Good morning! I hope this finds everyone safe, healthy and busy! I am so excited about our camping trip last week! I enjoyed it! It was hot, we ate some non-traditional camping food, it was hot-but I still enjoyed it!
Since low 90 degree temperatures were predicted, we picked a shady spot with electricity this time. Picking a spot is important to help keep the camper cooler. Since I like cooler weather camping, I also tried to remind myself that doing things differently is ok.
It’s ok to be active in the cooler morning and relax in the breeze or air conditioning in the hot afternoon.
It’s ok to not cook every meal over the campfire and to eat non-traditional (to me) camping food.
It’s ok to camp in hot July/August and not wait for cooler weather to camp.
And it really was ok- in fact I enjoyed it!
To start our ‘different’ weekend, we went on a morning canoe ride. I would say early morning, but we had to run home to get the lifejackets. We were able to have a nice ride, though, and be done before it got hot.
We didn’t see turtles, but we did spot a blue heron. We also saw raccoon prints and mussel shells along the muddy, sandy shore. Usually the shore is rocky, but right now they have lowered the water level at our favorite state park lake for dam improvements.
Just like the canoe ride, our cooking was different. I did not cook many campfire meals since it was soooo hot- but we did enjoy a new camping breakfast and we enjoyed an easy crockpot meal.
Crockpot Beef is an easy oven meal that we enjoy in the winter. In the summer, I make it in the crockpot in our screen porch. Cooking in the screen porch helps to keep the kitchen (and the house) cooler in the summer.
Usually, we head to the campground after work. Getting there and setting up takes a little while, so we eat something simple for supper that first night. Cold sandwiches, leftovers and hot dogs/cheesy hot dogs over the fire are all easy options.
This was a last minute camping weekend though, and I already had Crockpot Beef on the weekly menu. Since we haven’t had it for a while, the husband suggested that we take it with us and I’m so glad he did! I have never taken a crockpot meal camping before, but it worked great!
It was hot outside, so I started Crockpot Beef at home in the screen porch.
When we were ready to head to the park, we took the hot crockpot with us. It sat in an insulated bag on the floor of the truck. Since it was only 1/2-2/3 full, spilling was not a problem. Our favorite state park is close (less than 30 minutes away), so it stayed very hot. You could also pack towels around it, but it was still super-hot when I plugged it back in at the campground.
Crockpot Beef Recipe
1 ½-2 pounds of stew beef I buy roasts on sale. Then I trim and cube the roasts into bite size pieces before I put it in the freezer.
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
½ can of water
1 beef bouillon cube (or leave out the water and use ½ cup of beef broth)
½ cup of diced onion
4 carrots, cubed
1 can drained mushrooms
Salt and pepper
Sometimes at the end I add – 2 Tablespoons flour mixed with ½ cup water, turn crockpot to high and let simmer for 10-15 minutes to thicken the sauce.
Mix all together and cook on low in a medium sized crock pot for 5-6 hours. Or can cook at 325 in a covered dutch oven in the oven for 3-4 hours.
Serve over mashed potatoes, toast or wide egg noodles. Or even eat it like a stew.
I am so happy to have another easy, camping meal option.
When we were done setting up the camper, I boiled some wide egg noodles on the camp stove outside to serve with it. I doubled the recipe and used my larger crockpot, so we even had leftovers and leftovers for a campfire experiment! I love campfire experiments!
Even though it is non-traditional (to me) camp food, taking Crockpot Beef worked so well that I might try other crockpot meals. I probably won’t use the crockpot in the camper during the summer since it might make the camper hotter. Though, the added heat might be nice in the fall. I would also place the crockpot in a screen tent, if I used it outside, to protect it from bugs.
Even though the heat index was over 105 degrees, we had a very good camping weekend. We had a nice canoe ride before it got hot,and I learned that I could enjoy different camping weather and different camping food.
Happy Camping (or enjoying the air conditioning)