Essential Backpack Recipes

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
The Tenderfoot's Almanac

Essential Backpack Recipes
By Lorien Warner

Cooking up menus that the kids won't wrinkle their noses at is difficult enough; it can seem next to impossible when camping. But follow advice from the experts--from outfitters whose backcountry cuisine has pleased even the pickiest palate. You may find your kids not only cleaning their plates, but asking for seconds. Each recipe feeds four.

Western Spirit Cycling


4 c. water
1 2/3 c. rolled oats
1 1/3 c. dried cranberries
1 c. plain granola
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 c. chopped nuts (optional)
1 sliced banana (optional)

In a saucepan, bring oats and water to a boil, then move to cooler temperature and continue cooking until oats soften (about 12 minutes). Add cranberries and remove from heat after two minutes, or when mixture thickens. Stir in granola, banana, sugar, and nuts.

Yellowstone Mountain Guides

1 c. whole wheat flour
4 T. powdered buttermilk
or 1 c. milk
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. cornmeal
2 T. molasses
2 T. honey
2 T. shortening
2 eggs
1 c. water
1 8-oz. can corn, drained

Mix dry ingredients. Heat Dutch oven over coals, add all wet ingredients to the dry ones, and stir just enough to moisten. Bake in oven with lots of coals on the lid for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with a cup of soup, and honey for the bread.

Yellowstone Mountain Guides

1 1/2 lbs. lean hamburger
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 small head cabbage, chopped
1/2 14-oz. can sauerkraut
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 24-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 T. chopped garlic
2 tsp. caraway seeds
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 T. oregano leaves

Brown hamburger in a little bit of olive oil, add onion, bell pepper, cabbage, sauerkraut, tomatoes, and spices. Add a little water if mixture is dry. Make baking-powder biscuits. Place on top of mixture in a casserole. Bake at 425¦ for 10 to 12 minutes or until biscuits are golden.

Baking-Powder Biscuits
Yellowstone Mountain Guides

2 c. all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter or margarine
2/3 c. milk (or use buttermilk and add 1/4 tsp. baking soda)

Mix dry ingredients in a resealable bag prior to departure. In camp, cut in the butter. Add the milk all at once. Stir just until dough sticks together. Knead lightly and spoon or cut biscuits. Add to Dutch oven per recipe for Vivian's Delight (left).

Copyright 1997, Outside magazine

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