Camping and Sailing

 This summer I enjoyed a blissful night under canvas with my daughter on Motuihe.  We took a beautiful Walnut and Blue Cheese Pasta from the freezer  which was perfect for dinner. Oysters on the Rocks for breakfast, and home to le tente for jumbo eggs and Hendersons lovely bacon. We picked mussels for lunch which I steamed in garlic and wine, and would have loved to head out to the rocks for some sea lettuce and kina to do something Japanesey, but time was up and the ferry was on its way. So time to get the blog out again!

I started writing this blog 13 months ago, and as happens with so many of my projects, I wait for them to be finished, and of course they never are, so I have decided that this is a work in action.  I will add photos as they come to hand, and elaborate as I feel inclined, or informed. Here goes..

I have always wanted to write a book about camping food. The challenges of preparing terrific food in the wild thrill me, strange as it may seem to my friends who cannot abide the thought of divesting themselves of the luxuries of a good kitchen.  I love my good kitchen too, it must be said, but am reminded of how luxurious it is after washing dishes in a creek for a week.

The thing is, to find a mix of prepared food for days when you really need a rest (or it is too hot/cold/wet/windy to cook), and recipes for foods prepared from foraging expeditions in what ever form they might take. And to manage the difficulty in obtaining fresh fruit and veg not easily available. A safe is the business, hanging in a breezy, cool, dark spot. Drape either the food or the safe (or both) with wet cloths if you have perishables to keep, and the passing breeze will chill food through evaporation...this only works when the cloths are wet, but is very effective, prolonging food life very well.

Last year, a fellow came in asking if I could prepare a hamper of food for a weekend away camping with his children. My hesitancy came from an considering how best to put it together, but I think he took it be a lack of expertise, as I did not hear from him again.

So this is for him, where ever he may be now, 

Spencer's Super Duper Camper Hamper!

 7 days of luxurious wild(ish or not) eating...

Rolled Oats
I tend to take rolled oats as sole cereal as they can be prepared so many ways, and  are always there if we end up with extra mouths to feed in the morning. I like the organic Harraways so far...

Bircher Muesli
Pour boiling water on the oats the night before, soak, and add fruit pieces the next morning before eating. If I am feeling fresh food deprived, I grate apple, but otherwise good quality dried apricots are good, cranberries, or dried strawberries. Or a small tin of stewed apple stirred  in is delicious.

Fresh Toasted Muesli
In a pan oiled with a light oil, organic sunflower perhaps, dry fry your oats with a little honey, nuts (I love slivered almonds in this) and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame) till toasty. You can add spices, cinnamon is nice, or a little nutmeg. Take care not to burn, and remove from heat. Add some dried fruits, cranberries are one of my favourites, or eat with a tin of plums, or apricots, with milk or juice.

Fresh Muesli
Mix up Toasted Muesli above, or even fresh rolled oats, quickly with LSA (linseed, sunflower seed meal and almond meal) and wheatgerm and eat cold with fresh yoghurt. I have been known to take our yoghurt maker and some packets of ready to go yoghurt so all I have to do is add water. I tire of UHT milk if we are away from shops for a bit, and find the taste of yoghurt made fresh overnight a joy  in the morning.

For those bleak days when the weather is depressing, a huge pot of porridge helps. Add cinnamon and apple bits,  banana, or apricot. Serve with golden, apple or maple syrup, and UHT cream or yoghurt. The Scots eat it with bacon on top which is pretty good too. If you are camping, leave the pot outside to fill up in the rain, soak, and it will only need a rinse later.

And then there is Croissants
Croissants will keep for a couple of days to reheat with ham and tomato. Keep them as cool as posible, and out of the sun.

or Pancakes
I make up a pancake mix in a shaker ready to add milk, shake and pour into the pan. Or prepare with milk powder so only oil, egg and water is needed to go. Cook in the pan or BBQ, and serve with bacon and maple syrup, or try fresh orange rounds, or a can of berries We like pancakes as a dessert sometimes and poach the oranges in a little butter and sugar to make a syrup, add a little wine, brandy or rum for medicinal purposes only.

