Updated: Jan 14, 2022
Way too many times in my life have I stopped at the grocery store en route to hunting camp and bought a package of Oreo cookies and some sausage and bacon and eggs. Frankly, those foods are ok for hunting camp. But what about a level up? Recently my son, Garreth, approached me with the question of what do we eat when we're out filming From The Wild episodes? He was tired of canned soup and stew, the label burned and stinking from the flames of a campfire or expensive freeze dried dishes.
Kevin Kossowan has been the leader in this department and he is the one who has me started down the path of what I consider to be proper camp food. On our last trip, after a long day of hunting we were cold and tired and hungry. He asked if Butter Chicken (Ruffed Grouse) with Rice would be good for supper? Of course, are you kidding me! Out from the cooler came a deli container of now thawed Indian cuisine. It plopped into the skillet on the wood stove and we sat down to happy hour while it re-heated. He had made Indian food for his family several days before, and some extra for the freezer. After an amazing meal, out came a container of home made peanut butter cookies to go along with our tea. A perfect dessert.
Of course Kevin had it figured out well ahead of me, but what a revelation! To be able to eat really terrific food in a hurry is incredibly easy with some pre-planning. For weeks in advance, whenever I am cooking something for dinner anyway, I just fill deli containers (yogurt and sour cream containers work equally well) with the leftovers and into the freezer they go. Instead of eating leftover chilli for a few days afterwards, it is saved for future eat-n-go type meals. This ingenious little process doesn't necessarily need to be for hunting trips either. When I am hunting from home and I come home after dark, these quick meals are a real blessing.
The cookies are a no brainer of course. Hardly revelatory, but why on earth am I buying factory produced cookies? Just kinda silly to me as I own a farm grain-milling business. Flour and rolled oats are pretty easy to find around here, along with eggs. So, for next week's Whitetail camp in the Boreal, I made a big batch of raisin oatmeal cookies. While we're on the topic of desserts, what about frozen pies? And instead of making one big pie that we need to eat in the days we are there, how about smaller individual pies made in the big muffin tins. I can bake the pie shells and make several different pie fillings. Apple, Saskatoon Berry, Pumpkin...all the fillings being made from scratch to go into the pie shells and then freeze. A different pie for dessert every single night! Of course, the fillings, after I've made too much for the available pie shells, can also be frozen for later use at home. Or simply make a whole shwack of mini pies one afternoon, freeze them all, use them as you need them.
Granola is a superb snack to make ahead and bring to camp. Just from a standpoint of fending off midday hunger on the whitetail stand it wins hard. There are exactly 1 billion different granola recipes out there. Here is my recipe though, the one billion and first, and it is the best one of them all.
It doesn't need to stop here though. We need some breads, pasta, sides...those also can all be cooked ahead and put into containers. For this mid-November whitetail hunt, Kevin is bringing his butter ch