Welcome to Campfire Mashed Potatoes with Pickled Onions and Truffle Mayonnaise or another recipe in our Applied Glamping Techniques: Unit 1. The practice of glamping involves the many revolving around super-fancy, over the top, camping. Just ask yourself the ever-important question. In what ways can you make my camping experience more luxurious?
This is, by no means, a new concept. Tail-gaters and hunters have been living high on the hog for years. And often, that includes a real hog. Growing up a Crimson Tide fan, I can attest to the limits RV owners will go to create an almost ostentatious surrounding within the confines of Bryant Denny stadium. Buckeye fans are also well known for traveling well and making look real good. And that, in no way, is easy for me to say.
Don’t believe the rumors that your hunters are out there in the snow and ice living under frozen tarps either. These crackers know exactly how to stay warm and toasty when the mercury drops. Technology and style have caught up with the outdoorsman and only the uninitiated are still living hard on the hoof.
The difference here begins with the primitive camper. The idea that any of this is primitive is long past and the modern camper enjoys a stylish look that would make Genghis Khan green with envy.
Secrets of Glamping Success
- The Compound: The pleasure palace is created by the canopies that cover the entire camping interior. These EZ-Ups, or whatever they’re called, add an extra layer of protection and shade while also creating an undercover maze that feels like a Nicaraguan mercado. Placed up against each other and in multiple directions, they provide the outer shell of the glampers recreation area. All of these ideas have been stolen from Scott, Jen and the party people at Camp Happiness. Keep a weary eye out for them at your next bluegrass festival.
- The Yert: This is the part of the pleasure palace that seals the proverbial deal. One canopy on the edge is home to a beach tent, or a shade tent with open sides. Inside of this is an air mattress, the higher the better, covered with blankets and pillows. Add some silky, draping tapestries and battery operated lights from the canopy and you have created something that will draw people in like a bug light. When the weather is mild, it makes for the most luxurious night of sleep ever. It’s almost too fancy for camping, but hey….you’re worth it.
- Rugs: It’s so nice to sit down in your palace and relax on a carpeted surface. Find extra large pieces at the local carpet store that they are tossing and leave it when you’re ready to head back to the world of man. Sweep it off every few days and it will probably be cleaner than the carpet in your home.
- Lights and Tables: Hanging battery operated lights add a little Disney to your whole program. Many of these are solar powered and will have your compound looking like a Roatan tiki bar. This is with the notion that you don’t have power, thus the primitive camping. If you can siphon electricity from a nearby plug, then most of this is moot. Your camp should look like Caesars Palace.
- Tables: These add an element of vertical depth to your site and provide an important place to store and prepare food and drink. One table should One low table is paramount for visiting. Add a few candles and some chairs and you have an instant Florida room in the middle of your site. Perfect for entertaining wookies and wandering rednecks.
- Campfire Cooking: Of course a decent glamping outfit has some serious propane stoves but think of how you can use the campfire already working. This recipe uses potatoes cooked next to the coals for about hour, but there are a million ways to use the open flame. It doesn’t just end with boy scout campfire balls. There’s a host of desert items out there that are campfire friendly. Do a little research and stay tuned to Nail Travels for more campfire balls recipes. They really are the bee’s knees.
- four potatoes
- 1 T truffle oil
- Boursin cheese
- pickled onions (can be made ahead)
- 1 medium red onion
- ½ t sugar
- ½ t salt
- ¾ cup rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
- Rub potatoes with oil and wrap with aluminum foil
- Place next to campfire coals and cook for an hour, rotating after thirty minutes.
- Start 2 or 3 cups of water on to boil in a kettle. Peel and thinly slice the onion into ¼" and par-blanche. If you can't pour the water over the onions, just drop them in for about thirty seconds.
- Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together until sugar and salt is fully dissolved.
- Place onion in a jar or bowl and let sit for about an hour.
- Remove potatoes from coals and put in a mixing bowl. Leave on the skin.
- Mash up potatoes (this is a great job for a kid)
- add salt, pepper, assorted other fun spices, don't be dull
- add a pat of butter and two tablespoons of Boursin cheese
- Add truffle mayonnaise (1/2 cup mayo mixed with 1 T truffle oil) if you're really excited about being healthy, use yogurt instead of mayo, hippy.
These are just a few of the ways you can turn your campsite into Xanadu. Of course, every man is going to have a trip where’s brought nothing but a hammock and a dog to keep him warm. It happens when you’re the last to show up. Just ask any hillbilly from Orange County, Florida. They camp like savages.
It doesn’t take much. A few extra Mardi Gras beads and some plush table covers and the next thing you know you’ll be lounging in the woods for three weeks at a time. If it’s raining or the wind is blowing sideways you may have to make a few adjustments, but we camp in South Florida so those issues aren’t as much of a concern. Even in inclimate weather you can keep yourself warm and special fancy. If you’re worried about looking like a sissy, take note of the fellow sleeping, soaking wet, in the lawn chair by the long gone fire.
Get on it.