To give us a hand, my also-travel-bugged mother has compiled an impressive list of ingredients, utensils, and other bits and pieces that she and her partner Chris pack when they’re travelling with their camper trailer. She has also listed a whole bunch of recipe ideas.
The guide was so helpful I thought I’d post it here.
Living on the road
- HERB BOX – baking pdr (for turning plain flour into SR), Curry pdr, cumin, coriander, dill, parsley, mixed herbs, thyme, oregano, basil (We keep S and P in here too)
- FRIDGE (limited space) tasty cheese, haloumi cheese, feta, chutney, mayo, tofu, eggs, sambal olek (for chilli hotness) and vegies.
- BREAKFAST BOX We have a “breakfast box” with little tubs of fruit in juice, bought cereals, oats, nuts, dried fruit, 2 bowls, 2 spoons. – everything for breakfast except fridge things and tea. (Simplifies mornings)
- TEA BOX We also carry a box we call the tea box which has lunch (apart from fridge things), morning tea and cuppa tea making things (tea bags, tea spoon, cups thermos, little bottle of milk wrapped in a small towel) extra plates and cups, paper towel, good knife and an extra little chopping board. On the road, it makes refreshment stops easy.
- WINE BOX Ours has 16 slots (4×4) – just one that came with a wine purchase
- VEGIE BOXES – one for potatoes and onions (kept in separate pillow cases), one for other vegies and fruit not kept in the fridge. We keep them covered with towels for insulation.
- BREAD BOX – bread, cake, rolls etc.
- OTHER FOOD Tinned spinach, peas, corn, tomatoes, lentils, butter beans, red kidney beans, baked beans, Mexican beans, soups, fruit, christmas pudding, jam(s) promite, honey, bottled olives, pasta sauces, bottled pesto, cordial (sometimes the water is too horrible without it), 2lt bottle good olive oil, sweet chilli sauce (individual sachets don’t have to be fridged), dried onion, dried shitake mushrooms, dried coconut milk, egg replacer (Health food shops) cornflour, plain flour self raising flour (not necessary if space is short – use baking pdr with plain flour), dry biscuits, sweet biscuits, long life milk, long life cream, box fruit juices, Calrose rice, Arborio rice, plain cuscus, dried fruit of various types, various nuts, iodised salt (for cooking), dried vegetable stock, pappadams, dried brown/green lentils for sprouting, dried red lentils for dahl, spaghetti, pasta spirals, felafel mix, organic vegetarian mince (made by Planet Organic), various Tea bags (including peppermint for indigestion), sugar,
- PLASTIC BAGS – we carry a bag of large plastic bags and a bag of small ones as well as a collection of three different sized snaplock bags
- CLOTHESPEGS – not only for the obvious but for sealing containers and bags of food, securing countless things around the camp, diverting rain drips – you can’t have too many! Store clothes line with them.
- SEWING KIT – in a pencil case – sharp scissors, four diff coloured threads (black, white, grey and beige), pkt of needles, large and small safety pins, spare buttons, elastic, hat elastic, pins, Velcro, tape measure. I also keep rubber, pencil sharpener, rubber bands, paper clips, bulldog clips
- PLUS Candles, matches, mozzie coils (kept well away from food), spare batteries – (spare one of all the types you use), filter jug (and spare filters), tissues , paper towel, gladwrap, foil, face washer (great when you don’t have access to a shower), hot water bottles (for first aid as well as cold nights) ,waterproof matches (for when the humidity is high), spare toilet paper, alcohol hand wash (keep it near cooking area to use every time you touch food), packing tape, masking tape and sticky tape (different purposes all useful), texta, pens, post it notes,
Cooking utensils (note – we don’t have an oven, so no baking trays, casseroles etc)
- Large saucepan, medium saucepan (2 is enough, though another small one is a nice luxury),
- billy or kettle used only for heating fresh water,
- good quality frying pan,
- jaffle iron,
- egg slice,
- potato masher,
- wooden spoons,
- a tablespoon,
- a few small bowls,
- 2 large mixing/serving bowls,
- chopping board (also useful for serving)
- 2 really good quality sharp knives, one large, one small, kept sharp.
- potato peeler,
- hand juicer,
- toaster for gas jet – flywire stretched over a frame with a handle
- lentil sprouting bottle – old pasta sauce bottle with 15cm square piece of flexible fly wire and rubber band
- spare large and small plates, bowls, knives, desert spoons, tea spoons and forks (not just one each – you use them in cooking and see my note about the breakfast box)
- mugs and glasses – enough for visitors – glasses store well in stubby coolers
- large strainer with small enough holes for rice,
- short handled ladle – useful for serving lots of things fast,
- can opener,
- (We have carried a wok and a Dutch oven, but haven’t bothered with either in more recent times)
Salad or vegies with:
(I use one saucepan for multiple vegies – use plenty of water rather than steaming, start with vegies that need the longest time, add others in order)
- Fried haloumi cheese
- Fried marinated tofu (we buy pre marinated)
- Frittata or Spanish omelette or folded over, filled omelette (need a griller to make proper frittata)
- Vegie burgers (grated vegies with beaten egg and flour. Mixture not too wet. Raw grated vegies mean that you cook them on a low heat for a long time) can add lentils.