Dried mix
1 cup flour
1/3 cup powdered milk
1 tsp BP
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
3 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbsp Veg oil/melted butter
1 egg
1 cup cold water or milk if no milk powder added to dry mix
Whisk, and leave to sit for a while if you have time

and not to forget the beautiful French Toast
Great on the BBQ or in a pan. Serve on its own with fruit and UHT cream or yoghurt, or as part of the big fry up. Soak thick bread slices of any sort in a forked mix of milk and egg, and cook in butter until browned.

And Eggs Eggs Eggs
Always good, we take heaps and keep them in a breezy safe. Buy them as fresh as possible, and turn them every couple of days to extend their life, or wipe with vaseline There is a purpose built product available, but I have not found it here yet) to reduce evaporation. BBQ, or boiled if I can't be bothered cleaning up. If you take some good pretzels, a wonderful European style breakfast can be made with  boiled jumbo eggs, and very thinly sliced smoked fish on the side with mustard or sauce of thick yoghurt, salt and dill.. frittata (recipe later on), omelette, scrambled eggs. Try a little sea lettuce chopped finely into scrambled egg to add nutrition and keep those greens coming!  You will find sealettuce around rock pools, below the high tide looks a bit like green cling film. Mushrooms are great with eggs too, wild or otherwise. I take dried  porcini mushrooms in my bag of tricks, and soak in hot water before adding chopped mushrooms avec water to the egg before cooking. If you can find fresh watercress, dandelion or puha where you are sure the source is clean, it can be added to scrambled eggs or frittata for a delicious variation.

Perhaps Johnny cakes
This a scone mix really, 1 tsp Baking powder to 1 cup Flour, or use Self Raising Flour. Rub in a bit of butter, add salt and 1 tsp sugar per cup flour if you wish. Roll into balls, press slightly and fry, preferably in coconut oil until brown. mmmmm with jam!

And of course The Big Fry Up
Sausages, Fish, Ham steaks, Fritters (good for using up leftovers), Fishcakes, Bacon, Haloumi (nice in a little dried mint), Eggs, Tomatoes, Mushrooms (stuff with herbs and oil, or seasoned mince). Take rubs and lemons to make this special.


Pita Bread
Dannys pita breads have no preservative but are vac packed to make a few days at ambient temperature. Freshen up on the BBQ or hotplate, and fill with ham, salads or leftovers from breakfast. Take out of the plastc bag and store in a cloth or paper bag when opened or on due date as condensation can cause mould.

Tomato Soup
Heat up a large can of chopped tomatoes, or a good passata. Add salt, dried oregano, and chopped chives, and pour into cups or bowls. Serve with any bread.

Vegetable Soup
Simmer leftover vegetables in some water. I like to add some Rapunzel Organic Vegetable Stock, and  chopped puha or river cress f you can find a clean source.

We sell breads par baked in France and frozen, so will heat up easily on a BBQ or hotplate if wrapped in foil, or toast beautifully. Plastic is no good to keep breads in, they just get mouldy if the temperature is at all warm, so find a breezy spot  and hang in a pillow slip.

Or, make your own...If you have seawater available, this bread will taste better for it, but leave out the salt. You can cook it on the fire in a camp oven as a whole loaf or pizza, or flatten it to cook on a griddle and serve dripping with butter or a good olive oil. Toast any leftovers and use with a dip as bruschetta. This recipe is adapted from an old Annabel Langbein book I bought at a Queenstown Food Festival years ago, and I would trust Annabel on a camping trip anyday. We had a great night eeling many years ago over a bottle of wine and discussions around quantum mechanics..a remarkable woman.
Seawater bread
Mix 2 cups seawater, 2 tsp dried yeast, and 1 tsp sugar. Leave in the warm sun.
When fizzing, add 1/4 -1/2 cup good oil, and 2 cups flour, high grade preferably. Beat. Add flour by the half cup, mixing, then kneading when it becomes too hard. You will use something like 5 1/2 cups. You will need to add salt if you are using fresh water. This bread can be put into a camp oven and left to rise, then cooked. Or you can punch down and leave for a second rise to achieve a finer crumb. My experience cooking over  fire was that the last embers were good, some placed on top of the lid. Less heat is required than you would expect, despite the 200 degree heat we use in the oven at will just end up with a black bottom. Practice will make perfect, and it is worth the effort just to see the sideways glances from neighbouring tents as the fresh bread smell wafts their way...

