Friday, October 22, 2021

Camping and RV Travel: Skllet Suppers, Easy Meals

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 THIS JUST IN. Want a free campsite in Prescott National Forest in Arizona? They are looking for volunteers for the 2022 season starting in March for locations opening on April 1, usually through the end of October. You must have your own housing, have good work ethic and be willing to do dirty work and light maintenance. Not all campsites have utilities, so bonus point if you're ofF grid. You’ll be working every weekend but have two weekdays off. Contact Nina Hubbard, volunteer and partnership coordinator,  (928) 567-1173 or

Make camping meals chic, healthful and appealing while also saving fuel, time, money, mess and dishwashing. Shortcuts R Us! 




Shortcut Skillet Poutine
    Almost the national dish of eastern Canada and Wisconsin, and growing in popularity with American border states, this plain and simple supper dish makes use of tasty, toothsome cheese curds.

1 bag frozen French fries, thawed
3  tablespoons vegetable oil
1 to 2 cans chicken, beef or turkey gravy
2 cups cheese curds
Worcestershire sauce

    Heat oil in a large skillet or wok and toss fries over high heat to brown and crisp them, adding salt and pepper as you go. Cut up curds if large. Add gravy and cheese curds and toss lightly over high heat  to heat through.  Pass the Worcestershire sauce.

Tips for the Camp Cook

* Old way: core a whole apple, fill with peanut butter, dip sticky ends in raisins.  New version: Use crunchy peanut butter (or other nut butter)  mixed with about ½  teaspoon of flax seed or 2 teaspoons raw oatmeal per 1/4 cup peanut butter. Use organic raisins. 


     * Heat about 1/3 cup coconut oil and stir in a teaspoon of curry powder. Mix 1 to 2 cups shredded coconut and 2 quarts popcorn, drizzle with curry oil, toss to mix well. Sprinkle over bowls of cream soup.

* See Janet Groene’s Emergency Pantry Recipe of the Week, using 100% shelf-stable ingredients, at

    * Can’t get odors out of the new techno-fiber travel towels? Why the stink? Body oils, odors, lotions, cleaning products cling to high-tech fibers. Or maybe they were not thoroughly dry when stored.   Using no detergent, rinse in water plus a hefty splash of vinegar. Then dissolve 1/4 cup baking soda in a quart  of warm water and rinse again. Rinse again in clear water. Dry.

* Women in the RV lifestyle get together at  Please join us. 


Do your gift shopping early this year. Janet Groene’s book Cooking Aboard Your RV, is available from Bonus point, especially  if you are shopping for a wannabe full-timer. Also give Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition,



 Campground Potluck 

Recipe of the Week

Spaghetti Side Show

    This large, showy, make-ahead  side dish for buddy camping, potlucks and family reunions is an easy one-pot dish to make over the campfire or on one burner.  Bring a spaghetti claw for easier serving. Serve it now or make ahead and chill it. 

14- to 16-ounce box of spaghetti
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Small  packet salad seasoning such as Good Seasons Italian (about 2 tablespoons)
Green sweet pepper, seeded and diced
Medium red onion, diced
Red sweet pepper, seeded and diced
Yellow sweet pepper, seeded and diced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
Bottled Italian vinaigrette dressing


    Cook and drain the spaghetti. While it’s still hot, sprinkle toss with the white wine vinegar and salad seasoning. Toss well. Let cool to lukewarm and toss with vegetables, then toss with dressing to taste. Serve warm or cold. 


    I don’t often accept products for field testing but this one passes muster on all levels. The RV Hose Storage Bag is, first of all, something every RV-er can use to keep things clean, dry, separate and easily retrieved from a storage compartment. Stow the three bags in a stack or tuck them separately in whatever compartments work for you.
    Second, this set of bags is rugged for years of use and that includes the easy drawstring closures and the three heavy duty labels for the drinking water bag, black water bag and electrical cord. Third is the attractive price at $39.95 for the set of three bags. See it at

    Do you camp alone? With a big family? Either way, it’s nice to have make-ahead recipes that you freeze in right-size portions for your needs large or small. This recipe can be made vegetarian or with shredded, cooked meat or fish. Wrap in foil to heat over the campfire or in boilable bags to heat in a pan of hot water. 


Wild Rice Haystacks

3 cups cooked wild rice
1 tablespoon each butter and vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped mixed green pepper, red pepper, celery, shredded carrot, bean sprouts
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
About 1 cup shredded meat or fish (optional)
3 eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup salted potato sticks OR
1 cup crisp Chinese noodles
1 ½ cups shredded cheese such as Cheddar or Mexican blend
Bread crumbs

    Prepare wild rice and set aside to cool. In a skillet, heat fats and stir-fry vegetables until they are crisp tender. Set aside to cool.
    Whisk eggs and poultry seasoning with mayonnaise and fold into rice with cheese and  potato sticks or noodles. (They will soften, and that’s OK.)   Fold in cooled vegetables and  enough bread crumbs so mixture can be scooped into mounds. Mixture should be cool enough to handle.
    Form into six mounds and place on greased or lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees until firm and lightly browned. Cool completely, wrap and freeze. Wrap individually or stack with wax paper between patties. To serve, thaw and heat. Serve plain or with soy sauce, sour cream, ketchup or salsa.


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