- Potato pancakes with an egg on top
- Fritters – batter (egg, SR flour milk, salt mixed well, enough milk to make a pourable mix, not too sticky) with one or more type of chopped up vegies: corn, zucchini, mushroom, sliced eggplant dipped or stirred in the batter. Fry spoonfuls in shallow hot oil, turn when the top begins to bubble. ( for an Asian style fritter, add hot spices to the batter and eat with chutney)
- Bean/lentil and mushroom sauce, spooned over vegies.
- Lightly shallow fried raw cashews or pine nuts sprinkled over vegies, best with Mediterranean vegie
- Stuffed hard-boiled eggs (eg chutney, cheese and oil, fresh herbs and oil, mayo)
- Ordinary rice, topped by thick, tasty lentil, mushroom sauce, topped by lightly cooked shredded cabbage
- Risotto – use proper Arborio rice (vegie stock, mushroom and cheese) (tomatoey stock with Mediterranean vegies)
- Pasta (spag or spirals) with many various sauces – Some bought. Some made, Some bought and then added to
- Fried rice – with variety of: vegies, beans, haloumi, tofu etc (best with rice cooked the day before
- Curried whatever we have one, two or many vegies, with cuscus or rice, pappadams, chutney, etc. Can use pre-made bottled or canned curry sauces or make your own.
- Vegie stew with…. rice, mashed potato, cuscus, pasta spirals, scone dough dumplings cooked on top of the boiling stew under a tight fitting lid (with an oven you could do a shepherds pie by covering hot stew with mashed potatoes, brush on oil and bake until potatoes are browned and crisp)
- Felafel (packet mix) or make my Mornington burgers (packet felafel mix mixed with organic vegetarian mince made by Planet Organic made up to their recipe. Add an egg and use it like burger mince) Make it a middle eastern feast by serving it with Turkish bread, dips, olives, chopped tomatoes etc
- Enhanced soup, Tinned tomato or vegetable soup with cooked vegies, pasta and herbs chopped up and added.
- Fry up – toast, baked beans, fried potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms and eggs
- Tacos – warmed tin of Mexican beans, grated cheese, fresh tomato and chopped lettuce (tacos need to be heated in oven or foil wrapped in frying pan)
- Burritos – variation on tacos
- Jaffles – sweet or savoury. Good use of leftovers. Egg cooked so that the egg is still soft
When there are no fresh vegies and fridge and freezer space is limited:
- Dried onion
- Surprise peas (cooked exactly to the directions)
- Tinned spinach (try to get one not from China)
- Tinned peas (frozen are better but.. we don’t travel with a freezer)
- Tinned corn
- Tinned tomatoes (and all the pasta sauces based on tomatoes)
- Semi dried tomatoes
- Dried mushrooms (shitake are best)
- Sprouted green lentils and other sprouts. We carry a bottle with 15cm square piece of flexible fly wire and rubber band. Soak a few hours, then keep moist, rinsing often until shoots appear. Then keep in fridge)
- (I haven’t resorted to dried mashed potato, but….)
- Pasta and sauce (lentils or beans added to a bought pasta sauce)
- Dahl (lentils and spices plus a mix of dried and tinned vegies served with rice and chutney)
- Fried rice made with a mixture of tinned and dried vegies, nuts
- Macaroni and cheese nice with added dried tomatoes, tinned peas and tinned corn
- Omelette with a sauce made from dried onion and drained tinned tomatoes with lots of pepper.
- Risotto made with dried mushrooms soaked and then fried up in a tasty sauce.
- Vegie burgers using tinned spinach, breadcrumbs as the thickening agent, lots of spices and herbs and a variety of reconstituted dried and well-drained tinned vegies. (needs egg to hold together properly)
- Curry. Make a basic curry sauce (or open the bottle or can of same) Add dried vegies, let them reconstitute in the sauce,. Check flavour and consistency, add water if necessary, then add other tinned vegies. Serve with rice and pappadams.
- (with an oven) Rice, spinach and feta (filling) cannelloni, made with fresh lasagne sheets as the cannelloni. Pour over a jar of pasta sauce, sprinkle with grated cheese and bake 290 for about half an hour.