Camping food – Twisted Skillet Chili

We’ve been camping in our little new-to-us circa 1980 8-foot pop-up trailer four times so far this summer.  Considering that our weekends often get booked up weeks in advance with volleyball tournaments and doula clients due and BBQ’s etc., I’m actually pretty proud of the number of times we’ve packed our life and a pile of diapers into the car and headed out to sleep under the stars.  Having the trailer already packed with most of what we need has limited the number of excuses not to go and the time it takes to gather everything up after work on a Friday and head out.  

Camping Food - Twisted Skillet Chili |

We’ve stayed in Kejimkujik National Park where we slept in a grove of trees, ate dark chocolate by the fire till the stars came out, and turned our little space heater on high to ward off the May chill.  We found ourselves nestled in amongst huge satellite dish-sporting RVs in a kind of soulless campground at Parlee Beach, New Brunswick, where we only made it to the beach for ten minutes and spend one of our nights smothering the dog with love and comfort after a fireworks-related anxiety attack.  

Camping Food - Twisted Skillet Chili |

We discovered a great little campground near Taylor Head, Nova Scotia, called Spry Bay Campground, and we’ve been back twice.  We’ve found that because we now have a trailer in place of our previous tent set-up, the sites we have access to have changed a little.  I still think of us as being tent-campers at heart, so we want a wooded space with a bit of grass for the kid and the dog to play, and we want to see the stars and hear the crickets at night.  Spry Bay was the perfect place to have all of those things.  In fact, I think our first trip there was the highlight of our camping season thus far:  two whole days stretched out in front of us with nothing to do but drink a pot of tea while Ada played in the morning, hike through the afternoon, and sit by the fire reading our books once the babe was asleep.  As the fire died on our second night there, fireflies began to dance in the bushes behind the trailer, filling me with the biggest joy I’ve felt in a long time.

Camping Food - Twisted Skillet Chlili |

Also, they have really cute multi-coloured picnic tables which are great for staging food photos! AND, perhaps more relevant to the non-food-blogger, they have a little camp store where they make an incredible homemade pizza, and milkshakes!  I’m sure we’ll be back there many times as we tool around the province in our trailer, seeking out quiet forests and rugged trails and an appreciation of the outdoors for our daughter.  

Camping Food - Twisted Skillet Chili |

Twisted Skillet Chili
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  1. 1 lb. ground beef
  2. 6 slices bacon
  3. 1 onion, chopped
  4. 1 red pepper, chopped
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 2 tbsp. molasses
  7. 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  8. 1 tsp. dry mustard
  9. 1/3 cup vinegar
  10. 1 can tomatoes
  11. 1 can brown beans
  12. 1 can kidney beans
  13. 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  14. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Fry the beef and bacon in a skillet until they are mostly cooked. Add the onion, green pepper and garlic and continue to saute until they are tender. Add the rest of the ingredients and allow to simmer until the liquids have mostly cooked off.
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