Camping....It'll be fun, they say!
Let me begin by saying my family, including myself, DOES enjoy camping. Really, I do! However, combined with lack of sleep, close quarters, a cooking/prep area the size of a cutting board, and a limited supply of cooking apparatus....my joy is not always evident.
This 'vacation' at times would seem like we packed up all the mundane daily routines and tasks I do at home, put them on wheels and we watched to see when my mood or sanity would crack...I'll admit it, sometimes the bomb went off much sooner than I would have liked and my kids would grab their bikes to take solace at a campground playground or trail. (I know...mother of the year is out of grasp again, DARN!)
Then, one trip, after the commonplace camp food of hotdogs, burgers, and sandwiches that left everyone with a groan and asking AGAIN?!? I realized that I am making this too difficult. It's my own fault, I was thinking inside the camping box and although, I know I'm not the first, maybe I'm even the last, but camping with a slow cooker, even two, is THE WAY TO GO!!
When I came to this great revelation, we were camping in rental cabins at various campgrounds and the slow cooker was always packed in kitchen essentials. When our family started camping in a small pop-up, our digs were small, but a slow cooker was among our gear that stayed in the camper to be unpacked and placed into our makeshift outdoor kitchen. We have since upgraded to a small travel trailer and though our room is not quite as limited, a slow cooker still makes our trips and valuable vacation time much more relaxing. Most mornings, supper is placed in the slow cooker and we are free to explore and play all day then come back to camp with our meal waiting.
Much prep work is completed at home before we leave. As in cooking/freezing taco meat, so the slow cooker just has to warm, slice chicken breasts into strips, season and freeze for fajitas, combine stew ingredients and then just pour into slow cooker at camp, etc. Any meal you enjoy at home in your slow cooker can easily be adapted and made ahead of time for great meals while camping. One more thing that makes this the way to go, Reynolds' Slow Cooker Liners! They have to be the greatest things since...well...the slow cooker itself. After your meal, pull the liner and any leftovers out of the crock and discard. Most times the slow cooker can be wiped clean with once swipe and clean up is finished!!
So pack yourself some liners, a slow cooker, and your favorite ingredients. Save the hotdogs for the campfire!