Campfire Cooking in Foodie-Land!
It doesn’t take long to discover that Maine is both a Vacationland and a Foodie-Land! Hid’n Pines Family Campground is very lucky to be so close to such quality purveyors of classic Maine food for you to experience and enjoy, whether it’s at a restaurant or back at your campsite.
Your favorite family camping vacation destination is well known for its cornucopia of fresh, great quality produce that over the years has turned our area into a real foodie-land! Did you know that there are a couple great little farm stands just minutes from Hid’n Pines? You can purchase fresh veggies, lobsters and more within walking distance. The convenience of our location near downtown Old Orchard Beach allows for easy access to these spots as well as the larger Landry’s Hannaford grocery store just a short walk away. You can stock up on everything you need for culinary excellence over the campfire!
There are restaurants galore within walking and driving distance of Hid’n Pines Family Campground as well! Meat lovers, vegetarians, pescatarians, lacto-ovo vegetarians, vegans, no matter what your taste buds desire, you shall find it here. Your next favorite dish is no further than 20-30 minutes away: American, French, Italian, Thai, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Eritrean, Greek, Mexican, you name it – it’s all here for you to experiment and enjoy.
It’s easy to see that our campers are a special sort of foodie. We’re always impressed with what we see (and smell!) cooking during the camping season. Just a quick walk through the campground at the early breakfast hours, lunchtime, or dinnertime gives you the opportunity to understand why camp cooking deserves a second look! With so many convenient options to gather fresh Maine ingredients close by, sometimes the best restaurant is right at your campsite!
- Landry’s Shop’n’Save – Grocery Store, .3 miles from Hid’n Pines
- Beach Lobster – Farmstand and Fresh Lobster/seafood (cook to order option!), .8 miles from Hid’n Pines
- Anderson Farms – Farmstand, 2.2 miles from Hid’n Pines
Camp cooking is not only for those thrifty families who are looking to stick to a budget for their vacation (though one cannot underestimate the benefits!) but the fun activity is at the core of our “Camp Happily” family experience at Hid’n Pines. The campfire is the heart of the campsite: it’s where we gather together to eat, to tell stories, to teach our children that we are part of a beautiful and amazing natural world that we strive to respect, protect and preserve. Getting away from our routines for a family vacation at Hid’n Pines offers a reminder of these great things!
From all camping experiences, there is none more rewarding than cooking your food on a campfire and share it with your family and your friends. Whether we’re just learning the best tips and tricks or are well-seasoned campfire chefs, we all love to talk and brag about it.
But what are the best camping kitchen tools? My favorite is tin foil: there is few things you cannot cook in tin foil and if you are like me, a Cutthroat Kitchen fan, you already know that! A cast iron skillet will offer even more possibilities. Add a good quality knife, locking tongs, a cutting board, wooden spoon, and a few pots and the camp kitchen is complete. We’re big fans of cooking over the campfire (please note that you’ll need to bring your own metal cooking grate for your campfire at Hid’n Pines! 🙂 ), and we also see great camp stoves and grills around the campsites during the summer as well! It’s all about what your preference is!
A bit of preparation at home will save you precious time while on your Old Orchard Beach camping vacation. Here are for you the best camping cooking supply packing tips we came across:
- Using plastic zipper sandwich/freezer bags to prepare and freeze your food and using it with/instead of cooler packs will save you lots of cooler space. You can prepare a lot of food ahead, chop your ingredients, put them in resealable bags and label them for quick meal preparation.
- Use small plastic boxes for spices –they take little space (the more the merrier). Did you know that burning a bit of sage over the campfire chases the mosquitos away?
- Use coffee filters (tie them up with dental floss and make a teabag for your coffee). TIP: You can definitely skip this if you prefer the convenience of our Snack-Shack’s freshly brewed organic coffee that perfectly compliments our hand made pastries and sandwiches. 🙂
- Don’t forget the aluminum foil (pack some of the heavy duty kind as well) that is very effective for foods that require high heat. TIP: Adding a few ice cubes to aluminum foil dinners or vegetables packets to prevent them from burning and to keep them moist.
- For ease of clean up and to protect from smoke ad fire damage, put liquid soap on outside of your pots and pans before putting over the fire.
- On your last day at the campground, use your leftover meats and vegetables to make omelets for breakfast, then you don’t have to take the leftovers home with you.
The list gets longer every year and as the Old Orchard Beach camping traditions continue and we become better at cooking at our campsites. We realize that being outdoors doesn’t limit our love for food, but instead adds flavor, happiness, and accomplishment to it!
And even if at times we do enjoy a fancier dinner at a restaurant, when we are back to our site, around the fire we cannot fight the sweet, magical temptation of delicious s’mores cooked over the campfire!
We would love to hear about your favorite camp cooking tricks, tips and recipes that will help us all camp happily and cook lip smacking campfire food.
Photo courtesy of campfirecookers