Hi, I'm Harrison Ward, otherwise known as Fell Foodie. I’m a food and outdoor lover who can often be found atop the Lake District fells cooking up restaurant style dishes on my camping stove. I was lucky enough to be named an OS GetOutside Champion for 2020.
Whenever I head out on a walk, be it low level or mountainous, I’m usually carrying a stove. Now if you did the same, that soggy sandwich could be transformed into something much more appetising. Everyone loves a toastie right?
The filling is up to you, it could be a classic Bacon, Brie and Cranberry, a simplistic cheese filled wonder or a Houmous and Roast Pepper delight for any vegan palettes. Take your ingredients with you, fully prepped or in raw form, get that stove lit and toast that sandwich to golden perfection.
Harrison with Biolite Stove in Greenburn Valley - Photo by Daniel J Toal
What to accompany it?
In traditional picnic weather, a bag of salad may go a bit limp. Lets leave the leaves aside for this one (no pun intended) and rustle up a Caprese. Slice some tomatoes and some mozzarella into discs and assemble alternately on top of each other for an aesthetically pleasing, delicious accompaniment.
TIP – Be sure to season it with salt and pepper. Fresh Basil or a Basil oil will lift it even further.
Where’s the carbs?
A bag of crisps is never far away from the average picnic basket. Flavours for all those attending but unfortunately, they can suffer from the squashed treatment when squeezed in a bag or basket. How about something different.
Again, with your stove and using a small pan with lid (Alpkit have some great lightweight options) heat a little veg oil and pour in some popcorn kernels. These can be easily transported in a bag or reusable pot. With the lid on, heat gently with occasional movement until the corn has popped. Season with salt or for real indulgence add some butter and mix until covered. Yum!
Toastie, Caprese and Popcorn, now that’s a pimped picnic!
Fresh Caprese salad
Outdoor Cooking Tips
Tip 1 - Prep
Prepare ingredients in advance. Sometimes I like to cook from scratch when out in nature but if you are on a serious hike or know time is limited, preparation can save plenty of time.
Tip 2 - Share the load
If you are cooking for a group, share ingredients and equipment between packs to transfer weight. It can be a heavy load for one if you’re the designated cook, especially if you are camping too. Lightweight equipment and decanting ingredients into smaller containers also helps.
Tip 3 - Watch the weather
Plan your recipes with the conditions in mind. If it due for a torrential downpour at 7pm and you are cooking a low and slow one pot stew from 6pm then be prepared to get soaked.
Bacon, Brie and Cranberry Toastie - Photo by Dave Maccy
Harrison cooking on Side Pike after a wild camp - Photo by Daniel J Toal
Tip 4 - Plan
Things can take longer to cook in the outdoors, even a light wind can decrease the efficiency of your burner. Cut ingredients up smaller to speed up the cooking time.
Tip 5 - Make is easy
Don’t be afraid to cut corners. You might be able to whip up every sauce, condiment and accompaniment up at home but when you are outdoors a jar or spice blend that is pre-made can make things far more convenient. I should listen to my own advice here but hey…. I’m stubborn!
Tip 6 - Recycle containers
Hair gel pots, large yoghurts,
left over alcohol miniature bottles and other small toiletry bottles make
cracking carrying tools for sauces, oils, vinegars, spices and seasonings.
Saves space and weight.
Check out Fell Foodie on Youtube for more outdoor cooking inspiration!
Plus grab yourself a mappy picnic blanket here.