Nothing wrong with crackers (a variety is nice, water, rye, oat and walnut), packet bruscetta and a different spread and cheese each time with smoked meats. . Our Hungarian double smoked meats are cured so as not to need refrigeration, so the dried chabay or salamis are ideal. The Lindo Bruschetta spreads with capsicums, artichokes or sundried tomatoes are very popular to use this way, stir into pasta or spread on pizza bread. We also have tinned chickpea/tahini puree to which you add your favourite oil, and anything else you may fancy , such as pumpkin, semi dried tomatoes, lemon juice.... Serve with a few olives, tzaziki, almond or garlic filled, some tasty tomatoes, cucumber hunks and you are looking a food fit for royalty.

Or Ploughmans for a change. Hard boil eggs, gently crack and stand in cold water so the grey line doesn't form around the yolk. Peel and halve when cool. Serve with tinned Portuguese sardines, pickled onions, gherkins, a good piece of Neudorf,  Beetroot and Horseradish Relish, quartered baby cos lettuces, and breads. 

We can order small Rye Breads packs which last well with no refrigeration.

Toasted on the BBQ or hotplate
Cheese n onion
Cheese n Tomato
Bacon n Egg


These can be made of any seafood, leftover cooked fish, even tinned tuna if the fishing and shellfish collecting fail. But just the best with shelled pipi, cockles, or tuatua. Chop meat well, add egg to bind and a tablespoon or two of flour to bring it to the correct consistency. Pepper. Salt. A few drops of sesame oil can be nice in the batter, some green curry paste, herbs, seaweed again perhaps, and fry in a butter/ oil mix. Best with breadybutter and lemon wedges, or for pipis, I still think vinegar is the thing. Leftovers can be used up in these fritters too, if you are using canned fish, but pity to spoil fresh shellfish.

If you have fresh fish available, try kokoda. We bought a gadget in Fiji with a long handle you sit on, and a claw at the other end (not the end you are sitting on!) upon which you rub the inside of a coconut to scrape out the flesh. I swore in Fiji I would never again use canned coconut milk for raw fish, the fresh is so different. When you have scraped out the flesh so it appears grated, pour a little cold water over and squeeze. This will give you first milk, another cup of water and you have second milk, and we put hot water over at the end to give a third milk which was lovely to cook vegetables in. I was fascinated in Fiji to read the tourist guides suggesting the local food was unhealthy, scandalous as it is, when in fact, if the old ways are adhered to, the food is incredibly healthy. It is the modern , easy way of tipping a can of coconut cream or milk over food which is the problem, not using third milk as would have been done in times gone by, with a touch of first milk at the end as you would use cream or butter.Anyway...
Cut fish into small pieces, I like them longer and thin instead of small cubes. Cover with lime or lemon juice and marinate overnight in a cool place. Next day, gently squeeze fish and discard juice. Add chopped tomato, capsicum, cucumber, very finely chopped coriander, spring onion, lime or lemon juice, with a little fresh first coconut milk and salt to taste. Personally  I think the only possible improvement could be a dry vermouth accompaniment, but I will leave that to you. When we were in Fiji, I was invited to Denerau village for afternoon tea. The wonderful matriarch appeared with tea in fine bone china cups, and a plate of local roots, taro, cassava, yam, I remember there were five types, but shall have to look them up. The plate was English and very floral, and I thought how much healthier this was than the muffins which would have graced a kiwi table. So now, I like to serve roots with or after kokoda, taro is easy to buy fresh and keeps well, steamed or baked in tinfoil, and piled in the middle of a platter and surrounded by really fresh tropical fruits; pineapple, mango. guava, oranges.

Carpaccio, sliced perfectly fresh fish thinly on to a plate. Drizzle wth a good Greek or NZ olive oil. Chill. Finely chop capers, capsicum, ripe tomato (you could use a semi dried tomato), mild chilli, parsley, a little salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Place in the middle of the plate to add as people wish.

