It’s been over a week since we got back from our 4 day camping holiday on Shell Island based in the North of Wales and I’m definitely missing the fresh air, simple food and sunshine. I had such a great time, I’ve definitely caught the camping bug!! Even when it rained on our first night it was fine because we just all piled into the largest tent, opened some ciders and played Monopoly I enjoyed being outside all of the time, you become less bothered about what your hair is doing (ok it took me a couple of days to calm down about my constant “wind hair”) and you spend a whole day bare foot. I even wasn’t fussed about sticking a chopping board down on the grass and preparing my food free style as I sunbathed.
It was a 5 hour drive to get to Wales but it passed quickly as the view was just spectacular! Long narrow winding roads built into the sides of hills provided miles of greenery, farmland and beautiful skies, we even had to stop to let around 100 cows cross the road. By the time we got there we were quite tired and in need of a good leg stretch though so I think that made it even more pleasing to see big open fields and views of the mountains as our home for the next 4 days. In true British style I was very thankful to be handed a cup of tea almost as soon as we had parked
The first night we lit the BBQ and I excitedly prepared my first camping recipe idea – Rattatouille parcels! I chopped red onion, courgette, mushrooms and garlic then added chopped tomatoes and some seasoning and wrapped it up in foil then cooked it on the BBQ. It was perfect and I had the first lot in a wrap with some hummous and grated cheese then I had the second parcel served with a home made lentil mix. The Rattatouille parcels cooked much better once I nestled them into the actual coals rather than placing it onto the grill so I would recommend doing this (same with potatoes and corn on the cobb)
I bought myself a portable firepit after getting there because I realised we could not put our disposable BBQs directly onto the grass (campsite rules), but the bags of coal inside the disposables fit perfectly into my little firepit and did well as my own personal little vegetarian oven
Lentil and Quinoa Mix (makes enough to serve 1-2):
1/2 Cup Lentils
1/4 Cup Quinoa
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
Mix all the ingredients together in a zip lock freezer bag and pack to take camping with you. Once ready to cook tip into a pan/ mess tin and add enough water to cover the mixture with 1cm extra on top. Cover with a lid such as a larger mess tin or some foil and then cook on a stove or bbq for around 15 minutes untill the water has been absorbed and the lentils and quinoa are cooked. You may need to add a splash more water so keep an eye on it! This was such a fab dish and really easy to prepare, you could try using all different kinds of flavours but stick to fast cooking lentils such as red lentils.
We went on a day trip to Beddgelert which was literally stunning! Local folklore has it that this is the town where a prince came home from hunting one day to find a gruesome scene of torn sheets, blood on the walls and the babies cot overturned. In the middle of the room was his dog Gelert covered in blood so out of despair and rage he killed the dog with one fatal blow of his sword. He then went to recover what he thought would be his child’s body but he instead found his baby unharmed and a huge dead wolf laying on the floor. He became so overwhelmed with grief for the loss of his dog who had actually saved the child that he is said to have never smiled again. He gave him a grand burial and named the town Beddgelert (or bed of Gelert). There was a grave and a statue for him along a gorgeous walk and the town was beautifully quaint with a few shops, an ice cream parlour etc and a river running through the middle.
We also visited a town called Porthmadog where we sat and ate fish shop chips next to an old steam rail line and hoped the seagulls flying overhead weren’t brave enough to try swooping and grabbing the food!
So on the last night after a busy day walking through different towns and driving for hours along the coast we all got back pretty hungry! I had some ratatouille vegetables left so I mixed them with a can of mixed beans in a chilli sauce. It was really delicious and so so simple! I felt like I was cheating slightly by buying the beans already in a sauce but it was a lovely organic brand and it meant I only had to pack one can for a whole meal I heated it all up in a mess tin on my fire pot and then I snuggled some foil wrapped corn on the Cobb into the coals underneath.
I served this with salad and corn and I also had some bread and hummous! We spent the last night drinking jägermeister and playing card games in the tent once it had got too dark and cold to sit watching the fire burn out any longer.
This was such a great holiday and camping was much more relaxing than I had anticipated! I would definitely like to go camping again and now I’ve got my cute little firepit I want to try all kinds of yummy camping foods!