We had another camping trip this weekend. A quick one in that we didn't head off till Saturday morning, and didn't go far - just to where we keep a sailing dinghy on Southampton Water. The view is not beautiful (Fawley oil refinery, although it does have a certain industrial beauty) but it's situated in a lovely country park, and there is a camping field attached to the club. Nothing grand, but a flat sheltered field - and frankly that's all you need.
Anyway, now we have Daisy the campervan, which is fully stocked and ready to go at a moment's notice from a 'kit' point of view, my main concern (well, isn't it always) is food. Clothes too, but I've long since learned that for a weekend trip, there's no point packing much in the way of 'changes of clothes'. I just try to make sure there's a jumper and some waterproofs, for any inclement weather that might be rude enough to strike, and appropriate easy access footwear (crocs or wellies). If you were looking for it, I can't really offer much more advice than that on the packing front as far as clothes are concerned. I also don't have a 'master camping list' to share with you - of a type which I once saw passed from one friend to another, kept as a reference document for future trips. As long as I know there's gin on board, I can live with out a dustpan and brush...
Not just gin, but treats. Some form of cake (this weekend, there was brownie). Bacon, for sandwiches on Sunday morning. Proper coffee (Daisy has her own stovetop coffee maker - yes, I know, proper coffee probably smacks more of glamping than camping, but I don't care - you can't beat an alfresco bacon buttie with a mug of proper coffee of a morning). This weekend, we also had cheese & marmite pasties.
Pasties are a great thing. What's more, I don't know a man who doesn't find his food infinitely more attractive if it's wrapped in pastry. I might try wrapping myself in pastry one of these days and see what reaction that provokes - or may be not.
Despite dashing the collective male hopes in the RJ household when the response to the question "Have they got meat in them?" garnered the response "No. Well, they do have Marmite", the verdict was that they were pretty good.
They started out as Good Food recipe, but frankly, I am always suspicious of pasty filling quantity these days, having over produced on several occasions, despite having followed filling to pastry ratios in a number of recipes to the letter. So I reduced the filling ingredients to something I thought more likely, and added in a good handful of chopped parsley.
Cheese & Marmite Pasties
Made 7 decent sized pasties and a small one.
500g shortcrust pastry
350g peeled, grated potato
100g grated cheddar
60g fresh breadcrumbs
4 spring onions, finely chopped
1 large handful of flat leaf pastry, finely chopped
1 large & 1 medium egg
salt & pepper
1 good tablepoon of Marmite Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
Pre-heat the oven to 160C/140 fan, and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
Mix together the grated potato, cheese, breadcrumbs, spring onions and chopped parsley with the large egg and a good grind of salt and pepper.
Roll out the pastry on a floury worktop and cut out 16-17cm circles of pastry (our cereal bowls are the right size) - as many as you can: hopefully you'll get about 7.
Melt the Marmite in a saucepan with a splash of water, and brush onto the pastry rounds, leaving a border all the way round of about 1-2 cm. Divide the filling between the pastry circles, placing in the middle of the rounds. Beat the remaining egg, brush lightly around the border of each circle, then draw up the sides and squeeze together to make your pasties. Brush with the remaining beaten egg*, then place on a lined baking sheet and bake for between 50-60 minutes (mine took 55) till golden brown.
In an effort to come over all vintage picnic chic, I packed my pasties in my favourite cake tin, lined with a tea towel. Wrapped in foil, or in a plastic bag would do just fine.
I'm linking up to a new blog challenge - Four Seasons Food, which looks like fun!
Four Seasons Food hosted by Delicieux and Chezfoti
*The original recipe states that these can be frozen once the pasties are formed but before you brush them with the beaten egg, and then baked from frozen till the centres are piping hot. I didn't but it's a top tip, guaranteed to elevate you in the pasty queen stakes...