Aug, 2017: When you’re packing the car for a camping trip, what gets packed in your camp kitchen essentials? Probably some barbecue tools and a grill plate; some plates, cups and cutlery; and almost certainly an esky (cool box for non-Aussies). Then the tomato sauce would definitely go in (I prefer Heinz Big Red) some sliced white bread and butter; and of course your preferred dead animal (or grilling vege for the vegetarians among us). Finally you have a few choice beverages, as lets face it, you weren’t born a camel! Whatever your camp kitchen is, you don’t want to get too crazy with it. Keep it simple right? The Compass & Ladle camp kitchen essentials are basically the same. Well, kind of…
Camp kitchen essentials: cooking kit
When we first bought our Bertha we were lucky that she already came with some cooking kit. But inevitably, over the past few months our camp kitchen has grown just a touch. We already had a barbecue kit and cast iron frypan and to this added a bread tin, grill plate, grill tripod and were gifted a big dutch oven (thanks Mr Nel!). We also bought an AMAZING set of welding gloves as no one likes burnt hands when stoking the fire. We replaced the little butane cooker with a two burner stove top and 5kg gas bottle. Fold up table, more comfy camp chairs, plastic beakers, wine goblets, plates and cutlery, two chopping boards, two pots, a thermos for making yoghurt and a rolling pin for making flat breads….the list goes on. If Fi gets her way the next ‘essential’ bit of cooking kit will be a pasta machine….and, I’m not even joking.
Camp kitchen essentials: the pantry
Our pantry is where things start getting slightly out of hand. Sure we’ve got the basics but little by little those basics invited some friends, the friends invited family and they invited their pets. We’ve got four different types of flour, two types of oil and at one stage had four different types of stock (now only three). We’ve got celery seeds and cinnamon quills, ground cumin and garam masala, bayleaves and cardamom pods. Then there is the white sugar and the brown; the baking powder and the bicarb of soda; the vanilla essence and the mixed seeds (for multigrain bread). Did I mention the sushi vinegar and nori sheets? I’m sure many are thinking that there is no way this stuff can be classed as essentials, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. You never do know when a dash of oyster sauce will be exactly what you need!
Camp kitchen essentials: the bar
Overlanding through Africa can be exceptionally thirsty so one really must have a well stocked bar. Here in the Compass & Ladle camp kitchen, things are no different. Our freezer pretty much always has a bag of ice ready for G&T’s. Then of course we have a bottle of gin, cans of Schweppes tonic and more cans of bitter lemon (Fi’s not crazy about tonic). Obviously there are fresh lemons plus two types of passionfruit cordial. Naturally we have a ready supply of beer and more often than not we’ll have three casks of wine (of the 5L variety, red and white). And, after spending a fair whack of time in South Africa we have developed a bit of a taste for brandy so felt we should have some of that. Oh, and then there’s the scotch (only because rum is a little tougher to find) and vodka (because bloody mary beef rocks!).
Camp kitchen essentials: what we like to cook….and drink while cooking
By now you’re probably all thinking we’re a bunch of complete greedy nutbags. You might also be asking what on earth do that do with all that stuff. Well, what we do with it is exactly why we need it. All of it. There’s fresh baked banana bread for breakfast, or maybe some home made yoghurt; and then flat breads with some salad for lunch. We might feel like an Indian feast with fresh chai and goat curry or a good old chicken parmigiana with corn flake crumb. Pot roasted lamb is super tasty a few days later as shepherds pie, and pot roasted chicken goes just nicely in chicken noodle soup. G&T’s for sunset, beers while on a game drive or a nice hot cocoa spiked with a good hit of brandy.
Very few of these things would be possible without the full and complete Compass & Ladle camp kitchen essentials. And you know what, that’s just the way we like it!