We’re very excited to announce that soon we’ll be interviewing Martin Dorey, BBC Presenter of One Man And His Camper Van and Author of The Camper Van Cookbook: Life on 4 Wheels, Cooking on 2 Rings about his new book The Camper Van Coast: Cooking, Eating, Living the Life.
Not only is he a thoroughly nice guy but his first book, published by Saltyard Books, is one of our camping essentials and we can’t wait to see what he’s got in store for us. If his first one is anything to go by then it’s definitely going to be packed with delicious ideas and camping tips to inspire any camper.
The Camper Van Cookbook: Life on 4 Wheels, Cooking on 2 Rings is full of mouth watering recipes by Martin and Sarah Randell, previously the Food Director of Sainsbury’s Magazine, that have been designed specifically for small camping spaces. Helpfully it also gives some great tips for packing light, essential kit lists, store cupboard staples, seasonings and spices and cooking methods. It even has great advice on making your own hammock, foraging your own food from the wild and how to make the best of your time with family and friends.
It’s stuffed full with gorgeous pictures of camper vans and has a brief history of the VW, including Martin’s own van at the time called Pootle. Martin also gives his opinion on hiring a VW camper and how you can give your van a little bit of love and what you need to take with you to help you fix a few common faults.
This camping essential is also brilliant at helping kids deal with the most boring part of camping – the journey – by suggesting travelling games and ways of finding a good halfway house. Then when you get to your destination there’s plenty of advice on how to successfully pitch your tent and maybe getting an ‘Exploding Egg Banjo’ on the go for anyone who’s hungry.
So for any one who loves camper vans, camping, food and dreaming of the next getaway, this book is definitely for you.
So to wet your appetite even more we’re going to dip into Martin’s book to talk about foraging for mussels, a sustainable free food which has the added bonus of being utterly delicious. The book gives loads of great advice if you’re thinking of foraging for this shellfish, and these are the highlights.
Try to forage mussels when there is an ‘R’ in the month. This may sound like an old wives’ tale but it’s to do with the spawning time for a lot of seafood, so follow this rule if you want to gather the rewards in the autumn.
The largest shellfish will be found towards low water so the best time to pick them is on the low spring tide. Remember the foraging rule: to take only what you need.
The next job is to sort the mussels and remove the beards – hairy fibres that it uses to cling onto the rock. Then put them in clean fresh water with a dash of vinegar to get them to spit out any dirt or grit. Make sure you discard any that are floating, broken or open.
Now it’s time to cook them. Mussels create a surprising amount of liquid when they’re cooked so make sure you only add a small amount of liquid to the pan before steaming. However, you can also cook them over a beach fire – making sure they’ll open away from the dirt so the ash and sand doesn’t find its way in. Martin also says you should never try to eat mussels that haven’t opened during cooking and you should put your empty, rinsed shells back on the beach when you’re finished so they can complete their journey and one day become sand.
Martin’s Camper Van Moules 1 Large Onion 2 Cloves Garlic Olive Oil Knob Of Butter 2-3 Chopped Celery Sticks Handful Chopped Parsley Large Glass Of White Wine (saving a big sip for the cook!) 6 Double Handfuls Of Cleaned And Prepared Mussels Crusty Bread To Serve Peel and chop the onion and peel and slice the garlic. Heat a splash of oil and the butter in a large frying pan, then add the onion, garlic and celery. Fry over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the onion softens. Add a sprinkle of black pepper and most of the parsley. Pour in the wine and tip in the mussels. Bring everything up to simmering point, then cover and cook the mussels for 3-4 minutes or until their shells open (giving the pot an occasional shake). Discard the shells that don’t open and enjoy the ones that do, using the bread to soak up those lovely juices.
We highly recommend Martin’s book The Camper Van Cookbook: Life on 4 Wheels, Cooking on 2 Rings and can’t wait to tell you about his new release The Camper Van Coast: Cooking, Eating, Living the Life. So make sure you don’t miss out on this and the freebies Martin’s giving away, by adding your email to the free updates and bonuses box.
Update: The competition has already started. Visit our article about The Camper Van Coast to find out more.Inspired Camping Picture Credits: Martin Dorey; The Camper Van Cookbook: Life on 4 Wheels, Cooking on 2 Rings