Tag: outdoor cooking (Page 1 of 4)

The Swedish Kitchen – Cooking Outdoors

The beautiful Swedish countryside is full of outdoor fire pits, making cooking outdoors very accessible to everyone.  They come in all shapes, sizes, and conditions, but there is no doubt about it, being able to do your cooking outdoors on a hike or a camp, safely and responsibly, adds to the experience and memories, especially for our three children.  

There is no knowing what you will find until you reach one.  Some are marked on trail maps, others are not, but they are little gems tucked away in the Swedish countryside, usually complete with a stunning view to admire whilst you eat your tasty treat.  Some are very basic, just a few rocks.  Others are luxurious, with the ability to set your grill rack at different heights, and complete with picnic tables.  Sometimes a kind person has provided wood for the fire and left it in a little shelter, and occasionally there is a bucket which you can use to collect water in (which we then have standing next to the fire as a safety precaution).  Due to not knowing what we will come across, and being out with three small children, I carry our fire wood (I’m getting quite strong!), just to be on the safe side.  As we get more experienced and the children get older, then we can think about rummaging around the ground for fuel supplies. There is something very special about being able to cook over an open fire, and we now have made a habit of doing this at least once a week, rain, sun, or snow…..in the winter it provides a well needed warming meal, and in the summer, a break in the hike to relax while the children play for a few hours.  If you need any ideas of what to cook (both sweet and savoury), I have lots of outdoor recipes that are quick and easy 🙂 The provision of the fire pits have benefits far more reaching than just being able to do your cooking outdoors.  They allow you to connect together, and pause a while from whatever adventure you are on.  Usually we are hiking.  The children either immerse themselves playing in nature, or are busy helping me, learning good bush craft and survival skills as they go along.  They have now all learnt what you need and how to start a fire, as well as looking after it, and putting it out safely.  Also, importantly, they have learnt how to behave around a lit campfire.

Top Tips for Cooking Outdoors

  1. Carry your food, water, and fuel for the trip
  2. Have a little fire starting kit ready made up.  You can see what is in ours here
  3. Allow lots of time.  This is not an activity that can be rushed, both for safety and enjoyment reasons.
  4. Be prepared to improvise, whether with cooking accessories, or fuel supplies.
  5. Let your children help.  It teaches them valuable skills.
  6. Leave no trace of you being there, so there is less impact on the environment.  If you’ve moved rocks to create a windbreak, put them back etc
  7. Use fire pits when you can, or a stove if there isn’t one.
  8. Take ALL your waste home.
  9. Put any fires out completely before you pack up and leave.  We don’t want wildlife hurt, nature harmed, or it to become a safety risk.
  10. If you are using firewood from the surrounding area, only use from the ground.  Don’t go chopping or tearing branches from trees and bushes.

We really enjoy eating our food cooked on a campfire, and I find the children tend to eat better too!!  Make sure you check out our outdoor cooking recipes, and next week I will go over campfire basics, and campfire problem solving here on the blog.The Swedish Kitchen-cooking outdoors, Campfire, campfires, outdoor cooking, campfire cooking, bushcraft, Sweden, www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect Pizza Wraps

In previous recipes I have experimented using both Swedish flat breads and French baguettes to make pizza meals, and both have been a success.  However, today’s idea of pizza wraps wins hands down over those two, according to the taste testing panel of my crazy trio.  They were so easy to make, very quick to cook, and extremely tasty to eat.

Ingredients For Pizza Wraps

  1. Tortillas
  2. Tomato puree
  3. Grated cheese
  4. Salami

You can play around with the toppings and add in/take away what you fancy.  This combination was both simple and worked well.  Don’t forget your tin foil to cook in.

Method To Make Pizza Wraps

  1. Take a piece of tin foil and lie the wrap on the top.
  2. Spread tomato puree over half the wrap surface area.
  3. Then add your toppings….for us cheese and salami
  4. Roll it up, and then wrap it in the tin foil.
  5. Place them on the fire, but only leave a minute or two before turning, and then the same again.  These cook very fast.  Watch for the tin foil scorching and as soon as it does it will be ready.

