Why do you love to go camping? Do you love the cool breezes whispering through the pine trees? Maybe it’s the sounds of the nearby bubbling stream running alongside your site? How about some quality family time? Do you just like to unplug? Perhaps it’s to see the stars without the interference of the city’s light pollution. All great reasons! All of these reasons are why I love camping. And nothing ties all of these reasons together like good camping food. (Like this amazing Sausage Pumpkin Pasta!)
There are times, however, when you want to step it up a notch. You want to make that good camping food great! You want something unique. Original. Something nobody would expect you to whip up out of your camp kitchen. Mussels to the rescue! Yes you read that correctly. Mussels! Those tasty little nuggets of deliciousness steamed in a decadent wine and butter herb-y sauce can be served right at your campsite as you enjoy a spectacular sunset while you listen to the crackling of a roaring fire.
And these amazing morsels of goodness even fit within my “good camping food motto” Keep it Tasty. Keep it Simple. Keep it Easy to Clean. Truth be told, though, it never would have occurred to me to serve mussels at the campsite if it weren’t for my sister’s mother-in-law. She is the queen of making good camping food great! We met up with them at one of our beautiful Arizona campgrounds to conclude their three month summer camping expedition. During those three months they saw much of what camping out West has to offer – the amazing geology of Utah, the fabulous coastline of Washington, and the crisp, clean air of the Idaho mountains.
We wanted this final weekend of theirs to be an easy and hassle free one so I was a bit reluctant to accept the offer when my sister’s mother-in-law suggested she make the evening appetizers for all of us. But I know how it goes. She knows that food makes people happy – especially good camping food! In fact, great camping food is even better. And she likes to make people happy. So there was no way I was going to stand in the way of that! (Plus I knew that she would make something fabulous! She always does!)
But even I was surprised when she presented us with a pot full of gorgeous, aromatic, perfectly steamed mussels and a basketful of fresh bread to sop up all of the warm delicious juices. Amazing! Beautiful. And so beyond everyone’s expectations. Believe it or not, it was easy to make and easy to clean up. Perfect! Just melt some butter in a pot over your camp stove, add garlic, wine, and broth or water. Cover and steam 5-10 minutes! So easy. She shared the recipe with me and gave me permission to share it with you, my lucky readers!
So next time you want to make your good camping food great, take a page out of my sister’s mother-in-law’s book – go with delicate, delicious, delectable tender mussels. There’s something about them that makes the breezes whisper just a little louder, the bubbling stream a bit bubblier, the family time just a little sweeter, and the stars a little brighter. Don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself (and let me know what you think!)