onions, garlic, sausages for 10 mins in large mess tin. Add lentils, herbs, and fry for a minute. Add tomatoes and stock cube and a couple of cups of hot water for every cup of lentils. Make a lid from tinfoil and leave in the embers for a minimum of 20 mins – but the longer it goes the better it is. Make sure to scrape the caramelised crust off the bottom of the tin and eat it – it’s the best bit of all. Cheese is also good on this.
If you catch one, or have one:
- One fish, or fish fillet (but make sure it’s fresh and safe to eat!)
- Oil or butter
- Lemon juice
- Salt, pepper
- If you’ve got any, a couple of tbsp booze – cider or white wine is best
- Any herbs you happen across – sage, basil, thyme, sorrel are particularly good
- Some foil
If you don’t have a grill rack, put a large flattish stone in the fire some time before you want to cook so it gets nice and hot. Take a large piece of foil, four or five inches longer than the fish. Fold it in half, then fold the ends over and over to form a liquid-proof baggie. Put in the fish, the oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, herbs, booze, then fold over the top several times to seal. Put the bag on the stone and leave for 20 minutes or so. It will be steamed and succulent.
SPUDS IN MUD
This is so cool for children it almost validates carrying the potatoes.
- A baking potato
- Some clean mud
Wash and dry your spuds. Pack the mud thickly round them so they’re totally sealed. Put the lumps of mud in the embers and leave for an hour. The spuds should be ready when the mud is dry and hard. Let it cool for a few minutes before you break it open.