We just got back from a “spur-of-the-moment” camping trip. “Preplanning” is not a vocabulary word used during the months of April through November when one lives on the farm. Our daily schedules revolve around the weather – we can do “this” or “that” depending on if it rains or doesn’t rain and the work load involved around the weather.
In this instance, we could go camping if we were caught up on weed pulling, cultivating and irrigating before the small grain was ready to be harvested.
Here’s how it works: A couple weeks ago my husband came in one night and stated that he’d hooked up the camper and he was not unhooking it until we went camping. (That was my first clue to start baking double batches of waffles, muffins or zucchini brownies and putting some in the freezer.)
Then I tried to find our “master camping list” (which we haven’t used in three years). But before I could find it, my daughter printed one off the internet. In the meantime, I began to stock up on extra meat (pork chops, brats, bacon, sausage and hamburger from my local sources of good quality meat) to make sure we had plenty to grill, if and when we went camping.
A week later, I was starting to feel a little prepared so when I got the excited phone call from my daughter saying, “Dad called the campground and we can get in tonight or tomorrow.”, I didn’t get too panicked. (Even though this was going to be our debut camping trip with Britta and Steven and their three little boys.) I calmly drove home thinking of our menu plan.
Britta had also thought about the menu and between the two of us, we washed and prepared lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, pea pods, strawberries, watermelon, grapes, broccoli and kohlrabi. That night we also made blueberry/rhubarb sauce, cucumber salad (pg. 109), ranch dip (pg. 125), tuna salad (pg. 197) and precooked the bacon. (This sounds like a lot, but it probably only took us about 30 to 45 minutes each.) It was great to pack the fridge and coolers with prepared food ready to pull out and snack on after a fun afternoon of swimming or while the meat was grilling.
Last week things lined up perfectly for us to enjoy time away from the farm with our family at the lake. Even though it wasn’t “preplanned”, we did have a little time to “prepare” food the night before leaving so we could spend more time enjoying the experience. We hope you, too, have a chance to create memories this summer doing something fun that’s out of your ordinary routine.