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#92127 - 03/08/08 07:38 AM Meal for Bigger Group with Kids
NCalCamper Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 21
Loc: California
Hi. Beginning to plan for an overnighter at the end of the month where 4 different families are going backpacking together. Our group is 5 adults and 6 kids. Kids ages 7 - 12. I was thinking that each family should just cook up their own meals, but it would be fun for all of us to eat together. I wanted to get some dinner and dessert suggestions from folks. Other considerations, it's only an overnighter so we could bring in fresh food and we are able to have a fire at this time of year at the trail camp, Castle Rock State Park. Cooking gear is probably my greatest limitation, and since we have some younger kids to cover for, weight is somewhat of a consideration. Looking forward to your ideas. Thanks. NCC

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#92128 - 03/08/08 10:38 AM Re: Meal for Bigger Group with Kids [Re: NCalCamper]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
Kids love spaghetti. Can make one huge batch for all in a large pot. Yeah the one pot will weigh quite a bit, but it beats four small/medium ones for each family. If you brought another pot, you could make a fruit cobbler for dessert. Both pots then can be used as wash/rinse basins for personal eating utensils etc...

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#92129 - 03/08/08 11:09 AM Re: Meal for Bigger Group with Kids [Re: NCalCamper]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
Hi. Beginning to plan for an overnighter at the end of the month where 4 different families are going backpacking together. Our group is 5 adults and 6 kids. Kids ages 7 - 12. I was thinking that each family should just cook up their own meals, but it would be fun for all of us to eat together. I wanted to get some dinner and dessert suggestions from folks. Other considerations, it's only an overnighter so we could bring in fresh food and we are able to have a fire at this time of year at the trail camp, Castle Rock State Park. Cooking gear is probably my greatest limitation, and since we have some younger kids to cover for, weight is somewhat of a consideration. Looking forward to your ideas. Thanks. NCC


As mentioned, perhaps some spaghetti, which kids love and is easy to do. Don't forget the possibility of good old Mac and Cheeze - it's light, and for the most part, kids love it. (don't bother with milk and butter, use a little olive oil, and if you want, a little powdered milk, or just water. My usual take when bp'ing with mac and cheese is to bring tuna foil pouches, and dehydrated onions and peppers, with perhaps a few packets of taco sauce from a fast food taco place. Adding this to mac and cheese makes it a bit more grown up - although you may end up making a "with" and without for the kids.

If you're bringing slightly heavier stuff and you have a campfire, consider taking the makings for
bannock dough (or pre-making it in a ziplock). Try first at home. You only need add water to the ziplock and munge it around, then wrap around a stick to "bake" over the fire. Works pretty good with jam packets from a fast food joint, or if you bring hot dogs or smokies makes a darn good piggy in a blanket type thing.

OTOH, don't be afraid to venture out a little, you'd be surprised at what kids find "interesting" about food in the boonies - My kids forgoe the usual mac and cheese stuff and vastly prefer the high tech (and a bit more expensive, but lighter) Natural high dehydrated dinners. If you resort to going
lighter where you basically need boiling water - you can have a little variety like a couple of storebought backpacking meals plus some mac and cheese and the like for those who like the familiar.
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#92130 - 03/08/08 07:58 PM Re: Meal for Bigger Group with Kids [Re: NCalCamper]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
If you want simple pasta try this recipe:

Swiss Mac & Cheese

In a small bag put:
3 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup dry milk
2 tsp mustard powder
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp granulated garlic
Ground pepper to taste

In a sandwich bag:
8 oz small shell pasta
1/3 cup diced sun dried tomatoes or dried diced broccoli

Also take:
5 oz Swiss cheese

In camp: Cut the cheese into very small chunks.
Bring 3 1⁄2 cups water to boil. Add pasta and tomato pieces. Boil until the pasta is slightly tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the dry ingredients, stir in the cheese.
Turn off heat and stir until the cheese melts.

Serves 2.

You can use nearly any cheese though. (I have used cheddar, Italian blends, etc.) This dish serves 2 huge appetites or 3 normal ones. And it produces tons of sauce so a bog loaf of bread has to be included <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> This only needs a 6 cup pan to cook it without overflowing.
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Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
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#92131 - 03/10/08 10:09 AM Re: Meal for Bigger Group with Kids [Re: NCalCamper]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Personally I would stay away from traditional pasta as it is very time intensive to cook pasta for that many people. If pasta is something you really want, I'd go with a very fine pasta (like angel hair), or dehydrated pasta... otherwise you could be waiting a very very long time for the water to boil (been there, done that, almost starved).

You could do a hamburger stew/sloppy joe kind of dish with fresh veggies chopped up in it and good fresh bread.

