I didn’t grow up going camping in the summer, nor did my family do a whole lot of outdoors stuff. My father’s idea of ‘roughing it’ was a motel on the side of the highway. He was never that comfortable too far from a full service restaurant, preferably Italian, with an extensive wine list.
Fortunately for me, as a teenager, I ventured out on my own. I went camping with friends’ families and went deep into our amazing BC forests. I learnt how to pack light for the West Coast Trail, and then lighter again when I ran it with a few crazy mates. I learnt how to make do, persevere, and problem solve. Over time I found that I was the happiest when I was in the bush, adventuring and getting kinda lost. I learned to pace myself and deal with situations before they became a bigger issue.
However over time I kinda wanted more of what my Dad appreciated about a good meal. I wanted my cake, and to eat it too, I wanted to be in the bush ‘roughing it’ but able to make the food I loved.
Enter RV life.
We are so lucky that my wife’s family has property on the beach in central rural Vancouver Island. We had originally thought that we would buy a big cool tent and have our summers in that. We bought one, while it was very cool, that lasted all of a few weeks.
The next Summer we jumped in with both feet. We bought an RV and got it all set up by the beach,. Water, sewer, 30 amp power (for the AC of course), all connected. We decided that a deck was in order, because why not!
We were now officially Glamping! I brought in my Vitamix, Espresso machine and a burr grinder; we bought a pimp Camp Chef stove and a pizza oven and got myself a wash sink. Now, it’s time to cook.
I love to cook, and will do it whenever I can. I love to make in-depth meals that take a while to make and a while to eat but Glamping is a cross between camping and cooking on a home patio. I don’t have a full kitchen at my finger tips but I’m not cooking out of a backpack either.
I have some go-to’s for fast Glamping meals like Pasta, 6 different ways, rice bowls with steamed veggies, and simple fast flat bread with something on it.
The flat bread is probably one of my fav’s. It’s so simple and fast. You can make a simple, non leavened flat bread in about 5 to 10 min and depending on how many you make you can have them cooked in 5 min. It may take you 5 to 15 minutes to prepare the toppings, or dip. So, a hugely nutritious meal, made with uber-fresh ingredients made in under 30 min with very basic equipment.
How to make Flatbread
How your flatbread turns out has everything to do with your flour. For one, you want to use the best quality you can get, I try and use a whole grain or better yet, a spouted spelt. I find the texture and flavour superior to all purpose but I do love soft while flour once in a while. (It makes the best tortillas)
Put in a bowl:
2 cups flour
1 tsp fine salt
3 tbsp hemp hearts (optional but pumps the protein)
3/4 cup of water (How much water really depends on the type of flour – start with this and add as you need)
Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Using whatever mixing tool you have (remember, I’m roughing it), blend flour, salt and water. Add a small amount of water little by little until you have a solid sticky clump,
It’s easiest to take this onto a work surface to knead but you can leave it in the bowl if you don’t have a good one available. Knead and add in a small amount of flour bit by bit until you get a smooth texture that is no longer sticky. It’s good if the final ball has some spring to it when you poke it.
Roll it into a sausage, and cut into 2 or 4 even pieces. This depends on what size flat bread you want. Roll each one of the pieces into a round ball. On a well floured flat work surface, like a cutting board, roll out your dough. This should go quite smoothly but the more gluten (white flour) the longer it will take.
Heat a very heavy frypan on the stove or a pizza stone in the BBQ for a least 3 to 5 min at high heat. Bring the heat down to 1/2 and wait 1 min longer. Put the shell on a dry surface – do not use oil. Wait about 2 min and flip, Cook for 45 seconds to a minute on the other side. You should have a few brown spots on each side, and the shell may puff up during cooking, which is really cool. Remove from heat and top with whatever you have asap. Repeat.
My favourites are Kale Pesto with cherry tomatoes, nutritional yeast and goat cheese
2 tbsp walnuts (pine nuts are too pricey, this is Glamping, not the Four Seasons)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups fresh basil
5 or 6 leaves of kale, stripped
1/3 to 1/2 cup of yummy olive oil
2 cup of sliced cherry tomatoes
In a mortar and pestle, or your Vitamix, (you take one of those camping too, right?), add the walnuts, salt and basil and smash it down until you have a sticky paste. Slowly add the olive oil until you have a blended but matted texture. Thick is best!
Spread the pesto on the flat bread, sprinkle on yeast, add tomatoes and cheese, then drizzle some balsamic reduction over everything.
Now you’re Glamping.