Tag: outdoor cooking (Page 1 of 3)

A Grown Up’s Outdoor Wish List – Outdoor Gifts

Just before Christmas I did a post on children’s outdoor presents.  These can be ideas for any occasion, and they are practical.  That was for children though, and although I love being able to buy my three outdoor gifts, I have an outdoor wish list too.  So I thought I would put together a list of outdoor gear that is fun for grown ups to have and then it could be used as a resource for outdoor gifts.  It is by no means a definitive list of everything that is essential, just a wish list of some non essential outdoor gifts 🙂

Outdoor Gifts For The Grown Up Outdoor Adventurer In Your Life (Or Yourself!!):

A Waffle Iron:

Now my waffle iron is a very old hand me down from my Norwegian mormor (Grandmother) so goodness knows how old is it (she lived to be almost 92 and died over a decade ago just to give it a bit of context!).  It is cast iron, totally impractical to carry (it is heavy and when out hiking we are already carrying quite a lot of weight), but boy oh boy is it yummy and cosy to make waffles on the campfire and eat them!!  The good news is there are newer versions of these available now in outdoor shops.  They also make toasting irons too (which I have my eye on) so you can make lovely toasties too out in the wild.

Gloves:

Bear with me on this one….I have gloves, and lots of them.  However, I have not found a glove (yet) that can keep me warm and that I can still do fiddly tasks things in.  My fingers get very cold (painfully so), very fast, so the only gloves I have found so far are the chunkier Gore-Tex outer, fleecy lined ones.  Now when you are trying to take lots of photos with a camera, deal with children and what they throw at you, prepare food, make hot drinks, and deal with campfires, I have to remove them to achieve anything, and then my fingers are goners.  You can not underestimate how lovely it would be to have amazingly warm and waterproof gloves that you can still do things in!  If you know of some make sure you drop their name in the comments below 🙂

Funky Outdoor Clothing:

You can still look great as well as wearing practical clothing in the great outdoors.  I adore my fritids byxor by Revolution Race (you can read my review about them here) and they look really good too.  Best of all I get to wear my favourite colour purple, feel good about myself, and be dressed to meet the demands of the great outdoors.

A Tinder Pouch:

I used to carry any tinder I collected in a plastic carrier bag, which served to do the job, but after the children getting a leather pouch each for Christmas, I also invested in one for myself.  It is a little bigger than theirs (let’s face it, I do most of the tinder collecting!!) and is made from Swedish Sami reindeer leather.

A Fire Steel:

There are many ways to light a fire, but I find this way one of the most enjoyable!  I love using our fire steel and it makes lighting a fire such fun.

Knife:

As outdoor gifts go, this is such a useful piece of kit, even though you can get by without one.  This is something I am currently dreaming of.  A nice sharp tool in a handy belt pouch to help peel tinder so it is easier to light, or to assist with the food preparation.  Any recommendations would be gratefully received in the comments below!

Kelly Kettle:

It is no secret that I adore this piece of kit, (read our user guide here) and it comes with us on all our adventures.  It is extremely fun to use, and provides us with hot drinks to keep us warm.

Kelly Kettle Whistle:

This is an accessory for the Kelly Kettle that whistles when your water is boiled and ready to use.  A fun, totally unnecessary accessory for your camp kettle 🙂

Hobo Stove:

This little gadget is a stove that sits on the base of your Kelly Kettle, instantly transforming it from a kettle to a hob to cook on.  It fits inside the Kelly Kettle when it is packed away so takes up no extra room, and is very light.  It is really fun to use and makes cooking safer than on the ground.

Mini Axe:

I would love a mini axe to help with firewood.  Don’t panic I am not about to start felling trees, but this is more for the wood found on the ground, or even at the fire pits when we are walking (some lovely people leave firewood near the pits here in Sweden).  It would be easier to use if I could split them, and then I could start carrying less of my own wood from home too.  Again I will take any recommendations as to what you think is a good tool in the comments below 🙂

A Good Billy Can:

Before I got my lovely billy can, I was carrying saucepans!  Not very practical to pack in a rucksack and carry.  In this I can carry the meal so that doesn’t take up extra space and it works so well on the campfire too.

Outdoor Fire Gloves:

I am currently carting around our fire gloves from our indoor log burner.  These are not especially weather proof and have taken a battering from being used out in nature.  They are also very large.  Any recommendations, drop them in the comments below!