Fish with Chilli and Holy Basil
This was a favourite dishes on the beaches of Thailand 25 years ago, and the taste still takes me back to the ease of Koh Samet in an earlier life.The basis of this is a jar of Thai Holy Basil ansd Chilli paste, and dinner consists of stir frying fish pieces, be they squid, fish, crayfish, prawns, or my favourite is cockles, with this paste in a pan, and serving over steaming hot jasmine rice. Or make Thai Sticky Rice Balls and serve with a salad of tomato, cucumber, coriander, fish sauce, lemon and chili. Watch the chilli as the Holy Basil and Chilli paste is pretty hot.The cockles are  just as good without rice, straight from the pan, with beer.
To make Sticky Rice Balls, soak about 1 kilo Thai Glutinous Rice, (not Black Rice) overnight in plenty of water. Next day, drain, and steam about 10 minutes, turn ball over and steam again. Rice should be opaque,and sticky, not grainy. The advantage of this recipe is that the soaking reduces the fuel is made in rural Thailand and Laos where cooking fires are inside the houses, and it can be left to cook at the end of the meal when the fire has burnt down. It is a great snack food... balls are pulled out of woven baskets and enjoyed with sauces, salsas and tidbits of cooked meat...a fantastic way to use up leftovers.

Green Curry
Heat 3 Tbsp Coconut cream in a pan. Saute Green Curry Paste. Add fish, chopped to  similar size. Almost cover with water. When almost cooked, add coconut cream, fish sauce, lemon and coriander to taste. If fish is short, pumpkin is an easy substitute. Either boil first, or cook till tender in coconut cream and water before adding fish. Add more coconut cream to finish, but do not bring it to the boil again mAn easy, no cook, way to serve this is on rice noodles. Soak rice noodle in boiling water for a few minute until soft, toss with chopped coriander, tomato and cucumber.

Rice Noodles
An easy dinner can be made just from rice noodles. Soak in hot water until soft, toss in BBQ seafood, tomatoes, our fabulous Chinese sausage if you have it, Thai style veg...sprouts, tomato, cucumber, snow peas, vietnamese mint, coriander  and a dressing of  fish sauce, palm sugar, chilli and lime juice to taste.

 If we are going away for a while in the wops, I take an old agee preserving  jar with a screw lid, the old sort, muslin or gauze and some beans to sprout. Place beans in jar, cover with water plus 5 cms, cover mouth (jar, not yours) with gauze kand screw in place. Leave overnight and drain jar. Wash twice each day, filling with water and draining. Use sprouts as required.

Sprouting equipment
Curry Pastes
I do think these are great for a jaded palate in the summer heat. Take a selection of Curry Pastes - Indian, Malaysian...whatever...just check the ingredients to ensure it really is food,  tins tomatoes or passata, and the Kara coconut cream, hot lime pickles, sweet brinjal or apricot pickles, rice (Basmati and Jasmine) and mini poppadoms to toast on the barbie. Each paste will be slightly different, but basically you saute the paste in butter, oil or a couple of tablespoons of coconut cream, add meats and veg (pumpkin is a great extender), add water and cook till done. If you are using coconut cream, add the remainder of the tin at the end of cooking, and heat without bringing to the boil again. Serve with sliced onion rinsed in water with tomato, cucumber in yoghurt with mint, veg in tamarind ( I use the liquid as am way over fiddling with tamarind pods) small salads of anything you feel inclined, and you will be well rewarded. Tandoori paste is winner too, I found, especially if we had larger fish with a coarser texture not so suited to pan fry. Mix the tandoori paste with yoghurt if you have it, or lemon juice

Sushi is a great way to use up leftover fish, roe, smoked or unsmoked. or odds and ends of meat and vegetables. I like the vegetarian combination of grated carrot, omelette made with a little soy sauce, and cucumber. If you take a packet of sushi powder or seasoned vinegar

A good ham will keep well if hung in a breezy spot, and can be cooked as ham steaks with salad, sliced thinly and served with minted potatoes and salad, in wraps, in omelettes or frittata, risottos, minestrone, wraps. Wash in salt water periodically, especially round the bone as this is where it will start to age first, or if necessary, rebake wrapped in foil, or place in a pot of simmering water to recook briefly. When all the meat is gone, place in a large pot of water, bring up to the boil, and simmer to make a wonderful stock. Add either soaked split peas, or a medley of vegetable nearing their end. Barley is good with the veg too...

Tio Pablo make vac packed tortilla for an easy vegetarian meal and I love their Mayan Gold spice mix. I can be a little skeptical about spice mixes, but it would take me along time to reproduce this exotic taste. Heat two cans beans, should be pinto, but borlotti is fine

Using the ubiquitous chorizo, slice , melt in a pan, add boiled potato, and eggs beaten with salt, pepper, and plenty of parsley. Cook, and if you can pop it under the grill, do so, or turn over and cook until just firm through.

