Meals on Wheels

By Justine Sterling

Published on May 8, 2008

After you've been on the road for a while, a carton of orange juice and some Cheez Doodles can start to seem like a square meal. Whether you're cruising in a car or camped in a tent, though, just because you don't have a complete kitchen at your disposal doesn't mean you can't eat well. To inspire your next edible adventure, we've rounded up a library of new and vintage cookbooks by experienced campers, canoeists, and RV enthusiasts who insist that delightful travels and delicious food can go hand in hand.

_Cooking on Wheels
By Arlene Strom
The Bond Wheelwright Company, 1970

A hundred thousand miles of trailer travel over American highways taught Arlene Strom, a proud Wyomingite, a thing or two about cooking on the open road. No toaster? No problem: Strom teaches readers to construct a makeshift toaster oven. No water line? Don't sweat it: she also provides tips on keeping cleanup to a minimum. Strom is even prepared if the fish don't bite: her recipe for a salmon loaf made from canned salmon is simple and sophisticated, and her method for Sloppy Louies (spice-spiked sloppy joes) provides a quick, flavorful hunger fix that even "teenagers will love".

_The Tailgate Cookbook: A Practical Handbook of Delightful Meals for Campers, Travelers, and Sports Enthusiasts
By April Herbert
Funk & Wagnalls, 1970

You'll find no vienna sausages in these pages. April Herbert believes in taking silver candlesticks to tailgates and haute cuisine to the streets, roads, streams, mountains, and fields, and her _Tailgate Cookbook** _**bursts with recipes for pates, steak tartare, sauteed oysters, and lobster tails cooked over a campfire. Still, those looking for practical advice will be relieved to find that her expertise extends beyond Cornish hens and lamb steaks; peppered throughout her refined recipes are valuable packing tips and useful instructional nuggets, such as how to "salt fry" hamburger patties.

_The Complete Recreational Vehicle Cookbook
By Gayle and Robert Fletcher Allen
Celestial Arts, 1978

After leaving their successful careers as movie producers, Gayle and Robert Fletcher devoted themselves to crisscrossing the American continent in recreational vehicles. Central to their road food strategy is communal cooking. Roast skewers of bacon-wrapped pineapple together over an open fire, they suggest; send the kiddies to pick blackberries for dessert, and divvy up the dishwashing duties. The recipes in The Complete Recreational Vehicle Cookbook range from appetizing nibbles, like decadent "duck eggs supreme", to oddly intriguing entrees, like a fried tuna salad sandwich doused in cheese soup.

_The Hungry Hiker's Book of Good Cooking
By Gretchen McHugh
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1982

According to Gretchen McHugh, if you eat fresh, delicious food at home, you can do the same on camping trips. McHugh's wilderness-food world was widened when a friend gave her a homemade food dryer. Here she details how to make your own powdered-drink mixes (including one for hot chocolate), dried fruit, veggies, and even jerky, so you can really make the most of the critters you come across on the trail.

_The Great American Camping Cookbook
By Scott Cookman
Broadway Books, 2007

Scott Cookman longs for the days when camping recipes called for fresh ingredients rather than blocks of Velveeta and canned ham. For The Great American Camping Cookbook,_ _he draws inspiration from some of America's notable outdoorsmen, like Henry David Thoreau, who took only the simplest provisions on his retreats, and Ernest Hemingway, who loved to cook from cans. In straightforward recipes and playful stories, Cookman reminds campers that they can eat whatever they want while out on the trail—as long as they can carry it.

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