When it comes to convenience at a campsite, instant mix is right up there with sliced bread. Of course, the problem with being a really good camp cook is that it leads to cooking for more people. It is for this reason that time savers like the instant mixes here become a much appreciated necessity. Rather than spending all your time cooking, you can whip the meals up and be in front of the fire with a glass of wine or a beer before anyone can say “how about marshmallows”! And using mixes gives a result everyone is happy with. Finally, in addition to convenience, these mixes contain all natural ingredients, instead of additives.
Biscuit Mix (like Bisquick or Jiffy mix):
This mix can be used for any number of recipes, several of which follow. Once you have the hang of it, you can make just about anything with it, from dumplings for chicken dumplings to banana bread. This is a great mix for experimentation. If you like, you can substitute 1 cup of the vegetable shortening for 1 cup of butter. Tastes far better, in my opinion, but has a shorter shelf life.
10 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 Tbs. baking powder
A Tbs. cream of tartar
1 3/4 c. powdered skim milk
2 1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1 Tbs. salt
1 Tbs. sugar
Combine all ingredients except vegetable shortening. Cut shortening in with two forks or a pastry blender until mix resembles coarse meal. pack into air-tight jiffy bags and store in a cool, dry place.
Biscuit Mix Pancakes:
2 cups instant mix
1 to 1 1/2 cups water
Mix together till dry ingredients are wet. Mix will be a little lumpy. Pour by the spoonful in a hot, well buttered frying pan. Note: You can separate the egg, add the yolk to the pancake batter, and beat the whites until fluffy, then fold them gently into the batter; this makes for a fluffier pancake.
Biscuit Mix Biscuits:
2 cups instant mix
1/2 cup water
Mix until well blended, then turn out onto a board and knead very briefly; over kneading will make the biscuits tough. Flatten into a thick disc, roll out and cut biscuits out of dough using a cutter or small glass (in a pinch you can take a knife and cut dough into squares).
Place on a greased pan and bake at 400 degrees F for about 8 minutes. If no camping oven is available, use a Dutch oven nestled in coals; place a rack inside.Place biscuits on greased metal pie or cake pan and put in Dutch oven. Cover with tinfoil, then put on lid; place coals on top. Bake for about ten minutes. This method is extremely variable due to ambient temperature, wind, etc., so don’t be disappointed if they are not done enough or are a little scorched the first time around. It takes practice to become adept at Dutch oven baking.
Biscuit Mix Fritters:
2 cups instant mix
3/4 to 1 cup water
2 Tbsp. sugar if sweet fritters; 2 Tbsp. herbs and/or spices if savory fritters
1 cup of fruit for sweet fritters or 1 cup meat, fish or vegetable for savory fritters
Blend everything together into a mix resembling a very soft dough. Drop by teaspoonfuls into about 2″ hot fat and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. In addition to sweet fritters, drizzle with chocolate syrup, or sprinkle with icing sugar. In contrast, savory fritters can be topped with a little chopped parsley or other herb. Another suggestion is to mix herbs in with softened cream cheese and add a little spoonful on top.
Biscuit Mix Hush Puppies:
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup instant mix
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
1-250 ml (or thereabouts) (8 oz.) can creamed corn
1/4 cup buttermilk (or 1/4 c. milk to which has been added 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and allowed to stand 5 min.)
vegetable oil for frying, about 2 cups
Mix everything together in a bowl and stir to make a stiff batter. Heat oil in a skillet (cast-iron is best) until a 1″ cube of bread can be put in and browned in about 2 minutes, give or take. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoons into the oil to fry, leaving plenty of room between the hush puppies. Fry for about 3 minutes, then turn and fry about 2 minutes more. As each batch is finished, place on a paper-towel-lined sheet of tinfoil and wrap. Finally, place wrapped hush puppies on a rock by the fire to keep warm, until ready to eat.
Biscuit Mix Dumplings:
- 1 cup Instant Mix
- 1 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp. melted butter
- 2 Tbsp. herbs of choice
- 1/2 tsp. salt & pepper
Mix everything together in a bowl until you have a soft dough. If it is too much like batter, add more instant mix; if it is too thick, add a little more milk. Add by the spoonful on top of gently boiling stew or soup, cover and let cook for about 15 minutes.
