The single best thing – okay, maybe the second, single best thing next to sleeping under the stars completely – about camping is the cooking. Or rather, the eating. I know my mum used to dread camp cooking when we were little and holidayed in the South of England [where I now live], frying bacon and eggs on the tiny gas cooker that in the awning of our huge orange tent.
The eating however, is blissful. There’s nothing like freshly barbecued fare – even if you need to scorch the campsite grass in the process. Luckily for us, when we stayed in the Glisten Camping domes, they had a very unique and glamorous solution to outdoor cuisine – the plancha grill.
After a long, hard morning of playing at the pool, we headed back to the dome for some dinner. Having wandered around the enormous supermarché for a few hours in search of the most delectable things to burn grill; even consulting with the lovely fishmonger on duty, we were all looking forward to our freshly cooked plancha meal.
Jensen purposefully asked me to mention that there is an evil fish in the photograph above. Spot him yet?
Grandad took Hero whilst we started to get things ready. Grandad quite liked the hammock.
Jensen offered to lend a hand. I don’t ever want to discourage this because he’s going to turn out to be a better chef than me. He was mostly interested because the main part of the meal was seafood. Now, he won’t eat a potato – but a mini octopus, langoustine or mussel? He’s there with his napkin.
He’d never had langoustines before this trip [although he did eat snails in readiness] and as he inherited my Mom’s warped sense of humour with shellfish, he spent a little time making them tell jokes to each other. I’m happy with that because as I learned from his early days and The Legend of the Purchase of the Seven Sprat, if he loves it and he’s chosen it, he’s going to examine it and eat it. Again, this gives me hope for his future as a chef [still hanging onto photographer though].
Next came the fish preparation. Off with the scales and onto the grill. They looked pretty scary, but Jensen still wanted to be in on it.
The vegetables hit the grill. Fresh, seasonal vegetables that hadn’t flown miles to get to us.
Not long after our food went to the grill, it was ready – and it smelled divine, and tasted so good that I can still remember it.
Our table, as set by five year old Jensen. He said it was ready for me to take pictures of and that no one was allowed to eat before Mommy had taken a photograph of it.
Granny and Grandad took a hammock break to enjoy some dinner on the deck. Not many of us got to sample the langoustines thanks to a hungry little five year old, but we all made some amazing memories. I can’t help but think that if we’d been camping like this when I was a child, we’d have taken holidays more often – or mom would have looked forward to them more.
After dinner, as we cleared up, we found a little someone snuggled up, having a little power nap after watching his big brothers play. As Jensen collected the little langoustine claws to throw away, we asked him if he was having fun, and he grinned. “Dome rhymes with home,” he said. “I like my new home.”If only, Jensen… If only.