THE FAMILY CIRCUS: Camp Cookery & Other Oxy-Morons

It seems my latest attempt at Coleman camp stove cookery earned the usual thunderous applause and rave reviews from the adoring masses.

Noses wrinkled like raisins, the clan reacts to my latest camp concoction with predictable glee: “Yuck.  What IS this stuff?  What’re you trying to do, Mom, poison us?”

“That’s Lowder campfire stew” I explain to sons Daniel, Nathan, Sam and Josiah. “It’ll stick to your ribs. Get another bowl, boys. There’s plenty more.”

The boys begin sneaking their stew into the dog’s dish.  Our ever-ravenous yellow Lab politely sniffs the steaming contents of her dish and walks away. Eve flops down at the opposite end of the campsite with an expression that clearly says, “What’re you trying to do, poison me?”

That’s it!” I yammer, tossing my oven mitt into the dirt.  I announce an all-out camp kitchen strike. “If you guys want to eat, fix it yourself!”

Mid-strike the next evening, I saunter up to the ‘ole Coleman camp stove and inquire, “So boys, what’s for dinner?”

The Horde serve up a delicious meal of charred bacon, stewed sand over twigs and tree bark, tough-as-shoe-leather hockey pocks they call “burgers,” and chocolate pudding with ant topping.

“Dig in, Mom!”  Nathan says, handing me a heaping plate of tree bark.

This is just another lesson in the Camping School of Trial and Error.  Lessons learned under such arcane tutelage include:

  • It’s best not to dry your shoes over the fire with your feet still in them.
  • Wet socks are still wet if left in a rolled up sleeping bag for three weeks.
  • Shaving cream is a poor substitute for toothpaste.
  • Don’t let sparks land on your sleeping bag. Especially when you’re in it.
  • There’s no discernible difference between sugar water and Deet in the degree of deterrent they pose to human feasting by mosquitoes.
  • We’ve exceeded our camping limit when the skunks won’t venture downwind of us.


Helpful lessons, all. Especially when we’re getting ready to strike out on another rip-roaring family adventure: Resistance is Futile.

To be continued…






Image credit – paper plates. CC by SA-2.0

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