Friday, 26 July 2013

Curry for 48? No worries...

Do you like shopping?

You do?

Then I must tell you about the epic shop I went on yesterday. 3 of us - good friends - went.

A much planned trip, in anticipation of one of our annual highlights.

We were gone for 5 hours, while the children languished with various friends, and as the afternoon drifted into evening, with our respective husbands.

We spent over £1,000. I know. £1,000.

It took us 2 cars - well, actually a 7 seater people carrier type car and the camper van to get our spoils home.

Because, yes, this was no girly clothes shop (we wish), and the event is no swanky done up to the nines new outfit occasion. Oh no. This is Scout Camp.

We leave tomorrow. For the Derbyshire Dales. Via Leicester Forest East services (for us) to hand the dog over to my mother).

Shopping for scout camp is one of those things that I don't think I will ever get over. Normally, the thought of food shopping in any kind of supermarket fills me with fear and dread, but there is something so spectacular and so utterly hilarious about shopping on this scale, that somehow, the fear and dread leaves me and I start to enjoy it.

To be fair, I didn't draw up the list. The senior scout wife does that, although I am in charge of catering the curry feast on the last night. Oh yes. My list for that particular meal starts off with 16 onions, 16 cloves of garlic and 2 jars of lazy ginger...

While our menfolk, all Scout leaders, prepare climbing and abseiling expeditions, worry about how many minibus places there need to be, whether we need one or 2 trailers or whether a horsebox will do instead, and organise surprise drop hikes for our charges, we scout wives squirrel ourselves away with a bottle of gin and come up with the food and the craft. Every now and again, the men drop  in helpful comments like  - "Oh yes, so and so doesn't eat pork" or "Don't forget there are 2 scouts with nut allergies". Fortunately, on this occasion, we had at least 12 hrs notice before the shop. 

Yes folks, those 3 trolleys - they are all ours...

In the end, it took 3 cash and carry trolleys, stacked to the gunnels, followed by 2 trolleys in Morrisons for the 'sweep up' (including the all important chocolate custard and Angel Delight). We try and get as far as possible all the non-perishable goods for the week, and fresh to get us through the first couple of days so we can get our breath before playing sat nav roulette to find the nearest peddlar of groceries to where we are camping. This involves things like 325 packets of crisps, ditto cereal bars, 56 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes and 1 catering pack of approx 3 kg. 100 tortillas (for the turkey fajitas we're having on Sunday of course) and 4 kg of turkey, of course. 18 tins of pear halves and 92 pieces of fresh fruit. Your mind would boggle at the amount of cereal we anticipate 48 scouts, leaders and hangers on will eat.

The same applies in the actual cooking. Eggy bread for 48? Nothing to it. But you do need rather a lot of eggs...

So there we have it. For the next week, it's good bye Recipe Junkie and hello Scout Wife. But I'll be back, knackered, covered in mosquito bites, and wearing my mass catering badges on my sleeve (or at least a couple of decent burns). Oh, and if you're that way inclined, please pray that it doesn't rain too much...


  1. Fantastic! Maxi has great memories of eggy bread on scout camp. He loves the food, the atmosphere and the fact that we are at home!

  2. As senior scoutwife's mother and following a visit to this intrepid bunch I can report that all is going well and malnourishment is unlikely!

  3. Wow that's some shop! Big respect R, can't imagine camping with that many kids for a night, let alone a week! Do they ever sleep?? Really hope the weather's been kind xx

  4. Gosh I hope it all went well. You are good, plus you can't drink on a scout camp! Elinor x

  5. This sounds hilarious and a wonderful adventure. I do hope you enjoy yourself and I'd love to be at that curry feast on the last night!


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