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  • If you plan on serving your breakfast eggs scrambled, you can crack them ahead of time into a sealed container – no eggshells to worry about while camping. Just keep the eggs well chilled.
  • The Grant Family from Indiana writes: “We tried York Peppermint Patties instead of the traditional Hershey’s for our S’Mores and they were a hit. However, I think that next time we’ll try thin mints.
  • Andie B. from Seattle, Washington says, “For brown bag lunches, use frozen bread. By the time you’re ready to eat it, the bread is moist and delicious.
  • D. Giller finds it handy to carry a couple of cans of evaporated milk on camping trips when making pancakes or waffles or any other recipe that calls for milk. Mix half milk and half water to use as a milk substitute in recipes. Covered tightly it last longer in the fridge than regular milk.
  • Loyda Coulombe from Federal Way, Washington had this tip for making ribs: “For tender ribs on the barbeque grill I first make sure they have been cut apart (if they are beef ribs); for pork ribs I roll them up. Stand ribs up in a crock-pot adding a little water so they don’t stick to the bottom. Heat on high for several hours before throwing on the grill to finish cooking and soak up BBQ sauce. They come out super tender.
  • Lee Pravitz from Dover, Delaware has another method for making tender ribs: Cut the ribs into sections, put into a foil bag (like the new Reynolds bags, or you can make your own by cutting two pieces of foil the same size and folding them together). Put in a 1/2 cup of water, close the bag tight, put on the second shelf of your grill and cook on LOW for one hour. Take ribs out of bag and finish cooking ribs on the grill with the BBQ sauce. The ribs will fall off the bone every time.
  • Sis Ward from Hot Spring, Arkansas and her family always take plenty of heavy duty aluminum foil on their tent camping trips. Sis says you can make so many things from aluminum foil including aauce pans, lids, bowls, even water bowls for your pets.
  • The Allisons from Texas sent in these tips: We have found that if we freeze our meat before we begin our trip that it lasts better in our camper fridge and a we don’t have to shop as often. Also, we freeze water in a 1/2 gallon milk jug and put one in the bottom of the fridge and it keeps it much colder. Also, if starts to melt you know right away that your refrigerator is off.
  • The Alston Family of Lufkin Texas has an easy, inexpensive and less messy way to make S’mores. You can buy the fudge striped cookies ( $1 at a dollar store or Wal-mart) and a bag of marshmallows. Roast your marshmallow then squeeze it between two cookies. It will melt the chocolate on the backs of the cookies.
  • Toni Vande Voren from Wyoming, Michigan writes: ” When getting ready for a camping trip, especially in the fall or early spring when we still like a nice hot meal, I fill the large coffee cans with chili, stew or soup, and freeze. It adds to the coldness of the food in the cooler, plus, I can set it at the edge of the campfire to heat, right in the can, serve up in bowls and then dispose of the can. No big pots to wash and worry about. My hubby likes this too, when he camps without me, as he hates washing pots and pans worse than I do.”
  • Molly Segda from Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey has this camping suggestion: If you have a meat & potatoes, veggie & salad type of family like I do, this is a good time saver. Put as many potatoes as you need in large pot, leave skins on, cover with water and put on top of potatoes a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. Put fresh ears of sweet corn on top of the foil and cover (if you don’t have a lid large enough, place a second piece of foil on top of corn). When potatoes start cooking, corn will steam and both will be cooked at the same time, using the foil as a server & also keeping it hot till ready to eat. Mean while, your steak or hamburgers are cooking. Time it accordingly. Potatoes should take about 1/2 hr. Also, put your cut up salad in a large plastic bag and shake, with or without salad dressing. This saves time and dish washing. A delicious meal just like you were home, in about 45 minutes with prep. & cooking. PS: Anyfresh veggies will work.
  • Monica G. from Los Angeles, California wrote in with the following: “My Godson, Peter, gave me this kitchen tip. To clean messy BBQ grills, use 1/2 onion to scrape off grease and burnt on food pieces. You use the 1/2 onion like you would a scouring pad. I didn’t believe it would work myself until I tried it.
  • From NeNe in Tennesse – “When ever I need to mix tuna for tuna salad I first put all ingredients in a 1 gallon seal-able plastic bag, remove excess air, then I just blend ingredients by squeezing the bag. Then I snip off 1 corner to squeeze out the amount I need for sandwiches, salads, and etc. This idea can be used with many other foods such as deviled eggs, seafood salad, meatloaf, seasoned ground beef for the grill and so on. This is extra nice to prepare foods on camp-outs, picnics, or carry dish for get togethers (and a lot easier to transport). Enjoy the food and an EASY clean-up.
  • Becky W. from Independence, Missouri had the following tip for quick camping meals: “For a quick meal while camping, brown ground beef, add sloppy Joe sauce, and freeze it in a freezer bag. Throw it in the cooler (it will help keep other food cool too) and then warm it up in a pan over a fire or on a grill. Can also be done with taco meet; just bring along your shells or tortillas and other desired toppings!”
  • Lou from Southern California adds a natural tenderizer to chicken, beef and lamb, by sprinkling with fresh lemon juice. Try this trick for cleaning metal shish kabob skewers: clean with a dry, soap filled scrubbing pad (such as SOS). Burnt on food seems to come off much easier this way, then all you have to do is rinse. Especially handy when camping! There’s never enough room in an RV or Camping kitchen to take everything. Cooking pots with handles do great double duty as mixing bowls when not being used on the stove. Try tacking a small cloth shoe bag to the inside of an RV kitchen cabinets. This is handy for holding objects like can openers, spatulas, serving spoons and other items that might clutter up the drawers. On camping trips, use baking soda for cleaning dishes, pots and pans, hand and even teeth. Deodorize a musty smelling tent by setting up and sprinkling with baking soda.
