Homemade Boil in a Bag Meals for Camp and Home

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Whether you are an experienced camper or someone just beginning to learn about the activity, one of the concerns all campers face is what to cook for meals, and how to cook it. An empty belly can quickly turn a great experience into something you don't want to remember.

Camp cooking isn't very difficult, and there is something about the fresh air that makes camp food somehow seem better than the same dish cooked at home. However, it can cause problems for people who have little experience cooking over an open flame, such as on a camp stove or campfire. Also, there usually isn't the widest range of meal possibilities like you'd have at home.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be this way. You can make your own boil-in-a-bag meals for camping, before you even leave.

To do this, you first will want some pint and quart size Zip-lock bags. Generic bags will work, however they should be thick enough not to break, and shouldn't contain holes.

The idea is to make meals at home that you can then cool, place into the bags, remove the air gently, and freeze. When you go out camping, take the frozen food with you, put it in pots of boiling water, and allow it to heat up. You immediately have ready-made meals that can be tailor prepared to the tastes of the person eating the meal.

You do not at all need to constrain your imagination when creating the meals, either.

Here are some examples: Boil some chicken with some carrots and rice, and make some dumplings to go with the chicken. In the bag, dish some of the cooled chicken rice mixture, along with a dumpling. Once frozen, you will have a chicken dumpling meal just waiting to be heated and hungrily devoured.

Stew, bagged and frozen, makes an excellent camp meal.

Cooked broccoli, cauliflower, pearl onions, and green beans, can be mixed together and frozen for a mixed vegetable dish that is heavenly. For a very special tang, add a few drops of lemon juice prior to freezing.

For a great rice dish, cook a box of rice-a-roni (or comparable brand) of your choice. Add a can of diced cooked tomatoes, a half-pound of browned hamburger, and a can of mushrooms. Once heated, this makes a wonderful meal.

A couple hot dogs and some prepared macaroni and cheese makes a simple but filling meal.

Note that these can be leftovers from dinner. You don't have to necessarily cook something special to do this.

You don't even need to limit yourself to single item meals. For instance, putting some scrambled eggs, a couple slices of bacon, sausage or slice of ham, and a slice of French toast, frozen in the same bag, can make a very satisfying breakfast.

To cook these meals, simply bring a pot of water to a boil and place the bag of frozen food in the boiling water, opening it enough for gases to escape, but making sure that the opening stays above water level. It takes only long enough to heat the food, before it is done. The food can be kept frozen until needed in an ice chest, and you will have a very good selection that will provide for the most discriminating tastes.

Cooking in camp needn't be that hard. Most people have little problem boiling water even over an open flame. Use your imagination and give a try, then see what you can come up with. What better way to serve those leftovers, while also enhancing the camping experience?

More about this author: Rex Trulove

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