A Fun Mug:

I love having an enamel mug for our hot drinks when we are outside.  I realise Moomins might not be everyone’s cup of tea (Ha!) but we have gone with a set of 5 different ones and it just adds a little bit of fun and glamour (?) to being in the great outdoors.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about what I think would make great (non vital) outdoor gifts.  Any other recommendations or ideas would be gratefully received in the comments below, and my wish list may grow even longer!!

A Grown Up's Outdoor wish list - Outdoor Gifts, outdoors, hiking gifts, bush craft gifts, campfire gifts, outdoor gifts, www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

Campfire Waffles – A Winter Warmer

I have deliberated over whether to share my campfire waffles recipe, as not everyone possess their grandmother’s ancient cast iron waffle iron.  However, I decided to go for it for a few reasons…other than we adore waffles!!  Firstly, this recipe is the same one I use for my indoor waffle iron too (we are talking Scandinavian heart shaped waffles here).  Secondly, if you did want to make campfire waffles I know that you can get hold of these lovely old cast iron pieces of equipment second hand – they are out there (one of my friends has recently managed this).  Lastly, outdoor waffle irons (albeit a more modern and practical version), are now being sold in outdoor shops (I have only seen them online so far but they do exist).  So, I may give you an idea for a new piece of outdoor campfire equipment for your wish list, or you may just want to try them out in the comfort of your own home.

Ingredients For Campfire Waffles (makes 4 waffles):

An oil for greasing (we use either coconut oil or olive oil as that is what is in our cupboard.  Butter definitely didn’t work for us!)

3dl of plain flour

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

3 teaspoons butter

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

3dl milk

Raspberry jam and creme fraiche for serving

Method To Make Campfire Waffles:

You can either make the mixture at home and transport in an old plastic bottle, or if camping you can make on site.

  1. Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Add in the wet ingredients a little at a time.
  3. Beat well inbetween to make sure there are no lumps.
  4. Grease the iron and warm it up in the fire.
  5. Ladle in a portion of mixture and pop on the fire for 2-3 minutes, before turning over the iron to do the same on the other side.
  6. Take the iron off the fire and pop the waffle on a plate.
  7. Serve with a good dollop of creme fraiche and jam.

It might take a few attempts to perfect the timings needed and the amount of greasing needed, but bear with it and keep trying as once you have sussed it out, campfire waffles are well worth the effort 🙂  Excuse my grubby hands below, I was cooking on a fire!!!

Make sure you let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments below, and I hope you enjoy making your own campfire waffles!

Campfire Waffles, Waffles, Waffle Recipe, Outdoor Waffles, Outdoor cooking, campfire recipes, bush craft waffles, www.mammasschool.co.uk

Allemansrätten – Our Impact On Nature & How To Minimise It

Allemansrätten is a unique Swedish concept, of the right of public access to roam freely almost anywhere in the countryside.  However, a few responsibilities come with this privilege.  We need to take care of nature and wildlife, respect landowners and others enjoying the countryside, respect the land and leave no trace that you have been there, and do not disturb and do not destroy.  It is a very rare concept, allowing you to enjoy the Swedish outdoors (which is important here in Sweden and I have written more about it http://mammasschool.co.uk/living-abroad/enjoying-outdoors-in-sweden-get/ ) in its full glory.  Despite not all countries having allemansrätten, there is still an impact of us enjoying activities such as camping, hiking, and cooking outdoors, so I want to discuss how we can minimise the impact and why.

Outdoor Cooking:

There is no doubt cooking outdoors on a campfire adds to the outdoor experience and memories, but it must be done safely and respectfully.

  1. Use fire pits where you can, or carry a light and portable stove with you.  Allemansrätten means we have the ability to cook on campfires on our outdoor expeditions. However, by using provided fire pits (we are lucky having a lot here in Sweden), or carrying your own stove, you are helping to protect the habitat of creatures in the area you have decided to cook in, plus reduced the risk of fire spreading. 
  2. You need to consider any fire dangers for the time of year (e.g is it very dry?) and bear in mind any local restrictions.  You don’t want to spread your fire.
  3. Take only wood from the ground, never from the trees, and gather it from a wide area.  You don’t want to remove everything from one small area as it has a job to perform in the ecosystem providing nutrients and habitats.
  4. Allow your wood to burn completely down to ash, and then spread them out when you are extinguishing your fire.
  5. Put out a fire with water not dirt,
  6. Avoid building your fire on rocks as it will scar them.  Also, if near coastal water that covers them after you’ve been and gone, when the water rapidly cools the rocks it may cause them to crack.
  7. Never leave your fire unattended, it is a fire risk and a hazard to any inquisitive animals.
  8. If you have moved any rocks, for example to make a bit of a wind break, make sure you return them to where they were.
  9. Make sure you take all your rubbish home again, to avoid harming animals and the countryside.