Hope you enjoy them as much as we did if you give them a go 🙂Perfect Pizza Wraps, Campfire Pizza, pizza, outdoor cooking, campfire cooking, camping food, bush craft food, outdoor food, Hiking food, www.mammasscholol.co.uk

Fruity S’mores

On Easter Monday we headed out for an outdoor adventure, and I was trying to rack my brain with a way of using up a little Easter  chocolate with a new campfire treat.  I came up with fruity s’mores!  They were given the thumbs up by my testing trio, plus Dadda on this occasion, and we will definitely be making them again.

Ingredients For Fruity S’mores

  1. Apples.
  2. Mini marshmallows.
  3. Mini eggs – but chunks of chocolate will work too if it isn’t around Easter time!  We also had vegan chocolate to use for Dadda.
  4. Foil to wrap them up in.

Method To Make Fruity S’mores

  1. Take an apple and a corer and remove the middle of the apple.
  2. Alternately stuff into the gap chocolate eggs (or chunks) and mini marshmallows, until the middle is bursting.
  3. Wrap in tin foil, and pack.  All ready to pop onto your campfire.

This is such a tasty and easy treat.  Give it a go and let me know how you get on 🙂

Fruity S'mores, outdoor cooking, campfire food, hiking food, camping food, outdoors, s'mores, smores, www.mammasschool.co.uk

Apple and Cinnamon Porridge – A Warming Breakfast

This apple and cinnamon porridge breakfast is quick and easy (a big plus point when you are outdoors), tasty, and very filling.  It’s perfect for starting the day in the great outdoors, or as a snack to make when out hiking for the day as it will give you lots of energy.

Ingredients For Apple And Cinnamon Porridge 

(This is for one portion)

1 cup of oats.

1 cup of milk of your choice (we’ve made it with both cows’ and plant based milks).

Half an apple.

Teaspoon of raisins.

Teaspoon of cinnamon powder.

Teaspoon of vanilla essence.

How To Make Apple And Cinnamon Porridge

  1. Dice the apple, leaving the skin on is down to what you prefer.
  2. Then put all the ingredients into you pan and warm through
  3. Beware with cooking porridge on a campfire that it can quickly stick to the bottom and burn, so stir regularly.
  4. If getting a little dry just as some more milk.  For example, when I am using oat milk I seem to need more than when I use cows’ milk.
  5. Then serve and enjoy!!

I hope you enjoy eating this simple but yummy apple and cinnamon porridge recipe as much as we do, and let me know in the comments below how you found it.

Apple and cinnamon porridge, campfire breakfast, campfire porridge, hiking food, camping food, bush craft, www.mammasschool.co.uk

Raspberry And Coconut Porridge – A Fruity Breakfast

This fruity breakfast porridge makes a good start to any day, whether hiking, camping, or even in the kitchen at home 🙂 It is fruity, tasty, and healthy, and it certainly warmed me up the day I cooked it! 

Ingredients for Raspberry And Coconut Porridge

This will make one serving, so just multiply the ingredients by how many people you have….it makes a decent portion size too.

1 cup of oats.

1 cup of coconut milk – add more if it becomes too stiff, but one was fine for me.

Handful of raspberries – mine were frozen, but to be honest if I’d taken fresh out that day they would have frozen anyway!!

1 teaspoon vanilla essence.

Non essential:  cocoa powder (sprinkle) and desiccated coconut (spoonful).

Method For Making Raspberry And Coconut Porridge

  1. Pour in coconut milk and add oats.
  2. Stir until warm.
  3. Add raspberries and stir until mushy, then add in the vanilla essence.  At this point you can add desiccated coconut if desired. One of our trio doesn’t like strongly flavoured coconut food so we didn’t.
  4. Serve into a bowl and sprinkle cocoa over the top, but make sure it isn’t windy or else you might just end up wearing it!!!

Raspberry and Coconut Porridge, porridge, oats, breakfast oats, camping food, hiking food, campfire food, outdoor cooking, bushcraft, www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

 

Bastasjö Friluftsområde – An Outdoor Family Haven

Bastasjö is a lake that is the centre piece of the Bastasjö friluftsområde, outdoor area.  It is very convenient being only about a 15 minute drive from the centre of the city of Karlskrona in the south of Sweden.  It is a huge area of hiking trails around the surrounding woods.  What makes this place so good for families are several things.  There are a lot of marked trails in a variety of distances, so you can pick what you think you can manage.  There are also good fire pits, surrounding the lake on all sides, allowing for you to build a campfire safely and cook in the great outdoors.  At the side of the lake where the main car park is, there is also a building, which houses toilets.  You can rent this out as well if you are running an activity in this location.  

