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Cooking Outdoors

You're not a mountain man and you're name ain't Cookie. Use the tips to make cooking outdoors easy on yourself.

by John

COOKING OUTDOORS — You have to eat, many times a day in fact. Cooking outdoors adds a lot of interesting challenges and a lot of time preparing, eating and cleaning up. And you thought the dishes would pile up at home...

150 years ago, one member of the family was assigned the all-day task of preparing food, cleaning up and preparing for the next. Without simple things like a sink and a fridge, cooking for a group can literally take all day. Use these cooking tips to simplify.

Plan

1. You'll probably have a cooler, but you won't have a lot of room for perishable foods. Plan meals that use lots of non-perishable items.

2. Bring foods that can be easily cooked in a frying pan, in a pot or in boiling water. If you bring one, you can also grill.

3. If you're going to an area without running water, make sure you bring enough to drink and wash. Plan about a gallon for every 4 people each day for washing dishes and hands.

Prepare

1. Before you go, pre slice the cheese, precook the bacon, slice the potatoes and onions and mince the garlic (Martha would be proud). Preparation takes twice as long outdoors so pre-prepare as many things as possible or you'll be sitting and waiting very hungry for a very long time.

2. Pre measure - Instead of taking the entire box of something like pancake mix, instead, scoop out the amount you will use and put it in a plastic bag. Write on the outside what it is and the other ingredients it will require so you can leave a lot of your kitchen utensils at home.

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3. To keep things organized, keep all your kitchen hardware (stove, pans, dishes, and utensils) in any kind of tote bag and your food items in another bag.

Cleanup

Without a dishwasher, dishes are a headache even at home. If you're use to washing in a sink by hand, washing dishes outdoors will be no sweat.

Wash your dishes right after the meal so the food will come off easily. For plates and cups you can bring disposable which will just leave you the pots to clean up. For that, you only need soap, water and a sponge.

The simplest way is to apply a little soap to the sponge, get the pot wet, wipe it clean with the soap sponge, rinse and dry with paper towels.

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