Thursday, January 14, 2010

Christmas glamping 2009 - 2010

Every year for the past 7 or 8 Christmas holidays we've packed ourselves up with camping gear and taken the ferry north to south (New Zealand is two major islands named imaginatively North Island and South Island) with a fully laden station wagon and for the past several years a fully laden trailor hanging on the back.

After all a three room tent for us, the small tents for the kids, the cookers, gas bottles, gas fridge, pots, pans, utensils, chillibins, solar powered lights, airbeds, kitset wardrobes, tables, pantries and on and on.......all takes up room.

Camping (or as we put it glamping, glamourous camping) is a full on experience, a friend suggested we didn't camp as much - we moved house for a week or two. I mean really, just because we take a gas powered fridge, a two burner cooker, a three burner cooker, a food chillibin, a drinks chillibin, pots, pans, roasting trays, glasses and so on doesn't mean it's over the top.

The Jersey Bennes being sauteed

What may be ever so slightly excessive are the meals we have while at the campsite. Having loaded the chillibin with a frozen butterflied leg of lamb to act as the slicker pad (works really well) that's the option for night one. Here's where I reveal the 'must have' accessory for camping, ziplock bags.

The perfect tool to marinate, save and reuse everything. In this instance, the lamb went into a large bag with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, various herbs and back into the chillibin for about 3 hours.

The blackboard menu

The two burner was fired up to parboil the jersey benne potatoes in the cast iron dutch oven, these are then cooled and sliced - two non-stick pans readied and the potatoes go in to saute and brown and then back into the dutch oven to keep warm (over a low flame) while the lamb finishes.

The lamb is now on the two burner with the grill plate across the two burners and the lamb is sitting under the lid of the oval roaster (keeping heat and moisture in) and then rests there with the burners off while the rest is being readied.

Then carve and serve with the potatoes and green beans, oh and of course some well chilled rose from a local vineyard in the Moutere valley to drink alongside. Perfect end to the day.

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