Pop over to my Outdoor Cooking category for some delicious outdoor recipes on my blog.

 

Hiking:

Hiking is good for us for so many different reasons.  Allemansrätten here means virtually nowhere is out of bounds.  I have written many times about the actual benefits of being in nature and the great outdoors .  So, I won’t go into detail about that here, but feel free to click on the links to read more 🙂  However, collectively enjoying the countryside means we will have an impact on the environment.  So here are some tips to help reduce that impact:

  1. Be polite and leave room for others.  Don’t take up the whole trail or path, so passers by are pushed off it.  People need to stick to them as much as possible…….
  2. Following on from my last point, trails are there for a reason, so use them.  It prevents us from trampling over the rest of the area and destroying vast quantities of the environment with our boots and feet.
  3. Be aware of wildlife, it is their home and they can be easily spooked.  Try and view them but not too close, give them some respect.  You don’t want to scare them as it could have disasterous consequences like mothers running off and leaving their young.
  4. Take all your rubbish home, EVERYTHING! Personal rubbish (I carry dog poop bags to clear up after us) as well as fruit peelings, and the usual more obvious rubbish clutter.  It can harm and injure animals, as well as look unsightly and harm the ecosystem.
  5. Don’t take anything…..only photos.  Each thing is part of a complicated ecosystem and has a function.
  6. Try and move quietly (we really struggle with this one!!).  You are going through someone’s home.
  7. Keep any pets you take with you on a lead.  It not only avoids them spooking the wildlife, but stops them veering off the trail too.

Wild Camping:

Allemansrätten means you can enjoy a “wild camping” experience.  We’ve enjoyed a wild camp , but you need to think carefully about how you go about it, and remember you are making a home in someone else’s home…you are a visitor.  Here are some tips to lessen your impact on their home:

  1. Avoid loud music and activities.
  2. Keep your group small.  Not only is it better for the environment, you’ll see and hear more too 🙂
  3. Try and leave any pets at home, but if they do come, keep them on a lead.
  4. Leave no trace you were ever there.  Tidy your campsite up after.  This not only means rubbish, but return nature to how it was…those boulders or rocks you moved to sleep more comfortably?  Pop them back.
  5. Bear in mind how you treat campfires or toileting activities as we have already mentioned above.
  6. Give animals space to use any natural water supply, especially early morning and evening.
  7. Do not leave any food out.  Not only does it attract animals (and some may be unwanted, especially for us living in Sweden), but it can also harm them.  Containers can injure, and some food can make them ill.
  8. Use biodegradable dish washing soap (or as we do, wipe them after a meal and save the proper washing up until you get home).  Spread any dish water out over a wide area.
  9. Only camp for a short time in any one place.

 

I hope you have found all these tips helpful as to how you can get into the great outdoors and enjoy it responsibly.  Do you think it’ll help you on your next trip out to be more considerate to the environment?  Comment below and let me know, especially if you think I have left something vital out 🙂

Allemansrätten, Our impact on nature and how to minimise it, allemansratten, every mans rights, Sweden, outdoors Sweden, impact on nature, hiking, camping, bushcraft, www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

The Kelly Kettle – A User Guide

My Kelly Kettle and I are inseparable on our outdoor adventures.  We take it everywhere with us.  We enjoy it so much I thought I would give you a basic guide as to how you use it and then you can see if this is something you would like to give a go when out and about in the great outdoors.  The Kelly Kettle heats water very fast using what you find on the ground around you as fuel.  You can also get accessories that can turn it into a stove as well.  Plus, you can use the fire in the base for things such as toasting marshmallows without the stove accessory.  They are simple and fun to use, and a great way of introducing children into bush craft and the skill of lighting and being responsible for fires, as they are small and contained.  It is a great way for them to start learning their bush craft skills for the great outdoors.

