Food / Menus

Submitted: Tuesday, Nov 13, 2001 at 01:00
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I am a complete novice at 4WD trips. I am planning my first trip away this Christmas and whilst it won't be "outback" I will be trying to think along the lines of remoteness so that I can judge my planning skills etc.
My problem is food variety. If I where on my own 48 cans of baked beans would do! but this will be a family trip with wife and three children (7,4,4). This makes it hard as the children are fussy eaters.
We won't have a fridge. I appreciate this is not the best equipped trek but the budget is tight.
Can anyone suggest some good foodstuffs to take?
I am thinking along the lines of vacuum packed meat (archive indicates it will last 2 wks - without a fridge?), tins, UHT milk and dried stuff. Space is not a problem - yet - but variety menus are!
Thanks in advance,
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Reply By: Graham - Tuesday, Nov 13, 2001 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 13, 2001 at 01:00
You must atleast be taking an Esky? How are u going to keep the beers cold.
Seriously if you are taking an Esky try packing your fav meat in serving size portions and packing them in tupperware containers and freezing them. with a bit of planning take out your evening meal in time to thaw. we find taking stir fry sauces with meat and rice or noodles makes a tasty meal and also has the whole campsite commenting about the aromas. When u get really organised with a fridge/freezer, get yourself one of those mini weber's , a frozen chicken or an easy carve lamb roast... bloody sensational and it is lees of a chore than cooking bangers on a hot plate.
you gotta luv it.

AnswerID: 1421

Reply By: Les - Wednesday, Nov 14, 2001 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 14, 2001 at 01:00
Mike... I take the baked beans, but also cans of
tuna, steak and veges, sausages and veges. The mini weber is a good idea, I find I can always find fresh meat.
AnswerID: 1428

Reply By: Porl - Wednesday, Nov 14, 2001 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 14, 2001 at 01:00
Talking really basic stuff here which you don't need a fridge for - not what I would call quality food but it works - You can buy frankfurts in packets from a supermarket shelf which heated in a billy and smothered in tomator and or BBQ sauces (which do not need to be regridgerated if you are okay to throw them out when you get home) in a not buttered roll are quite edible snacks, peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwhiches without butter and also excellent, the saltiness and creaminess of the peanut butter juxtaposed against the sweetness of the strawberry jam is an excellent combination. For dinner try potatoes roasted in alfoil and then cut open and dribble in soy sauce - the soy provides the saltiness that you get from putting butter on roast potatoes plus a little asian flavour, and you don't need to keep soy sauce in a fridge. Two minute noodles are of course essential - they taste soooo much better when you are camping, there is of course a dazzling aray from any local coles or woolies. If you buy eggs from a supermarket shelf they will be fine for a week or two in the shade and not in the fridge, just try and buy the freshest ones possible - give one a gently shake before you buy a carton, if you can feel the yolk moving around at all it is not as fresh as a carton of eggs where the yolk moves around less. Taking unrefridgerated eggs - if 4WD'ing may pay to take out of carton and pack each individually in crumpled newspaper sheets for added suspension and all packed of course in a leak proof container - opens a whole new world of omelettes, scrampled eggs, boiled egg salads, mashed boiled egg and curry sandwhiches (oh those childhood memories), a lot of vegetables such as cabbage and carrots are fine to be out of a fridge for a few days though a cool esky would make them last forever, those mixed in with boiling water, onions, some unrefridgerated beef stock cubes, potato and onion make a great stew - if you put some frozen diced up beef (or chicken) in the bottom of an esky with some frozen non-water bricks after a few days you can add the drefrosted meat to the stew and have a genuine meat stew you can even empty some of your by now warm beer into. Don't forget those important seasonings of salt and pepper - and if you balls something up by putting in too much salt - put in some brown (must be sticky brown, not raw) sugar to take away the saltiness.

If you want to get really close to being exotic go to an asian store where you can buy unrefridgerated chinese sausage which in a fresh noodle stir fry with vegetables, soy sauce, garlic, onion, ginger and fresh noodles (bought off the floor and kept in air tight container can go up to a week without being a fridge - judge but taste and chuck them when they turn from white to green and orange) is amazing, like what you pay for in a noodle shop.

