We all know how to barbeque, and that’s a darn good thing! It can make a fast dinner and is generally uncomplicated, however, is it always time to barbeque when camping? The short answer is no, because for me and my crew – we like to mix it up!
I should also mention that we were traveling with a large group. We had 10 adults and 34 children. SO we did have barbequed burgers and brats and hot dogs and of course smores! But we also tried out a salad bar which was a huge success and a taco/soft taco buffet which also was a hit! We have also learned over the years that pancakes for breakfast work really well, and to pre-make something great (we brought tuna noodle salad) so that the night you get to your destination you only have to pull it out of the cooler and dig in, it makes for a nicer transition to living without electricity!
We have to plan our trips meticulously because there are so many people and there are many moving parts. We started this time on Monday with going to the laundry mat and getting everything ready to pack. Then we packed. That was day 1! I will always do this from now on, it made it way easier to find the necessary items and was so much for peaceful. We typically use plastic bins instead of suitcases because they are waterproof and they stack better.
Tuesday we planned out our meals and ordered an enormous amount of groceries. And my amazing daughter not only cleaned out the camper from top to bottom, but she created a spreadsheet which contained everything we needed to do, everything we needed to buy, and all the many things we needed to pack, and then made a column for who was in charge of that item and when it was completed. This is not something I would ever in a million years think to do, but it really helped a lot! Thank God for EVA!
Wednesday we picked up groceries, put non-perishables in the camper, and everything else we attempted to hide in plain sight using grocery bags because we didn’t want it to all get eaten! Ha! We also started counting sleeping bags, figuring out tents and cots, worked on marinating the chicken and starting the tuna noodle salad. I also had the big girls “CHECK” out the younger kids bags to make sure they had all the things, including rain gear since the forecast said thunderstorms!
Thursday was the day of the kitchen, we gathered all the pots and pans and knives and cutting boards, can openers and all the added accouterments. We also found everyone’s bikes and the needed games and other minutia….. So on Friday when it was time to leave we basically tossed everything into our 31-foot camper, kind of unfair to have a rolling storage unit! And then glided off into the distance by noon! It was a wild adventure and we enjoyed ourselves immensely!
What fun things are you doing this summer? Do you have any favorite meals or tricks to share?
Thomason Family Tuna Noodle Salad
makes a boat load
2 boxes of small shell pasta
2 red onions, diced
3 lbs green or red grapes, halved
6 cans chunk light tuna
1 bottle Tastee Sweet and Sour Dressing
1 Cup Mayonaise
salt and pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS : Cook noodles as directed, drain in cold water until all the pasta is cold. Put in a huge bowl and start piling all the ingredients on top in no particular order. Make sure you make this the night before your travels so that it will be a stress-free day. Also, load up on the Tastee dressing, I always bring at least an extra bottle with me as most folks like to add more as it absorbs into the noodles!
Pro Tip: Click on the Highlighted words “marinating the chicken” above for a mouth-watering marinade that never goes wrong! Also, take a second to watch my YouTube video about Big Family Camping- there is a delightful giveaway!