The Wifey was working on a Sunday so I decided to spring into manly action and plan a camping trip for Saturday night with the kiddo. I really wanted two things out of the trip: 1) to take the little guy on his first camping trip and 2) to use a cast iron dutch oven we bought years ago but have barely used.
I was really motivated a few weeks ago when we stopped into The Twig Bookshop at The Pearl and they had a book just inside the door full of camping recipes from meals to cocktails. With Government Canyon State Natural Area right up the road, even if all went to hell, at least we would be only a few minutes form the house.
Hatch plot, text buddy (the more the merrier), pick out dinner and breakfast recipes.
I found these two sites with lots of simple looking Dutch Oven recipes.
I also started going through my camping checklist that I keep in Google Keep to make sure it was all up to date and see what items I needed to purchase during the week.
I used HEB's curbside service to order everything needed for these recipes.
Picked up foodstuffs at HEB and started laying out items from our camping checklist to make sure that there are no issue, missing items, or other big surprises.
Camping Day (Saturday)
Went to the campsite to pick the best spot available and got lucky with a spot right next to water and the restroom but far enough into the woods to be secluded. We did get a little rain throughout the day but nothing that was going to ruin our plans.
I also started prepping the food I wanted to make so that I would not have to do much more than putting the food on the fire once at the site. The food prep all went well except for the Lemon Blueberry Biscuits as the dough turned out much drier than I expected. This is probably due to a couple factors: I weighed the flour instead of measuring it (supposed to be more accurate) and the yogurt I used was only 5 oz. instead of 8 oz, and it was Greek yogurt (does that matter?).
Everything else was super simple and after prepping went right into ziploc bags for easy access from the cooler. Then I put the stuff for the Bacon Cheese Pull Aparts in the dutch oven so that the rolls would rise while we made our way to the campsite.
Getting to the site in the afternoon was super smooth (minus forgetting the booze at home and having to swing back around). We got everything laid out and started in on making the first round of food. The Bacon Cheese Pull Aparts took about an hour to cook instead of the 25 minutes from the recipe but that was probably because I did not preheat the dutch oven. Once they were done though, they were outstanding! Those along with hot dogs and cocktails/beer made for the perfect dinner. I had mixed the dark and stormy in a thermos so pouring that into a cup of ice really simplified things.
Luckily all the kids did great with camping and just played around the site and asked a lot of questions. The little dude when to bed earlier than normal as he was battling a little fever. That gave us a good bit of free time to just relax by the fire and have some good conversation.
We ended up not making the cobbler because not everyone was going to partake and the recipe was going to leave us with A LOT of leftovers.
This is the part I was most worried about with a 1-year-old, but he did great. He woke up at his normal time for a bottle and was otherwise quiet most of the night. Due to his fever, I could tell he was not super comfortable, especially in the humidity, but he still wanted to snuggle. At one point, he sat up looking out of the tent for about an hour but was totally quiet the whole time. Having his diaper bag handy and ready to go in the tent made the night simple as I did not even have to leave the tent at all.
In the morning I was able to slip out of the tent without waking the little guy and got started on breakfast. I forgot the hash browns for the breakfast taco recipe but we made due with everything else and the egg, bacon, and sausage mixture for the tacos was perfect. The hash browns would have probably made too much.
We snacked on breakfast for about an hour before starting in on cleanup. We did not make the biscuits because the eggs made a bigger mess than I anticipated in the dutch oven. In the future, I think I will just pick one or two dutch oven recipes as working with that thing is quite a chore.
We got packed up pretty quickly while the kids ran around the site having a fun time exploring all of the now empty tents. As the sun peaked through the clouds, the temperature started to rise and with the 94% humidity, we got out of there just before the air was going to be extremely uncomfortable.
In A 1-Year-Old, Out A Man
I could not have asked for a better first camping experience for the little guy. His fever made things a little interesting, but overall he did great. He seemed to have quite a bit of fun. We may wait another month or so to go again so that the weather can cool off and be less rainy.
I am glad that I got to take our little camper on his first trip and that we got have friends along too. There are few greater pleasures then getting to share your hobbies and passions with your children.