Lamb Shank or Veal Packaged meals
There is a terrific range of vac packed meat dishes which can be stored at ambient temperature. They are healthy, delicious and quick. Try them on cannellini beans to soak up gravy, or with BBQ vegetables, couscous with preserved lemon, or harissa.

Heat stock, or prepare Rapunzel organic dried vegetable stock with boiling water. Saute onion, celery and diced carrot in olive oil and butter, When clear, but before they take on colour, add Arborio or Carneroli rice. Increase heat a little and fry until  translucent, add a splash of wine, and stir until it is taken up by the rice. Add hot stock, ladle by ladle, stirring,  until rice tastes cooked, about 15 minutes. Add boiling water if you run out of stock. Season. When cooked, remove from heat, add butter and parmesan to taste, and leave covered for a couple of minutes.
You can add any flavourings to this to make a meal, dried porcini mushrooms and water cress, seafood, a jar of preserved artichokes, tin tuna with lemon and dill, any greens...the list goes on...

Saute plenty of aromatics, carrot, celery and onion, leek, courgette if you have it, garlic, with bacon, or even better, our Prodigal Daughter Gianciale (smoked pork cheek) and some lovely Greek oregano until soft. Add 2 cans tomatoes, a littl chilli if you like, and stock, a potato, then cook until potato is soft. Add kale or cabbage and a can of rinsed cannellini beans. Add a handful pasta and when el dente, lots of parsley. Serve with bread, toast, grissini (breadsticks) garlic bread, pita, whatever you have. Great food for a rainy night, easy, not too many dishes, and tasty when everything feels a bit damp and bleak.


lamb shanks dried lima bean
veal quinoa preserved lemon
tin beans mexican tortilla sundried tomarotes onion
risotto dried mushrooms, dried onion, dried veg 
buckwheat pancake mix
bruschetta sundried flour yeast salt cheese 
chabay frittata
green currry pumpkin rice noodles
pasta tuna dill yoghurt uht cream lemon
bean sprouts
sushi miso soup
camp bread

dried fruit
cakes fruit

Packaged Goods, Tins and Bottles

Rolled oats
Flour Hi Grade and Self Raising
Baking Powder
Baking Soda (good for cleaning too)
Cornflour/Potato Flour
UHT Milk
UHT Cream
Yoghurt prepared bags
Dried Milk powder
Pickled Onions
Pickled gherkins
Olive Oil
Organic sunflower oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Maple, Golden or Apple syrup
Lindo bruschetta
Japanese Soy Sauce
Oyster sauce
Sesame oil
Fish Sauce
Relishes Beetroot and Horsradish, Tomato Kasundi,
Rice, Arborio, Sushi, Basmati, Fragrant Jasmine,

Stewed Apple
Tomato passata
Portuguese Sardines
Pickled Onions
Pickled gherkins
Canned Chick pea/Tahini
Kara coconut cream

Dried Fruits and Nuts

Apple pieces
Pine Nuts
Sesame seeds
Sunflower Seeds

Herbs and Spices, dried Product - if you are camping alot, get an Indian Spice Storer (masala dabba), or wooden box to keep your spices safe. The indian ones are Stainless Steel which maintains the integrity of the spice a little, but a box is easy.

Pepper Grinder
Foodies Lime and Horopito Seasoning
Green Curry Paste
Dried Onion Flakes
Dried Garlic
Dried Mushrooms
Sesame seeds

Ready made pancakes

Sausages Smoked and Other
LSA (Linseed Almond Sunflower)

Living Herbs
Cos Lettuce
Spring onion
Garlic ginger
Mung Beans seeds

Check for inclusion
lamb shanks dried lima bean
veal quinoa preserved lemon
tin beans mexican tortilla sundried tomarotes onion
risotto dried mushrooms, dried onion, dried veg 
buckwheat pancake mix
bruschetta sundried flour yeast salt cheese 
green currry pumpkin rice noodles
pasta tuna dill yoghurt uht cream lemon
bean sprouts
sushi miso soup
camp bread

dried fruit
cakes fruit


Popular Posts