We arrived at Bastasjö in the depths of winter during the Swedish sportlov holiday, and although we were doing our own thing, it was interesting to see they had a “drop in” campfire with sausages cooking, everyday this holiday week from 10am until 1pm.  They also had other activities, for example a night run and orienteering.  There are illuminated trails, as well as ones you can use for cross country skiing when there is enough snow on the ground.  We chose our trail, the blue one that skirted round the lake, spotting a fire pit that looked good at the half way point, and we set off.

We had travelled inland for about 20 minutes to reach Bastasjö, so there was still a fair amount of snow on the ground compared to what we had at home on the coast, so it made for a scenic walk.  The lake was truly frozen over, and there were even some intrepid people having a mini ice hockey game on it…..but keeping very close to the edge still.  They obviously did not trust the ice thickness that much.  My trio were keen to use their binoculars to watch them (see my other tips for hiking with children).  They have never known sea or lake ice so thick you can run, walk, or play on it.  They were memorised.  It all helped to take their minds off the fact they were hiking with backpacks, and were surprisingly perky!  They were even surprised to find themselves at our chosen fire pit thinking the first part of the walk had gone fast, and I was quite surprised to find us there without any whinges of “I’m hungry”!

The children dropped their backpacks, and although the little lady announced she was doing the Kelly Kettle, all three raced off and suddenly starting constructing a den in the woods behind the fire pit.  I was happy at my work in the peace and quiet sorting out a lunch of hot dogs and campfire toffee apples.  Whilst I was busy, a lady who had seen us light the fire from the other side of the lake where the building is, had walked round and started taking photos….apparently she needed photos of people out enjoying the area with their children during sportlov!  Once cooked, three hungry little den builders appeared and gobbled their food up.  There was a lovely wooden shelter at this fire pit, and although it was not windy today and not such a painful experience to eat outdoors, it was lovely to be a little sheltered while we ate.  I had not planned to stay at the fire pit for the whole 2 hours that we did, but the children were so happy climbing trees and den building, that I left them to it until they were ready to leave.  Instead, I amused myself by trying to keep the fire going by using twigs from the ground, and although they were covered in snow I somehow managed, so was feeling quite pleased with myself!  

Eventually the trio felt it was time to pack up and move off, and we set off to complete the trail and the loop around Bastasjö.  They tested the limits of the ice on the lake intermittently and tried to break it with large rocks……no luck in breaking it though, it was really solid ice.  

I would definitely recommend visiting this lovely outdoor area beside Bastasjö if you are in the area, and for us it will be fun to return in the summer and see a totally different looking place to the one we had experienced today.  There are also geocaches in the area, but due to the cold, my phone battery dies very fast, so we never got to look for them today, so we will save those for the warmer months as well.  Something to look forward to coming back for, as well as maybe different organised activities we could try next time.

Bastasjö Friluftsområde, Bastasjö, Outdoors, Sweden, Hiking, www.mammasschool.co.uk

Country Kids
 

Snow Ice Cream

Snow ice cream is the perfect way to use some of that cold white stuff up, and turn it into a tasty snack while you are out enjoying playing in the snow. With only four ingredients (although you can add more/different making various other flavours), snow ice cream is very simple and your little ones will love it!!

Ingredients For Snow Ice Cream

(This will serve 2)

Four cups of snow

One cup of preferred milk (we have made it both with cows milk and plant based milk for the vegan in our lives)

Quarter of a cup of sugar

Vanilla essence as preferred to taste

Method To Make Snow Ice Cream

  1. Get milk, vanilla, and sugar ingredients into the bowl.
  2. Put snow in and gently fold it into the mixture.
  3. Serve as preferred….we added sprinkles and sauce 🙂

You can see how easy this was to make as our little lady was in her element making it for everyone, not to mention the four portions she then consumed afterwards!!! Snow Ice cream, outdoor cooking, winter outdoor food, snow food, winter food, camping food, hiking food, ice cream, outdoor food, www.mammasschool.co.uk

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

 

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