How to Camping and Cooking Bush Tucker No1
Cooking with a camp oven
Enjoy life out in the open air
We found spending time camping anywhere, whether in the bush, or beside a river to be very relaxing. You wake to the sounds of many different species of birds. The Corellas screeching will wake anyone up, although it is a joy to see and hear the birds and swallows twittering overhead in the treetops.
I love it when you can start your own camp fire. This depends on the time of year, so make sure you check the local information as to the fire regulations. If allowed hang an old Billy-can over the fire and make some tea.
Various prefab Billy cans
Making Billy tea
You can buy a Billycan or make your own.
To make your own, all you need is an old tin. This could be any old fruit tin or large beetroot tin. When empty wash out thoroughly, and make two holes, one each side at the open end then grab a small piece of wire and push one end through one hole and bend it over then do same with other end to form a handle.
Dig a shallow hole if possible or build a small fire with rocks around the outside to keep the ashes from blowing about. Better still you may find a prebuilt one like in the inserted picture, with camp oven hanging on hook.
Now three quarter fill billycan with water and using either tea leaves or tea bags, hang it over the fire to boil. You will need two fork sticks, from an old tree branch. Place one each side, outside of hot coals and place another thicker stick across those to hang the Billy on. For a better original taste use the tea leaves. When boiled swing around beside you in a complete circle from your ankle and back three times to stir and pour into your cups.
You can't beat the old taste of Billy tea. Remember not to drain the bottom of your cup or you will get a mouthful of tea leaves.
Damper cooked in Camp Oven
Sliced Damper now spread with butter
Cast iron camp ovens
How to make a Damper
If you are really energetic you could make a damper. I cheat; I make mine in a camp oven, using a normal scone mix. As I never use a recipe I will give you an example of what I do.
You will need:
A camp oven is a caste iron pot with handle across the top (see picture). Approx 2 cups SR flour
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
Pinch of salt and enough water to mix to a scone consistency.
Place flour into mixing bowl add butter and mix into flour with fingers add pinch of salt then start to add enough water to make a stiff dough.
Spread a small amount of oil inside base of pot. If cooking directly on coals spread coals out so it doesn't burn. If hanging, then hang over the coals. Once heated put mixture in and close the lid. I left mine unopened for twenty to thirty minutes depending on amount of dough used.
Take off heat and use egg slice to remove. Now all you have to do is slice, spread with butter and eat hot, enjoy the fresh taste of cooked damper. If you prefer you could divide the dough up the same as when making scones and drop into the heated pot for about ten minutes.
Enjoy any of these with a cold tinnie or a wine while watching the beautiful sunset, as it glides down over the horizon between the trees.
Don't forget to take some spray protection against the Mozzies, and sunscreen so you can slip, slop, slap.
Roast Chicken & Bush Potatoes
You will need:
Oil and seasoning
2 wooden fork sticks from tree branch
Thick piece of wood to place through chook or piece of steel
Light fire and when the embers die down a bit, place one tree fork on either side of ashes. Dab the oil over the chicken and sprinkle with the seasoning. Push steel rod or branch through the chicken and rest on the fork branch. Beware if using a branch as this will burn through.
Now wrap the spuds in wet newspaper and throw them under the hot coals. Turn the chicken from time to time. Cooking time will depend on the size of chicken and spuds and the heat of your fire.
When cooked unwrap the spuds, and yes they may be burnt on the outside but that is part of their special taste. Serve chicken and spuds, and enjoy with a glass of wine or a stubby.
If you are thing of going travelling then this article may help you get organised.