What’s different about cooking on camp?
Wood fires We cook on wood fires in the centre of each camping circle
Food Lovely seasonal locally grown organic vegetables and other essentials from the onsite shop
Numbers Circles can be small or large, up to around 15 people plus the children
Cooking can be a seriously enjoyable part of the whole Unicorn Camp Experience – a chance to put food back in the centre of our social lives – or you may just want to scoff something and get on with singing or dancing – these notes aim to cater for both.
There is a circle meeting time at the beginning of camp where you decide with your circle how you want to go about sharing cooking. You can discuss diet preferences and requirements. Some people like to cook together an organised way, others like to go with the flow. Most circles have two or more people teaming up to cook the evening meal. You can expect to cook once during the week and help chop and prepare on one other night, depending on the size of your circle. Its useful for less experienced cooks to be teamed up with those with more experience of campfire cooking.
Most circles have communal evening meals and some form of do-it-yourself for lunch and breakfast (and there's lovely breakfasts, lunches and snacks at the camp cafe).
Many people create a fridge using a large container with water in, with a smaller container placed in it. Water goes in the larger bucket and material is draped over the smaller one with it’s edges in the water so constantly wet material covers food in the inner container. As the water evaporates it takes energy from the inner container in the form of heat = a fridge.
Half the world still cooks on wood fires but few cook on open piles of blazing wood like we do at Camp! Trivets and grills help a lot and for more complicated meals. Many people will bring this equipment to share with the circle.
Things to bring
Preferably not your best stuff! BIG pots and pans (10L is about right for 20). Big Woks with a handle. Large kettle. Avoid plastic handles! Look out for such things at car boot sales. A few things to consider bringing are oven gloves, thick kitchen foil, BIG spoons and ladles with long handlesand a large sieve or colander. If you don't have cooking equipment join a circle that does!
What should I bring?
The onsite shop provides fresh organic veg, bread and some basic staples.
What you may want to bring is spices, oils and seeds to add flavour and interest.
The main thing to remember is that you don’t have to bring food for 3 meals a day for 20 people. Chances are you’ll only cook ONE big meal plus any lunchtime food.
Rice: 4 mugs for 15-20 people (depending on how hungry they are). If you still cook too much, consider adding raisins, sugar, a bit of milk = rice pudding. Or adding golden syrup and butter for a slimming treat.
How to cook lots: Add enough water to cover PLUS the depth of your thumb (don’t ask me why). Bring to the boil – stirring a few times. Cover and take off the heat. Watch people doing the washing up and sing songs for 25 mins. Avoid peeking until you want to eat it. Rice done like this can sit for 10 mins at least and not go soggy...
Brown rice cook for 15 mins before you leave it to finish cooking off the heat for about 30 mins, or 20 if you have soaked it first.
Batter for fritters: for 12- 15 people. 2 mugs flour; a big pinch of salt; 3-4 eggs; ¾ pint of milk. Great for sweet corn; fruit (apple, pineapple…)
Batter for pancakes: 12- 15 people: 2 mugs flour; a big pinch of salt; 3-4 eggs; 1½ pints of milk.
Pasta: Three 500g packets is about right for 15 people as a main dish. (If you find yourself with a lump of left over pasta the next day, slice and fry. Or cut into chunks and make a Unicorn Omelette (Spanish omelette with horn).
1 Mug = ½ pint = 300ml
FLOUR 1 Mug 6oz 160g
FLOUR 4 Mugs 1½ lbs 500g
SUGAR 1 Mug 8oz 200g
RAISINS 1 Mug 6oz 150g
LENTILS 1 Mug 8oz 200g
RICE 1 Mug 8oz 200g
OATS 1 Mug 3oz 75g
STOCK 2 tsp/pint 4tsp/litre
BUTTER Pat 8oz 250g
1 Unicorn hour is approximately
one third of:
1 morning gathering +
1 workshop after the warm up +
how long it takes to wash up after supper