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Heading to cabin in ME w no electricity-propane stove & fridge avail but cleanups a chore. Looking for make ahead freezer dishes or low mess meals.

B92133b6 451d 4a5a 84fe d8d76261d7f1  view from rock ledge

We head to an island in ME every summer on vacation for at least 2 weeks. There is no running water or electricity on the island. The cabins are set up with propane tanks so we do have a propane fridge and gas stove. The kitchen sink has a hand pump that pumps in collected rainwater from the roof. You can't drink it. But there is a freshwater spring with safe water. THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE, I know, but for some (like me), it's heaven. Cooking is wonderful on the island, but for some reason, everything tastes better there, but the cleanup is such a chore--boiling water, multiple buckets of soap and boiling safe water, etc.

I want to make food that I can make ahead in a tin and freeze, defrost day of, cook in the oven, serve on paper plates, then throw the whole thing away when we are done. OR easy, low mess, fresh food that comes together with as few pots, pans and utensils as possible.

Looking for fun, fresh ideas, more than just the run of the mill?

The pic is the view from our cabin. :)

asked by julia_formichella over 2 years ago
20 answers 1712 views
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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

I personally would starve my family for the two weeks or tell them to learn how to fish, fast. Eat bananas, granola and dried fruit. And squeeze fresh lime on everything to ward off scurvy. :-)

How much freezer space do you have?

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added over 2 years ago

Lol Pegeen! We do fish, however seem to never have much luck. :( We do have lots of lobstermen in the area though that are always willing to leave us lobsters on a buoy for fresh fresh lobster.

We only have small amount of freezer space in our cabin, but under the floor in the "Big House" kitchen (pictured; built in like 1875) has a storage area that will fit several coolers. This will keep foods frozen for quite a while. Blueberries and depending on the time of year, raspberries, are prevalent on the island so we cook with those as much as possible too.

Who knew all you need is lime to ward off scurvey??? The things we learn on F52!

9e03123d 94a6 42ef a59d eb54455670e5  big house

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 2 years ago

I love packets with chicken and salmon. Homburgs, hotdogs and sausages. My grocery store has mini pie plates, make pot pies, beef stew and other such dishes.
Do you have a pizza stone? Pre cook your crust. Add toppings and freeze. Preheat to 475, bake 10-12. Yum.
Is there a grill? Salads with grilled chicken. Skewers can be frozen and then grilled.

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added over 2 years ago

Thanks Kimhw. Sadly, no grill... it's too much of a fire hazard. No electricity and running water also means no fire department or 911. I do love the pizza idea as I have little ones and pizza--especially homemade--is always a hit.

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Julia, I remember checking these three articles the last time I went camping. They all had useful tips.

How to Pack for Camping (thekitchn.com)
http://www.thekitchn.com...

25 Camping Recipes (seriouseats.com)
http://www.seriouseats...

What foods to pack for camping (seriouseats.com)
http://www.seriouseats...

Have a great trip - looks beautiful!

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added over 2 years ago

Linda Frederick Yaffe has written a book called the BACKPACK GOURMET which has an astonishing variety of meals that you can make at home, dehydrate, and then reconstitute. There are chilis, stews , crab casserole all very good , but you need time to prepare and dehydrate .

What about cooking outdoors on a small grill? This expands your repertoire immediately with no pans to clean

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added over 2 years ago

Thank you jamcook! As mentioned before, the grill is a no no on the island. I did check out the cookbook you mention online on Amazon and then found this!!!

http://keekles.org/~bryan...

I think it's the whole thing! Will peruse this eve. Thanks again! Crab casserole?! Yum!
The who

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 2 years ago

Thank link didn't come through quite right. Trying again...

keekles.org/~bryan/Downloads/TEOTWAWKI/Backpack%20Gourmet.pdf

F3fdbabe d72e 44f9 919d eecf03b7e10e  liza skitchenlogo
added over 2 years ago

I'm big on making meals and freezing them. I work very long hours and sometimes don't feel like cooking when I get home. I always have a variety of home cooked meals pre-packaged in single serving ziplock bags in the freezer to choose from. Currently, I have beef stew, black bean & roasted corn soup with rice, risotto with mushrooms, peas, and chicken, baked ziti with meatballs, matzoh ball soup, butternut squash soup, quiche (multiple varieties), and vegetarian lasagne. All defrost easily in the microwave, on the stove, or in the oven. Let me know if you want any recipes!

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added over 2 years ago

Thanks Lisa! I would love your risotto recipe, quiche and veggie lasagne. My kids won't eat bean anything and the rest I've got goto recipes for!

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago


And if you get tired of the no-electricity thing, just paddle on over to Martha's place on Mt. Desert Island. She'll have enough guest rooms to accommodate you. :-)
http://www.themarthablog...

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added over 2 years ago

We do tend to need to hit the "reset" button and come off island after one week, go to the laundromat and restock. But alas, as of now, no invite from Martha. Thanks for all the links!

F3fdbabe d72e 44f9 919d eecf03b7e10e  liza skitchenlogo
added over 2 years ago

Hi Julia,
I've just added the recipes, the quiche recipe here: https://food52.com/recipes... and the risotto here: https://food52.com/recipes... and the veggie lasagne here: https://food52.com/recipes.... Enjoy!

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added over 2 years ago

So glad you found the book Julia. The author, Linda, has been my friend since Kindergarten. She spends time each year in extremely remote places that probably make your cabin look the Hilton. She can also outrun a cougar! She prepares and dehydrates all the food that she and her husband eat when camping. I have sampled some, rehydrated, and it is great. Hope you have enough lead time to try some of her creations. She has another book called HIGH TRAIL COOKING. I have seen her books in camping and outdoor supply stores too. Good luck.

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Julia, it must be quite beautiful. I guess you could become a pretty good poker player after 2 weeks of no Netflix. :-) Hope you have a safe (and tasty!) vacation.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

I was going to suggest pizza, too. I would also do a lot of baking ahead--make cookies, muffins, even pies. We stay in a beach house (that does have electricity and running water) every summer, and always bring lots of baked goods. (And we bake on rainy days, but I don't think that's very feasible for you.)

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added over 2 years ago

You are in Maine. Do you like chowder? An onion, some potatoes, fish, one pot...and the old timers used evaporated milk (shelf-stable). A crab roll? Picked Jonah crab, a bit of mayo, a touch of parsley or tarragon, a New-England style hot dog roll toasted in a pan. When I was a child my mother made chili at the campsite on a Coleman stove: can of tomatoes, ground beef, can of beans, and Durfee powdered chili seasoning, the kind in the foil packets. And ah, I remember a delicious dinner a few years ago while backpacking in the Cascade mountains: those Lipton one-dish noodle things with some canned salmon stirred in. DE-lectable. Everything tastes better by the sea. Hope the rainy deluges we've been having in Maine pass you by.