New at Peter White Public Library
Summer isn’t over! No matter what anyone says, there is still time to get outside and do one of my favorite things — sit around a campfire, enjoy some libations, and get creative with camping meals. The library has four new camping-based cookbooks featuring sections on home prep, camping tips, and recipes organized by meal-type. Despite the similarities the books have to offer, they detail unique techniques and ingredients for a variety of foods. Whether you’re roughing it or glamping, the foil packet meals, sweet and savory dinners, and delicious drinks and desserts are sure to bring out the chef in you during your camping adventures.
Begin your morning off right with a foil-wrapped breakfast bread bowl, Denver omelet breakfast pizza, and campfire corned beef hash and eggs, all worthy options from “The Camp and Cabin Cookbook” by Laura Bashar. These meals are hard to resist, especially in the crisp morning air watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee in hand. The most difficult aspect of cooking over an open flame is making sure the temperatures are correct, so the reference charts on temperature of coals, coal heat levels, and Dutch oven briquette chart are immensely helpful. The recipes also feature an alternative home cooking method, so if you are not grilling out in the wilderness, you can cook in the comfort of your own house.
For snacking throughout the day or a light lunch, try the Mediterranean hummus wraps with roasted red peppers, artichokes, and feta, Thai quinoa salad with a trio of fresh herbs, or the peak-of-summer peach caprese salad in the “The New Camp Cookbook” by Linda Ly. She focuses on setting up a great camp kitchen with essential gear from cookware to food safety. My favorite aspect of this cookbook is the icon next to each recipe to indicate the cooking technique. Whether cooking on a camp stove, on a grill, in a Dutch oven, or over coals, it makes choosing a meal fitting of your time and effort simple. Even if you’re not a camper, it’s a great book to flip through and drool over the delicious pictures of food.
At dinner, you might want to try foods like the banh mi pad thai noodles, best veggie burger, smoky baba ghanoush, and the skillet home fries with zesty za’atar from “Feast by Firelight” by Emma Frisch. It offers great advice on how best to pack your kitchen and cooler so everything is accessible in the order you need it. The book follows the same standards as the others: packing and cooking advice, with recipes organized by meal type. With a neat personal touch, the author explains each recipes background story at the beginning of the recipe. The recipes themselves, however, I found even more interesting; the zesty praline bacon, the no-sweat sandwich guide, camp mess nachos, and the foil-packet salmon with lemon, thyme, and blueberry all sound delectable. Though not completely vegetarian friendly, this book offers the most recipes without meat and turns many healthy foods into interesting camp-creations. If you can’t decide what delicious options to choose, the end of the book has a meal plan for five 3-day trips.
For the cool evenings around the fire, try vanilla bourbon hot apple cider, a tentside tea hot toddy, or Hinterlands hot buttered rum from “The Campout Cookbook” by Marnie Hanel and Jen Stevenson. It not only offers recipes by meal-type, but a guide to camping, as well as advice on packing, selecting the perfect campsite, and suggestions on camp kitchen supplies and tools. The book organizes recipes by: snacks, sides, main, drinks, and desserts. Each recipe, in turn, is divided into what to prepare at home and what to do at camp. The best suggestion, especially for those who are new to camp cooking, is the few pages dedicated to foil packet sides. It offers mini recipes with different vegetables, fruits, spices, and seasonings for hot and ready-to-go sides. Another fun feature of this book is the suggested menus, so whatever the occasion, there is a variety to choose from to host a delicious camp dinner. Let the feast begin!
By Stephanie Garn