As it draws closer to our annual end of year holiday which involves a long, crowded, noisy getaway with family and friends to a familiar beachside caravan park, I start to revisit and update my holiday cookbook. In the caravan I always keep a soft folder full of plastic sleeves that I insert quick and easy typed up recipes for use on holidays.
Why typed and not just printed off websites or ripped from magazines? I type up the recipes that have potential on holidays for a few reasons, one is that I usually change some of the ingredients, (I hear a gasp of horror from foodie fans), secondly I like to add photos of the places where they were eaten, (more good holiday memories on hand) and thirdly I can add and delete recipe pages on the computer and in the book as I wish. I see a lot of recipes that I like but I often add or substitute ingredients purely on personal taste and for convenience of what is easy to buy when you’re holidaying, or what’s in the caravan pantry. Definitely no fuss cooking.
We’ve gained some great ideas from other caravanners and campers too, or from places we’ve dined at when travelling. These recipes, or interpretations of, get committed to memory or quickly written down in a note book then we recreate and tweak them to our liking.
Take for instance the best blue swimmer crab linguine we’ve ever had, which was at the Monkey Mia resort restaurant, The Boughshed, in WA.
Now because blue swimmer crabs are also plentiful at our holiday spot we just had to try and recreate this one for a crowd. So an afternoon was set aside for a crab picking party so we could get a good amount of meat for the dish. To make up enough seafood to feed a big group, we also added some freshly caught calamari.
Then by playing with the rest of the ingredients that were in the original dish we had our own version of, Blue Swimmer Crab and calamari linguine with cherry tomatoes, chilli and a creamy garlic sauce. Not bad at all for camping!
We have fun camping as a group and coming up with different happy hour snacks too, something a bit more than the ordinary cheese and bickies (not that there is anything wrong with that either!). We’ve had some very tasty drink accompaniments including grilled chorizo and haloumi on warmed pita bread (all can be cooked up pretty quickly on the weber BBQ). Or toasted sliced baguette topped with mango chutney, baby cos lettuce and sliced smoked chicken or, cranberry sauce and turkey slices. Too good.
But our ‘pièce de résistance’ camping dish so far has been a combined effort to create a summer raspberry panettone (an Italian sweet bread usually enjoyed at Christmas time). This came about serendipitously when a friend of Italian background, (and caravan neighbour) had an oversupply of panettone at Christmas time and brought one on holidays to share. I had the good fortune of being able to buy some fresh Adelaide hills raspberries in bulk from the grower at a cheap price that I froze and brought away on holiday too. So by combining together we created this amazing decadent dessert. The recipe is:
1 Panettone sliced through horizontally (3 or 4 slices)
2 litre container of frozen raspberries, thawed
Good vanilla ice cream (we love Golden North, a creamy SA country made ice cream)
Frangelico liqueur (hazelnut flavoured liqueur)
Icing sugar for dusting (if we are being really fancy)
To the sliced sections of panettone sprinkle on a little of the Frangelico liqueur then pour on a little of the raspberry juice that comes out when thawed.
Cover this with some softened vanilla ice cream, then top with a layer of raspberries and dust with icing sugar. Keep going until all the sliced panettone and other ingredients are used up.
If you are game you can even build the panettone up to a couple of layers but it’s easier just to keep them separate and makes a great dessert treat for a crowd on a hot summer holiday.
So what happened one year as a spur of the moment collaboration has now turned into a repeat performance for the last couple of years.
Here’s to more collaborative decadent efforts on holidays, Yum!