Step By Step Guide To Using the Kelly Kettle:

  1. Fill your Kelly Kettle up with water, then set it to one side. 
  2. In the Kelly Kettle base add a small amount of newspaper, and some cotton wool with a little Vaseline on.  This helps ignite the fire a little easier. We carry a little fire starting kit of essentials with us, subscribe to the blog and see what is in our fire starting kit over on the  freebies tab. 
  3. Next add a little kindling.  We tend to collect this as we go along on our hike.  Our preference is small pieces of silver birch bark as they are highly flammable.  Just make sure you are picking it up from the ground (not pulled off the trees), and that it is dry.  Very small, thin, dry twigs work too. 
  4. Then light the cotton wool.  We use a fire steel.  This is 2 pieces of metal, which when struck together produce a spark which will nicely ignite the cotton wool.  We use this as it is generally functioning in most weather conditions, particularly wind and rain!  You can use matches or other lighting contraptions of your choice.
  5. Place the Kelly Kettle on top once the fire is lit.
  6. Continue to slowly feed tinder into the kettle down the chimney (watching for the fire coming up!).  We use leaves, twigs, bark, fir cones, etc.  You get the idea, most things found on the ground are good as long as they are dry.  By far our favourite is the silver birch bark though as it catches so easily, is very thin, so burns well.  The idea is not to swamp the fire in the base though but add slowly to keep it burning. You can also blow through the side holes, if needed, to gently get any embers to catch fresh tinder too. 

The great thing about the Kelly Kettle is it also comes with accessories which can convert it into a stove (they don’t take up any more packing room as they store inside the kettle).  I was really lucky to get the hobo stove for Christmas, and although we love our fire pits, it means that if there isn’t one available en route, I can light our hobo stove and cook safely with it.  It is a great back up to have in the back pack.  I am much happier doing that than making my own fire on the ground.

The Kelly Kettles come in different sizes.  We have the trekker size Kelly Kettle, one of the smaller ones.  I boil it twice when the 5 of us go out, but it doesn’t take too long so I don’t mind.

Have you got a favourite piece of outdoor kit?  Let me know in the comments below and maybe I’ll need to add it to my wish list!!  Don’t forget to subscribe  to the blog and get access to freebies (eBook, recipes, top tips, and our fire starter kit contents).

The Kelly Kettle, A User Guide, Kelly Kettle, Hobo Stove, Bush craft, camping, hiking, outdoors, kettle, www.mammasschool.co.uk

French Bread Pizza – Easy Campfire Food

With the weather getting a lot colder now in the Swedish winter, we need food that is easy and quick to prepare, and the less hassle to cook, the better.  French bread pizza is perfect for even the pickiest of little people to eat (and I have three, and they loved them!).

Ingredients For Pizza:

One baguette (serves three children)

Tomato puree

Grated cheese

Ham

Tin foil (for cooking on the fire)

These are very versatile, as you can add in anything you fancy really to your french bread pizza.  I have three young children so mine were kept simple to make sure there was less complaining out in the cold!

Method:

Chop the baguette into thirds, then slice each third open in half.

Spread the tomato puree on both sides.

Place your other ingredients on top. (I deviated from the normal pizza assembly of cheese on top of the puree as I was using mine to “glue” the ham in, and the 2 sides of the bread together!).

Place the two sides of the baguette back together and wrap in tin foil.

Place them on your fire for around 5 minutes in a good heat (you don’t want to char the bread so keep checking if unsure).  Then sit back and enjoy the view with your tasty food.

outdoor cooking, french bread pizza, campfire food, bushcraft food, www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

Campfire Toffee Apples – A Bonfire Treat

We do not have Bonfire Night over here in Sweden, but that didn’t stop us getting into the spirit of things making these scrummy campfire toffee apples!  They were a huge hit with my trio and I couldn’t resist either.  All my recipes can be prepared at the campfire, but we are now hitting minus temperatures outdoors, so I’m doing the prep at home to make life a little easier on the cold fingers!

Ingredients:

An apple per person

Soft toffees (ours were coated in chocolate too for an extra treat)

Cinnamon

Tin foil (for the fire)

 

Method:

With a corer, remove the core from the centre of each apple.

Then slice the apple in half.  This leaves each half with a lovely trench in the middle.

Place your toffees into the trench.

Sprinkle some cinnamon over each half.

Put the 2 halves of the toffee apples back together again, and wrap in tin foil.

