Camping and S’mores

What is camping without smores?!

I have been dying to do some beach camping here in SoCal. I learned the hard way last year that you have to plan ahead to get a spot. I drove up the coast one Friday morning, intent on camping that weekend. Stopping at each campground along the long stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway, I was an hour north of Santa Barbara before I found a spot. And that was only available, I was to later learn that night, because of extremely high winds. So strong they knocked down our tent, breaking the poles like twigs.

So this year I planned ahead. I booked the campground I wanted most, McGrath State Beach, between Ventura and Oxnard. It seemed the most diverse of all the places I had passed through. One of the best bird-watching areas in Southern California. My mother-in-law would love it. We went on Mother’s Day, since that is the day I get to call the shots. And we invited our friends too. It was beautiful! One of my favorite camping trips thus far.

I, of course, planned the menu months ahead. So many new camping food ideas to try. Working with a different heat source is a new challenge on it’s own. Then to deal with minimizing ingredients and cooler space, storage and such. I invested in a new camp table/cook station and a cast iron dutch oven. I wanted to get the “Camp Chef” industrial-sized cookstove but finances did not allow. We made it work with my Coleman and the fire, mostly the fire. We had marinated chicken skewers with veggie kababs, baked (in the coals) potatoes, and strawberry-rhubarb cobbler( in the dutch oven, on the fire) one night. That same night we made smores for the kids. We couldn’t help but have one ourselves. I mean what is camping without smores? That toasted marshmallow, oozing all over you, the melted chocolate, and warm graham cracker! It’s just one of those simple joys of life.

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