May 18, 2009


A few friends & I drove up to Cachuma Lake Campgrounds over the weekend (hence the reason I've been a tad MIA) and can I just say... I LOOOOVE CAMPING!!!! I LOVE IT!!! I mean LOOK at that gorgeous fire!!?? *sigh*

(SIDENOTE: I think I was born to live in a log cabin in Montana. I'd love to wear flannel shirts & boots everyday! I'd live off the fat of the land, far up in the mountains. I'd only go into town once a month to get supplies and salted meat... bring home sweet suckers for the children. Man, I read way too many Janette Oke novels growing up).

I love camping for so many reasons. First, I reeeeeally adore being out in nature. I sooo appreciate the stillness of a crisp morning. At night, it's so beautiful you can see every star ever created in the heavens! Glorious! And then to fall asleep to the sounds of laughter, Def Leppard and beer cans being thrown across the campgrounds. Oh yes, there is a special place in my heart... :)

Second, camping (as with everything it seems!) is incredibly nostalgic to me. It reminds me of trips to Vermont with my parents. Trips where we thought going on a canoe trip in NOVEMBER would be a good idea. (????) In true Griswald's fashion, my mom & I flipped our canoe in the first 15 minutes. We spent the remaining 2 hours & 45 minutes shivering & shaking, making music with our chattering teeth. It was a blast!!! :)

Or there's the time I went winter camping & packed completely WRONG. I wasn't expecting it to be that cold. Whoops. Thankfully, I found this ginormous Santa Claus Cloak in my trunk- HA! (It pays to be an actor sometimes).

I was really cold and grumpy as you can see.

Later, however, I'm rip roarin' ready to go- toasty & happy!

But despite the camping traumas that I may have experienced, you know what we always did get right? THE FOOD. YAY!!!! :) Whether I was camping with friends or family, we always knew how to cook! My dad would make the most amazing breakfasts! We'd have bacon, egg & cheese croissant sandwiches with homemade homefries. DELICIOUS. Perfectly hearty & fattening- the way camping should be! There's nothing like an open grill, lots of meat, big breakfasts... mmmm... CAMP FOOD RULES!!!

So today, in honor of my trip this weekend and my love for camping, I'm gonna give you the 411 for the Smith Family's recipe for homefries to take camping! They're super simple but divine...


1- 5lb. bag of golden potatoes (or accidentally a 10 lb. bag because you don't know you're own strength?)
3 sticks of butter
2 white onions
1/2 c. vegetable oil
dash of garlic powdersalt & pepper

1. First things first, let's thank the Creator for the blessed gift that is a potato. "Dear God, thank you for potatoes. They rule. And I like how people call them spuds. Amen."

2. Let's give these bad boys a good choppety chop, shall we? I cut them up pretty small because they'll cook faster over an open fire! Throw them in a big Tupperware container.
3. Chop up your unjun. (That's camping-speak for 'onion.')
4. Cut up the 3 sticks of butter into chunks. Add both the unjuns & the butter into the Tupperware bowl.

5. Sprinkle about 1-2 Tablespoons of paprika over the potatoes.

Mmmmm... Paprika. One of the most fun words ever created!!! Say it with me, "Paprika!"

7. Finally, drizzle the 1/2 cup of vegetable oil over the top, add a ton of pepper & salt, the dash of garlic powder and give it a fantastic stir!

8. Put the lid on the Tupperware and stick it in the cooler. At the campsite, cook 'em up in a cast iron skillet til they're nice & crispy. Mmmm... soooo good!!! And who's that pretty (aka: slimy, greasy, dirty, grimy) girl!? It's ME! Gross. :)


Anonymous said...

OK. I found your site when you followed me on Twitter (I declined on account of having nothing on interest in my Twitter account). First of all I was all OMG! Too much excitement! Too many exclamation marks! The photographs - they're blinding me! but then I read on and, you know, actually enjoyed your style. It's woken me up too, which is always a good thing at half nine in the morning. I've bookmarked you and I hope you go on updating.

PS You are following 928 people on Twitter? SRSLY?

PPS And I've had to look up Janette Oke too. Sounds rockin.

MandiCrocker said...

Dear Anonymous,

*sigh* Everybody's a critic. ;)
I'm glad I won you over at least won you for the day! :)

My friends say I write like I talk. Having done comedy improv & sketch comedy, I suppose I can be a bit excitable. You're right! That's my style... I've been a letter writer since I can remember & it's the same kind of voice. But I appreciate the comment- very cool!

So here's what I think we should do... You drink some coffee & I promise I'll take a Xanax and next posting, we'll see where we're at? ;)

P.S. 928 people on Twitter has led me to you, dear Anonymous. And I wouldn't trade you for the world! :)

Trish said...

Welcome back! Love the recipe tutorial!!! This will be great for this weekend's Memorial Day celebrations. Thanks!

Angela2932 said...

Mandi, skip the Xanax and keep on writing! I love your recipe--the mix of humor, photos, --and tempo? I'm delighted to read a blog that is not as bland as . . . well . . . potatoes! (But not YOUR potatoes! no, no, no!)

Miss Daisy said...

Holy Moses, those look delicious Batman!

stacy marie said...

Channeling your inner Paula Dean with the butter, eh? Three sticks? You trying to kill me??!


Mandi in a santa outfit camping = priceless.

also, the pictures are getting soooo much better. love the composition and the use of macro mode it looks like :)

Sassypants Wifey said...

Oooh, fantastic, sounds like a total winner for camping! While we are past the days of camping in tents and now have a 5th wheel, we still prefer to cook outdoors. I will definitely have to pack this up the next time we get ready to go. The little girlies love potatoes.
p.s. I gave ya a little shout out on my bloggy blog!
-Sassypants Wifey

MandiCrocker said...

Awww, thank you, Angela! I'm sooo glad you appreciate my "tempo" slash insanity. :)

Miss Stacers! You can most definitely cut down the butter! But why would you want to do that!?? What's the matter? Can't hold your butter? ;)

Actually, when I'm home I cut down the butter quite a bit. When I'm camping, though, I include a bit more just so that it doesn't stick to the pan like crazy. And 5 lbs is a LOT o' potatoes!! Why am I even trying. You know what? I love butter!!! Lol...

And Sassypants, thank you so much for the comment & the shout out! I'm going to check it out now! :)

Audrey said...

How long do you think it would last in the container? We are leaving EARLY Saturday morning & this would be great for Sunday morning breakfast at the campsite. You think it'd be fine if I cut everything up Friday night?

MandiCrocker said...

Hey Audrey! Definitely! That's exactly what I did this weekend. I chopped them up Friday night, put them in a cooler with ice & they were still good on Sunday morning. :) Enjoy!!

Jayme said...

Mandi, I'm going to go camping this weekend! (You can see my little vintage camper here, if you click on my name). I will totally be taking your spuds with me!


Marieeeeeee :) said...

I ate these potatoes while camping... I ate seconds... I ate thirds. AMAZING. Personally, I would have added more butter, but Mandi likes us to stay healthy ;)