We are a nature and outdoorsy family. There is nowhere we’d rather be than outside – boating or fishing at the lake or hiking in the woods. We love just about everything outside, but our favorite has always been camping.
We camp nearly year round, and don’t really care if it’s hot or cold. It’s all the same, we acclimate and adapt.
Traditional camping isn’t the only type of camping that we do either. We also period camp. In other words, or more precisely we camp like we’re living in 1810.
My children are in a Fife & Drum corps. that portrays the 1804-1810 time period re-enacting the Lewis & Clark Expedition that stopped in our city during this time period. There’s lots more history I could share, but I’ll move on to the purpose of the post.
No matter which type of camping we do, we love the family time spent around the campfire.
It’s where we cook our meals, it’s where we gather at the start of the day to plan our activities, or where we end our day roasting marshmallows, telling stories and laughing together.
I love the crackling sound of the fire, the distinct smell that permeates through every fibrous thing in the campsite and lingers for weeks. But most of all I love cooking over the campfire.
Doesn’t matter to me what time of day it is, I always make a full meal for my family using the licking flames to cook to perfection.
I don’t really know what it is about campfire food, but I often wish I could recreate it at home, and when we are unable to get out to go camping, we’ve discovered a way to do that.
We use our fire pit and it’s almost the same. It’s missing the atmosphere, but it’s still outdoors in our backyard and we do even sometimes set the tent up. It’s one of our favorite Sunday evening activities when we have nowhere else to be on Monday.
One of our favorite meals around the campfire is Chicken and Dumplings and we’ve made it at all our campsites and at home on the firepit.
It’s one of those easy meals that just tastes great anytime of day or night and can easily be reheated by just throwing it back in the pot as leftovers.
We sometimes add cut up veggies or even a bag of frozen veggies the next day to make somewhat of a new meal, add some pasta or rice and let it simmer for awhile and you’ve got a great new dish on day 2.
The time I spend with my family around the campfire are some of the best times we have had. I feel like it’s where we get to know each other best.
We talk about the past, we remember funny stories, we share our dreams and secrets, we play games, we eat and we really have uninterrupted family time.
Our lives are so busy, that it’s nice to have a place and a time where we can just sit and linger over our dinner a little longer, listening to the crickets chirp and watching the sun fade into the trees as darkness falls over our camp, and when we’re left with nowhere to go, nowhere to be… that’s when we are truly living.
Tips for Chicken and Dumplings
- I usually bring the dry ingredients for the dumplings already measured and mixed up together in a ziplock baggie. Just add the milk, butter and egg when you’re ready to start kneading.
- Two stockpots are always better than one. We use them to transfer the broth, but also sometimes make double batches for the next day or the day after. We are known to eat Chicken and Dumplings several times while we are camping.
- To store leftovers, simply transfer to an airtight storage container and keep in a cooler with ice until you’re ready to reheat.
- To reheat leftovers, pour the chicken and dumplings into a stockpot and simply reheat over the fire slowly. If they seem dry, add a little water.
- Cheat tip: If you don’t want to bother with homemade dumplings, you can also use store bought crescent dough or biscuit dough. Sometimes we do it in a pinch. It usually makes the broth thicker as it cooks and there aren’t much dumplings left at the end. But it tastes amazing.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Sunday dinner is my favorite meal of the week.
I spend time with my family, I share recipes with my friends and we all celebrate together.