Really should think about a fridge though, even those $50 vehicle coolers that you plug in your car socket that don't freeze might be a worthwhile cheap investment along with the esky.
AnswerID: 1429

Reply By: Kate - Wednesday, Nov 14, 2001 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 14, 2001 at 01:00
Mike, after years of 4WD here are a few suggestions - a camp oven, potato, pumpkin, carrot, canned ham (or similar) - make a wonderful baked dinner. Also dried peas and beans (also fresh snow peas keep for at least 1 week if fresh). the pasta & sauce pkts (we only buy when on special) we only use dried milk powder - secret is to mix in cold water first or will separate (even cheaper than fresh milk) canned or dried fruits - eg apricots & sultanas. Also tuna or salmon mixed in with the pasta sauces. Flour for damper or buscuits suitable as a bread substitute. Lots of peanut butter, jam and vegemite. Unless it is extremely hot margarine (not canola) will stay solid. Also if around country towns - fresh sausages from the butcher. I also agree with who ever mentioned the savaloys or frankfurts (only 1-2 days if no fridge) they can be boiled or even thrown in the camp oven on the vegetables - discovered this one on our way to Cape Melvillle NP this year - they kept well but we had a fridge. Good luck and hope you enjoy your travels - didn't start camping till I was 27 (a while back now)
AnswerID: 1433

Reply By: Leanne McLoughlin - Thursday, Nov 15, 2001 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 15, 2001 at 01:00
Hi Mike, my husband and I have been camping with our two children (10 & 7) for a few years now, and only just this year purchased a fridge. We also used to freeze our meat in family sized portions, in tuppaware containers, which avoids a mess in the bottom of the esky. We always pack the camp oven, and have at least one roast per trip, meat in the oven, served with baked spuds and tinned vegies (just open the vegie tin lid and sit in the hot coals - saves washing up saucepans) and the jaffle iron. Jaffles are great snacks - try them with baked beans, or any filling. For sweets, butter bread, add tinned pie apple as a filing, then serve with long life custard. Happy travels, Leanne
AnswerID: 1438

Reply By: BC - Friday, Nov 16, 2001 at 01:00

Friday, Nov 16, 2001 at 01:00
Gidday Mate - My suggestion if you're on the move - try a meat pie or a tin of bake beans warmed up on the motor for lunch - may require some prior preparation (i.e. tray bolted to the extractors) and about and hour of driving -Cheers BC
AnswerID: 1443

Reply By: Colin- Friday, Nov 30, 2001 at 01:00

Friday, Nov 30, 2001 at 01:00
In the long term I would recomend you buy a frig - they are a great investment, I brought my Sadec 3 way 20 years ago, it double's as a beer frig over Xmas as well. (PS I have covered the outside with a sponge backed heavy Alfoil from Clark Rubber, added a computer fan and run a heavy wire direct from battery which has made a enormous difference to cooling !!)
Back to the subject FOOD - in August I did a 3 week trip down part of the CSR. We prepared a menu for each day for 6 people. A large task! The meat, chicken and fish was vacumn packed. The veges and fruit was individually wrapped in paper and stored in banana boxes. We also cooked our own bread. All this in 3 Subarus. There is absolutley no reason why shouldnt eat well when camping.
Have fun
AnswerID: 1510

Reply By: Steve Y - Wednesday, Dec 05, 2001 at 01:00

Wednesday, Dec 05, 2001 at 01:00
Mike don't forget some Deb Intant Mash. It is really ok with some dried oinion mixed in, bit of Long Life Milk. Goes well with the Snags..and get some dreid peas

AnswerID: 1532

Reply By: Chel - Saturday, Dec 08, 2001 at 01:00

Saturday, Dec 08, 2001 at 01:00
Hi Mike,
This may be a bit late. We done our first outback trip and by the time we got the vehicle covered with it's needs there wasn't any money left for the fridge. We did buy a huge esky and used block ice. It kept the beer cold! I did do up a menu which went well for 16 days but Ideas ran out. We have three children 8,7,6. I packed vaccum meat in meal sizes, thses were stews, mince. Potatoes, onions, carrots, sweet potatoes and the good old Deb potatoe, dried peas/beans which were added to the camp oven. Dry biscuits for lunches eg. cruskits, along with tomatoes, vaccum packed slice meat which is found in the supermarket. Ham Steaks, frankfurts, bacon all which are vacuum packed are also in the supermarket. I did pack long life milk and also bought a cheap box of soft drinks for those special occations for the kids.Pancake mixed which you find on the shelve of supermakets in containers and only need to add water are great for lunch on a hot plate over fire or frypan for gas cooking. We never lost any meat using a esky nor the eggs. Butter kept well.
Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 1555

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