  • Deodorize sleeping bags by sprinkling baking soda inside. Let sit for about 6 hours before shaking out and setting out in the sun for a few hours.
  • Keep fish hooks from rusting between fishing trips by sticking them in a cork and submerging them in baking soda.
  • Add baking soda to hollow fishing lures to give them spin in the water.
  • Clean upholstery spots in car or RV with a baking soda paste. Rub into the stain, let dry then vacuum.
  • Baking soda can clean stains on fiberglass RV bodies. Scrub with baking soda on a damp sponge. For tougher stains, apply wet baking soda, let dry then wipe away.
  • Charlee S from Missouri has a tip for cooking hamburgers more evenly and avoiding the sydrome of well done edges and rare centers. Charlee makes a tiny hole, about the what your index finger could fit through, in the middle of her burgers. During grilling, the hole in the middle will disappear but the center will be cooked the same as the edges.
  • To clean foods that have burnt on a barbecue grill, enclose them in a large plastic garbage bag. Mix 1 cup baking soda with 1/2 cup ammonia, pour over the grills, close the bag and let sit overnight. The burnt on pieces will have loosened making the grills easy to clean.
  • Control the flames on a barbecue grill by having a pint spray bottle of water mixed with 1 teaspoon baking soda.
  • Clean coolers with a water and baking solution to eliminate odors.
  • If you have room, store unscented candles (or well wrapped and sealed scented ones) in the cooler or RV refrigerator to keep the hot sun from melting them.
  • Even if you don’t like ot for drinking, use powdered milk for cooking as its easier to store, lighter to carry and cheaper than regular.
  • A cup of baking soda and a cup vinegar poured down a drain can help clear a clogged drain.
  • Baking soda can help clean dishes, especially greasy ones .
  • Nothing cleans plastic like baking soda and it doesn’t scratch the surface – sprinkle on a sponge or rag and use as you would cleanser.
  • A general mixture of 5 tablespoons baking soda to 1 quart water makes a good all-purpose cleaning solution for glass, plastics, formica, etc.
  • Remove grease from a stovetop by cleaning with a solution of baking soda and white vinegar.
  • Remove stubborn cooked on food from dishes by sprinkling pan with a half cup or so of baking soda and an equal amount of white vinegar — let soak for a few hours before cleaning.
  • De-grease and clean barbecue grills by applying a baking soda paste with a wire brush, let set for about 15 minutes, then wipe clean. Let the fire burn away any excess residue before you begin to cook.
  • Jamie Sanders from Georgia writes: “I have camped my entire life. One great, easy recipe that’s always a wonderful meal is the hobo meal. All you need is heavy-duty foil, potatoes, onions, corn, meat, peppers or celery if desired and salt & pepper. If using ground beef you should make small meatballs. Just put everything in a the center of a piece of foil, pull up the corners life a sack & twist closed. Place on the coals and wait for your meal to cook! No clean-up either! Just eat out of the sack – eat with your fingers if it’s cool enough.”
  • Lori from Germantown Hills, Illinois says, if you like to make chicken fajitas, buy split chicken breasts and cut off the bone. Leave the skin on so when you grill it, the chicken won’t stick to the grill but the skin will so you can flip the meat over and cook it on the same piece of skin.
  • Fabulous Foodie Kathy Weigman of Appleton, Wisconsin suggests adding a few ice cubes to aluminum foil packet dinners or vegetables to prevent them from burning and keep them moist.
  • The Terry Family of Delaware, Ohio marinate their fresh chicken, place in freezer bag and freeze before leaving on their camping trips. The frozen food helps keep the cooler cold, and by the time you’re ready to cook, it has slowly thawed.
  • To make deviled eggs with no mess put eggs yolks from hard boiled eggs in plastic sandwich bag. Add remaining ingredients, close bag and mix. When finished cut small tip off corner of bag and squeeze into hollowed egg white, then simply throw away the bag. No muss, no fuss.
  • Grill beef over medium, ash covered coals. To check for temperature, cautiously hold the palm of your hand over the coals at cooking height.
  • Count the number of seconds you can hold your hand in that position before the heat forces you to pull it away. It should take about 4 seconds for medium heat coals.
  • Salt beef after cooking or browning (unless it’s added to the dredging flour) as salt draws moisture out of beef.
  • Trim fat from beef after cooking as leaving a layer of fat preserves juiciness.
  • Getting your on-the-road oatmeal is fast if you turn regular oatmeal in a blender before leaving home. Blending makes the oatmeal the same as “instant.”
  • Using a few corn chips as fire-starters is economical and efficient, Simply light them with a match and toss a few on the campfire or barbecue.
  • Placing an egg into a plastic bag and then back into the egg carton makes transporting eggs safer. If the shell breaks, the mess stays in the bag. Remove the shell and scramble the egg later.
  • Patting beef steaks with paper toweling before cooking makes for better browning of the meat.

Carol Santee

Carol is the co-author of the Big Book of Freezer Cooking and the author of 30 Day Gourmet’s Slow Cooker Freezer Favorites, Freezer Lunches To Go and Healthy Freezer Cooking eBooks. She is a computer information specialist and works for a computer software company.

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