Thursday, 15 September 2011

getting ready for the last hurrah

This time last year, we spent a fabulous weekend down on the Devon coast with our good friends and our vans. We were van virgins last year, but a year on, van veterans, we're headed off for another weekend, this time to celebrate their eldest daughter's 8th birthday with, I think, 7 or 8 other families, down in Dorset, to the fabulous Burnbake campsite, as venerated by Cool Camping.

With a camping weekend pending, normally, there would be plenty of opportunity for advance cooking of lovely things, but this time round, we have our instructions - it is to be fish & chips from the chippie in Swanage on Friday night, and a BBQ on the beach on Saturday. Can't wait.
However, the instructions do not take account of cake. Cake is the second most desirable item to take camping (I'm assumng the accomodation, be it van, tent or other) after alcohol. It is a sad fact but a true one that I would find camping a much less rounded experience without my Friday night van G&T. Things have been a bit hectic this week, but I've got a tin of Hugh F-W's 10 minute chocolate chip cookies from River Cottage Everday ready to go (if we don't eat them all beforehand). I actually made the oat and raisin alternative that he gives, but Pink got a bit sad about the lack of chocolate (she is so her mother's daughter!), so I fiddled about with the quantites and instead of putting nuts in (which would have meant they couldn't have them in their lunches at school) I put 100g of chocolate chunks in. I would recommend this. They are extremely good (if I do say so myself).

I am hoping to have time tomorrow to bake a cherry & coconut loaf (Nigella's from Kitchen) or possibly a sticky ginger treacle cake out of the Camper Van Cook Book, but I will have to see how it goes.

The thing I am most pleased with however, is that I have managed to be organised for Sunday evening. I mean let's face it, the last thing you want to be doing after a full on weekend out in the open air doing fun camping things is to sort out a meal, but as the scent of Autumn fills the air, and with my mind turning to things warming, I managed to sort my life out, and tonight, have a delicious beef casserole gently cooking away in the slow cooker. I will freeze half of it and put the rest on the fridge ready for re-heating on Sunday night. Am looking forward to it almost as much as the camping itself...

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