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Delicious Recipes to Try Cooking While Camping

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By Renee Changnon, rchangnon@nrha.org

Emma Frisch wrote her cookbook Feast by Firelight to share her favorite meals to make before camping or once on the camp grounds.

Growing up in Connecticut, Emma Frisch spent more time outdoors with her siblings than watching television. When she wasn’t playing outside, she could be found helping her mother work in the vegetable garden and then making meals with the fruits of their labor.

Today, Frisch has combined her love of the outdoors and cooking tasty meals in Firelight Camps, a glamorous camping (glamping) business she owns with her husband. Recently, she wrote “Feast by Firelight: Simple Recipes for Camping, Cabins and the Great Outdoors,” a cookbook full of her favorite recipes.

Hardware Retailing spoke with Frisch to learn how retailers can encourage their customers make their own cuisine while camping, the products they should sell to attract an adventurous outdoor chef and more.

Hardware Retailing (HR): Can you tell us about your love of camping and your passion for cooking?

Emma Frisch (EF): Growing up, I attended outdoor adventure summer camp, which helped me cultivate my love of outdoor activities. In college, I trained as a backcountry guide and worked as a climbing instructor at a rock wall.

My interest in cooking was directly inherited from my mom, who is Italian and British. Some of my earliest memories are picking cherry tomatoes off the vine with my twin sister and standing on a stool shaping Italian meatballs with my mother.

When the weather was nice, we ate all of our meals outside, and on weekends, my mom would cobble together picnics to take on trails or to a park.

HR: Tell us about Firelight Camps.

EF: My husband Robert and I opened Firelight Camps in Ithaca, New York, in 2014. We started with a pilot program featuring six tents. Now we have 19 tents, which are available May through October. 

I am the marketing and culinary director of our business, which means I oversee food and beverage programming, food product development, merchandising, branding and marketing.

“Feast by Firelight,” is my first cookbook. The recipes span my lifetime, from family recipes to global travels. Our business has truly allowed me to bring my passion for food, community and the great outdoors under one umbrella.

HR: What tools are needed to make your cookbook recipes?

EF: The recipes in my book are all intended to be very simple, and most require prepping ingredients at home so the cooking process can be fun and fuss-free at camp.

The tools campers would need vary per recipe, but the most basic recipes require a grill, tongs or a spatula and dishware. “Feast by Firelight,” includes menu planners to help campers create a simplified shopping and equipment list to map out their meals easily. However, nearly all of the recipes can be made in your home kitchen as well.

HR: What products help turn a camping experience into a glamping experience?

EF: Having proper lighting makes a big difference while camping. One of my favorite companies, BioLite, has solar-powered string lights that create a warm ambiance, while also making the campsite easier to navigate.

I also recommend quality picnic blankets, such as Alite’s Meadow Mat, and lightweight chairs to upgrade the camping experience. Using a sleeping bag blanket, like the Rumple Sherpa Puffy Blanket, is great to snuggle up in.

“The Coconut Quinoa Breakfast Bowl With Lemon and Blueberries recipe is a luscious, nourishing, protein-rich alternative to camp oats. This is a healthy and energizing dish to enjoy all day long.”
“The Chili-Lime Corn is one of the easiest, most satisfying crowd pleasers. Don’t even try to eat politely! If kids join the feast, consider letting adults garnish their own with red pepper flakes.”
“Fire-Licked Skirt Steak With Mama’s Salsa Verde is one of my favorite recipes. It’s simple and quick to make. The pungent green sauce, an Italian version of chimichurri, kicks everything up a notch.”
“These Lemon-Olive Oil Thumbprint cookies taste decadent, yet are protein-packed morsels to keep you going. I make a container of these to bring on road trips, airplanes, and of course, camping.”

Photos reprinted with permission from “Feast by Firelight.” Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs © 2018 Christina Holmes.

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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