Here at Campfire Magazine, we always say you should be able to make great food with only two rings and a wobbly table (well, and a few tasty ingredients, of course!). We asked savvy caravan-fan Amanda Regan to tell us about how she even manages to bake cakes with basic equipment and a whole lot of love.
Cooking in a caravan or whilst camping is not without challenges, but delicious dishes can be made with limited space, limited equipment and unlimited enthusiasm and imagination. Since June last year, I’ve enjoyed the luxury of a fully equipped caravan kitchen. However, I look back fondly to the days when my caravan kitchen consisted of two gas rings and a gas grill. My recipes from those days definitely fulfil the criteria for Campfire Magazine in that they are “do-able on two rings and a wobbly table”.
In my opinion, there is one more essential kitchen item; the double skillet. The two pans can be used independently or can be clicked together and used with a heat diffuser as an oven capable of baking potatoes, roasting chicken, warming breakfast pastries and baking cakes. The only limit is your imagination and willingness to experiment.
Pancakes with berries and maple syrup
A simple but satisfying breakfast, this is my go-to recipe for four pancakes is one cup self-raising flour, one cup milk, one egg and a pinch of salt. Mix together with a whisk or fork. There is no need for the batter to stand. Melt a knob of butter in the pan, pour in the batter. When the batter starts to bubble flip the pancake over. Ensure both sides are cooked before removing from the pan, tumbling fresh berries over the pancake and adding a generous drizzle of maple syrup.
Chocolate and vanilla marble birthday cake
Baked in a double skillet indeed! I carefully pre-weighed and pre-packed my ingredients before leaving home, thus saving space and weight in the caravan and leaving very little to do on site. I greased the non-stick double skillet and left it to warm before adding the cake mixture and leaving the double skillet to work its magic. I checked the cake regularly, as there is little you can do to regulate the temperature. I was truly amazed by the end result, which I topped with chocolate ganache and chocolate crunch sprinkles before adding candles and presenting the birthday girl with her surprise.
Tips for campers
Weight and space are at a premium in a caravan or tent, but there are some steps you can take to make life easier.
- Pre-weigh ingredients and transport in plastic bags/storage boxes. The same boxes can be used to keep your cakes fresh.
- Pre-mix dry ingredients wherever possible.
- Transfer liquids into plastic containers.
- Store recipes on your smartphone or tablet.
- Use disposable foil dishes.
- Don’t be too proud to use a packet mix.
- Use collapsible silicone cookware.
Finally, the most important piece of advice: have fun! Double skillets are quite hard to come by, but we’ve found these two for you.
Amanda is a passionate baker and caravanner, and she loves to combine the two. She’s been vegetarian for more than 30 years. She enjoys the challenges of cooking in a confined space to produce mouthwatering food for family and friends. Whilst believing the creation of cakes, bread and pastry to be an exact science, she follows a more liberal “throw any available ingredient in the pot” approach to savoury dishes. Amanda and her civil partner Allison own a caravan called Gertie.