MNS
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#92132 - 03/10/08 10:33 AM Re: Meal for Bigger Group with Kids [Re: NCalCamper]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“Castle Rock State Park”

We have that park in IL! Of course you can find it in CA, CO, ID, etc., but since you’re “NCalCamper”...

Several times I have cooked for 2-4 families of about 12 total. I used two pepsi stoves and pot stand like this: http://www.trailquest.net/BRcookset.html (I didn’t use any of the other stuff in the picture). I made my own foil wind screen. I had 1.3L and 0.85L Ti pots. They had to eat in shifts of course. But everyone was/is fed in 30 minutes.

I am always surprised how kids and adults like these cheap simple foods:
1. Cup of soups from walmart. This 28 cent item tastes heavenly in the mountains.
2. hot chocolate. Use the soup cup from above.
3. freeze dried scrambled eggs/bacon
4. prepacked flavored oatmeal

All this was done with the Ziploc bag cooking.

I just had to keep the water a boiling (or hot) and we had no dirty dishes to clean.

Have fun!

-Barry

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#92133 - 03/10/08 04:47 PM Re: Meal for Bigger Group with Kids [Re: NCalCamper]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
Mac and cheese! (well, plus other stuff)

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#92134 - 03/12/08 06:29 PM Re: Meal for Bigger Group with Kids [Re: NCalCamper]
NCalCamper Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 21
Loc: California
Really appreciate the suggestions. We are going to have a meal planning pizza party next week to discuss. I figure I can offer a couple of suggestions and see what the group thinks. Keep em coming! NCC

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#92135 - 03/14/08 05:39 AM Re: Meal for Bigger Group with Kids [Re: NCalCamper]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
I just remembered an idea that we used to do all the time when I was a kid. We loved it. It is heavy though... hobo foil dinners!

ground beef
onion
potato
carrott
seasoning

cooked in aluminum foil in the fire

slice onions into rings. slice potatyo and carrot thin. you will make a pouch with a 12x12 piece of heavyduty aluminum foil. It will be all layered like this:

well I decided to stop describing it and just give you a link to some other sites which have many different versions and good directions:

basic instructions:
http://www.ehow.com/how_2001074_make-hobo-stew-foil-dinner-over-campfire.html

variations:
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/scoutnotebook/campcook/foil-dinner-variations.html

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#92136 - 03/28/08 03:53 AM Re: Meal for Bigger Group with Kids [Re: DTape]
robi Offline
member

Registered: 05/29/03
Posts: 312
Loc: budapest, hungary
The Hungarian solution.... I know you will all be grossed out, I was the first time they explained it to me, in fact I did not even udnerstand the concept, I go the words, the conceptt hought was too much.

Take a slab of bacon, the fatty kind, more fat, the happier the campers, seiously!

Place a chunk of this lard on a stick, hold it over the fir/embers, catch the drippings on a slice of good bread, when you have all the drippings, eat teh bread. it is great!

kids here like to roast hot dogs on open fires.

yeah, both solutions are heavy but kids lvoe them and neither the smoked bacon or the dogs will spoil on such a short trip!!!

kurtos kalacs is also a favorit here. labour intensive, sweat great !!!! if you want the recipe I will send one...

other things popular here for such short trips are kabobs... onion, tomatoe, bacon, sausage (no, it will not spoil in yoru backpack for atlest a day or 3!)

baked ptatoes, no need for foil, just chuck taters in embers/ash, take out when done, knock of ash/burnt bits, eat... great stuff!

I do these kinds of dishes all the time on canoeing and cycling trips, on camping trips to the seaside. They work well and since we are not talking about major expeditions it really is no big deal for ppl to carry the food in.. I always tell ppl to leave the electronics at home if they are worried about wait...

robi

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#92137 - 06/12/08 12:56 AM Re: Meal for Bigger Group with Kids [Re: NCalCamper]
thesportfamily Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 7
Loc: northern utah
in a large freezer bag
2 cup instant rice
2 chicken bulion cubes
1 tsp chopped onion
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
2 chicken breast cubed (they come in a foil package or can)

add 2 cups of boiling water and let stand for appox 10 min or until water is completly ubsorbed.

feeds 4

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#92138 - 06/15/08 05:18 PM Re: Meal for Bigger Group with Kids [Re: phat]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
All the different flavors of 'StoveTop Stuffing' type mixes usually get gobbled up by the kids in groups when I'm around <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

If you are carrying a large enough pot for the group meal and want to make a pasta might I suggest a filling one that needs little besides some prepackaged pasta sauce that now comes in bags <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" /> Tortellini is easy to eat for all age kids with a spoon, and out of virtually any type cup or dish, and folks can serve themselves within reason(age around hot stove/tippy pot) <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

popcorn made in a large pot can be dipped/potioned out into whatever dinner was eaten from to fill them wee critters bellies up <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
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