Inspiration to get outside and cook.

We are all guilty of not making enough of this time of year. The days are longer than the nights and the sun has some warmth in it.

For me it all started with a fry pan and some lard. My family lived around ½ mile from Ayrmer Cove in South Devon.

On the beach we would make a simple trench cooker using two flat stones, ideally with a square edge one side. Dig these into the sand aligned to the sea breeze spaced to allow the pan to sit on top. A few bits of driftwood and soon you have a fire with a nice bed of ash. If the wind gets up use another flat stone to block off the windward end. The pan is perfect for sizzling a few succulent pork sausages. My father also used the fire to make “Billy Can Tea” using a lidded metal bucket, heat the water add the tea leaves and then he used to swing the billy can. Please do not do this! It involved him holding the handle and swinging the bucket in a circle from the ground around over his head. This made the perfect brew. No accidents ever happened but stirring works well.

The point here is that the whole fire thing and the family activity in the fresh air is part of the experience.

Camp fire breakfast

Bringing the fire back to life in the quiet of a dewy morning and cooking a full English as the camp gets up is something that every family should do. Keep it simple with some hot coffee, and a fry pan special of all your favourites. You might try a couple of extras.

Beer Bread. Mix a can or bottle of beer with an equal amount of flour add a tablespoon of sugar and pour into a baking tin. Bake on the side of fire for around 45 mins, cut a couple of slivers of butter on top as the crust forms. Try adding some grated cheese, olives, or jalapenos into the mix to spice it up.

Hogs Pudding is a prerequisite for our family not only because we make it! It is super easy to store, with no pesky packaging. It is already cooked, so it just needs browning. It sits on a skewer well, so get the younger contingent to fashion some spears and they can toast slices of Hogs Pudding just like marshmallows over the fire.

What about the weather

Be prepared, rig up a shelter with a groundsheet and some rope, have some windbreaks and get organised. Have appropriate clothing.

On the other hand, find some shade and use sunscreen – you never know, you might need both options on the same day in the UK!