Now you are ready to cook your toffee apples.  Place them onto the fire for 10-15 mins.  Once the apples are lovely and soft/squishy to touch, they are ready.  Tuck in and enjoy your campfire toffee apples.

outdoor cooking, campfire food, toffee apples, campfire toffee apples, bushcraft food, www.mammasschool.co.uk

Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

Inspiration Wednesday – Get Children Outdoors

Inspiration wednesday - Get children outdoors, Motivational quotes, Inspirational quotes, inspire, quote, motivate, www.mammasschool.co.uk

Scout Bomb – A Tasty Scouting Treat

A few weeks ago my little lady returned from her day away on her sjöscout island bursting with lots of enthusiasm over the day, but mainly for the food that they had prepared and eaten. In particular, a dish called the “scout bomb”.  She had been dying to cook this for us all on the fire, so this week I made sure we had all the ingredients, and on our weekly fire pit meal she prepared, she cooked, and she did a great job…..the fact that she cooked a meal all three children ate without a complaint is something I very rarely achieve!

Ingredients:

Potatoes (diced, and I worked on 2  small potatoes per person).

A leek.

Cream cheese.

A knob of butter per person.

A huge sausage (excuse the supermarket photo of said sausage, but I forgot to include it in the proper photo and by the time I remembered it was in our tummies!!).

Instructions:

Dice the potato and sausage.

Peel off a leek leaf and make into a rectangle to hold a portion (it’s your plate).

Place the mixed up diced potato and sausage onto the leek leaf.

On top of the potato and sausage place the knob of butter and a few teaspoons of cream cheese.

Wrap the whole bundle in tin foil….and there is your scout bomb ready to cook.

To cook your scout bomb place it onto the fire for at least 15 mins.  Once that is finished, carefully lift it off onto a plate and unwrap the scout bomb.  The leek “plate” will have infused the rest of the meal with flavour, and the butter and cream cheese melted to coat the meal in a delicious sauce.

You can eat your scout bomb straight off the leaf, but my three are quite adverse to the known presence of leek in their meals (even though it was the choice of one of them to cook with it!), so we scraped it all off onto a plate….it was very delicious, and very welcome on a very wet day!

Scout bomb, scout, campfire food, outdoor cooking, scout camp, scout food www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

 

Country Kids
 

Wild Veggie Eggs-A Hearty Outdoor Breakfast.

Eggs are a great breakfast, as they are filling, and when you are in the great outdoors, they are warming too.  This meal doesn’t need to be kept for breakfast either, it’s very versatile in its timings 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

So, what do you need to make your wild veggie eggs?

Ingredients:

Eggs!  I use 2 per person as a rule

Veg! The great thing with this meal is anything goes.  I just chopped a bit off items I already had in the fridge for other meals.  So, this time round it was onions, red peppers, courgettes, and tomatoes.  But you can try anything you fancy in there, and the more colourful the better I think.

Splash of milk.

Don’t forget a blob of butter to cook  it in (and add some pepper if you like that too).

Method:

The beauty of this meal is that it is so simple.  I get it all mixed up before we leave and pop it in a sealed tub.  Whisk the eggs up with the milk.  Then add your chosen veg in, chopped into small pieces.  You want the veg to be swimming in the egg mix, so when it cooks it sets within the eggs, but it’s no disaster if you have too much.  Then place it in your pan to cook for 5-10 minutes (until the egg is set), not forgetting to stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.  I ate mine straight from the pan today as it was only me…sssshhhhh don’t tell anyone!

Campfire Blueberry Cake – A Foraged Pudding

If you are looking for a tasty, early autumn, foraged campfire treat, then this blueberry cake is your answer.  I have to admit though, this time round we used bought blueberries as I knew it was going to be a very wet hike!!  The recipe is very vague, deliberately, as outdoor cooking is best kept that way as it makes it a lot more simple!

Ingredients:

Eggs (I work on 1 per person)

Slices of bread (I work on 1 per egg) and broken into small chunks

Blueberries (for 3 people, 2 handfuls were perfect)

Tablespoon of creme fraiche (1 tablespoon per 3 eggs)

1 tablespoon milk (per 3 eggs)

A liberal sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar

Method:

Mix all of the ingredients together in a pan, then place it onto the fire to cook.  Stir it every so often to prevent it burning and sticking to the pan.  It will take around 5-10 minutes, and will be ready when the egg makes the rest of the ingredients start to set.  This is such a lovely warm, fruity treat, and my trio wolfed it down, although they had hiked first and it was pouring with rain 😉

 

 

Campfire blueberry cake, blueberry cake, outdoor blueberry cake, foraged blueberry cake, www.mammasschool.co.uk

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

Close