Make recipe for biscuits, adding 2 tablespoons of sugar to mix before adding water. Roll out to 1/2″ thickness, then cut out biscuits using a 3″ cutting ring. Cut out center using a 1″ cutting ring. Heat about 2″ oil in a frying pan. Dropping a little piece of bread into the oil will tell you if oil is ready. It will brown in about 55 seconds. Place the rings of dough into the oil. Flip after a minute or two and brown the other side. Add the little dough centers into the oil. Fry. Dredge in a mixture of 1 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon cinnamon and serve.
- 2 cups Instant Mix
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/8 cup melted butter or oil
- 1 tsp. cinnamon or nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice mix
- 4 cups fruit mix–canned fruit pie mix, fresh fruit peeled and sliced and mixed with a cup of sugar, frozen fruit tossed with 1/4 cup each melted butter and flour
Mix first 5 ingredients in bowl and set aside.
Place 12″ Dutch oven over 15 coals. Brush inside generously with melted butter, then add fruit mix. Top with Instant Mix mixture. If you wish, top with dabs of butter. Cover with lid and place 10 coals on top. Check after 15 minutes; keep baking and checking every 15 minutes until done. If very windy or cold, add new coals after the first half hour. Serve with whipping cream, whipped topping or even ice cream if you can have it.
This is the best syrup you will ever make. Hands down. Use it for everything: flavoring coffee, making cold or hot chocolate, topping desserts; whatever your imagination can come up with, with the result that you will become legendary in your own family. I exaggerate, but still.
- 2 cups cocoa powder
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups sugar
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla flavoring
- optional: 100 gram 85% chocolate bar
In a medium pot, blend cocoa and sugar together, then turn heat to medium-high and add water and salt. Stir until mixture comes to a boil, then immediately turn heat down to medium and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. If using optional 85% chocolate bar, break into pieces and add to hot syrup, stirring until completely melted and mixed in. Add vanilla and let cool. On the other hand, you could skip the chocolate bar and just add vanilla, and let cool. Once cooled completely pour into squeeze bottle and use at will. Awesome for our cinnamon mocha coffee recipe.
Gazpacho blend is handy to have to make wonderful bloody Marys, add complexity to a soup or stew, and to make, of course, gazpacho. Just add the blend to store-bought tomato juice for a quick gazpacho. And don’t tell gazpacho purists you used tomato juice–you’ll hear their screams in the next wilderness.
In a blender or food processor blend until smooth:
- 1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 4 green onions, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 slice slightly stale white bread, torn into pieces
- 1/8 cup good-quality olive oil
Process until the blend is of a uniform consistency; mixture will be thick, like a thick smoothie. Pour into a jar and refrigerate. Make it just before you go camping; gazpacho blend doesn’t keep well, maybe a week or so in the fridge. When at the campsite, mix 1 cup blend to 2 or 3 cups tomato juice and top with croutons for gazpacho. Note: If you want to make actual gazpacho, just add 3 or 4 regular tomatoes to the blend and leave out the tomato juice at camp.
- It’s easy enough to mix this up when at the campsite if you take flour and cornmeal along; but if you do it at home you save a step when cooking, leaving you time for other things. Seasoning flour is used for coating things prior to frying. It’s awesome for trout!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. garlic salt
- 1 Tbsp. each of salt and pepper
Mix everything together and store in a Ziploc bag. When ready to use, pour out onto a plate and dredge item in mixture. Since it is a dry mix, you can thicken the coating on fish or chicken by dredging them in a little flour, next, some beaten egg, and finally the seasoning flour. In addition to the salt and pepper you can add dried or fresh herbs, depending on the food you’re cooking; dill for fish, paprika, onion salt and garlic powder for chicken, etc.
Crumble, Crisp or Cobbler Instant Mix:
3 cups each of : oatmeal, brown sugar, and all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon each of baking soda, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix everything together and place in a Ziploc bag. For an 8″ pie, use 1 1/2 cups of the mix, and blend in 1/2 cup butter with your fingers, until blended and lumps are about the size of peas, more or less. Next, sprinkle over batter in pan and bake. For cobbler, add in addition to the 1/2 cup butter about a half cup milk, stirring into a thick batter. Add a little more milk to the batter if it is too thick. Finally, gently pour over fresh prepared fruit and bake according to directions. Usually it is 350 degrees for about 45 minutes in a Dutch oven. Another way of baking it is using a camp oven.
By R. Maxine Lundquist