Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Eating in the Great Outdoors: Pork Steaks & Butter Potatoes

The weather’s turned cold here within the last week; a little early for this region, but appropriate, given that the consumer market starts churning out All Things Pumpkin around this time.

So I guess it’s a little late for a post about camping…

…but in the words of Ruby Rhod: “BUT WHO CARES!!!”

A few weekends ago (when it was NOT too cold), the Hubs & I went camping with my parents near Truman Lake here in Missouri.  Truman is normally one of my favorite spots for camping fishing because the fish are always biting…but apparently with the drought, all of the fish have gone elsewhere.  We didn’t catch a single keeper all weekend.

IMG_20120903_101534 My Hubs, & the biggest fish of the day.  Mouth included for scale.

When the Hubs & I go “camping”, it involves a tent, an air mattress, and a magnetic fan precariously clipped to the top of the tent, so that I can spend the night praying doesn’t come loose & maim our faces.

“Camping” with my parents involves an RV, air conditioning, and antenna TV. Really, the only thing you can complain about is whether or not the pillows are too firm. It’s ROUGH I tell ya. :)

Our pup prefers the RV as well, particularly since the one time we left him in his crate outside our tent and some coyotes wandered into the area.  Hearing a coyote howl nearby as your poor pug whimpers just outside your tent? *shivers*  We threw open the tent flap and dragged the crate inside our tent, and then prayed the coyotes wouldn’t take that as an invitation to sniff around any closer.

ANYWAY.  Another benefit of camping with the ‘rents: awesome food. 

IMG_20120902_194738 IMG_20120902_195314


My dad doesn’t cook much, but he is the Grill Master when it comes to camping, while Mom handles the sides.

And while it sounds ridiculously simple, my favorite side dish from my mom is buttered potatoes.

Peeled potatoes, boiled ‘til tender, then tossed with probably way too much melted butter, salt & pepper.  Nothing else.  Simple and DELICIOUS.

For the ultimate in outdoor culinary elegance, must be served on a plastic tablecloth with Corelle place settings:


And only the most opulent of outdoor lighting schemes will suffice:

IMG_20120902_202124 Helllooooo citronella bucket.

These are some of my favorite meals, y’all.  I have so many wonderful memories wrapped up in the taste buds of my brain.  As a kid, we camped a LOT.  Probably at least once or twice a month when I was a kiddo.  So the smell of a fire or citronella, or the sight of a set of Corelle plates always takes my brain back to those times. 


So much so that the week after we got back, we tried to replicate the exact same meal at home: pork steak & butter potatoes.

delete 701 Unfortunately, my butter potatoes ended up more like “smashed potatoes” because I used red potatoes instead of regular ol’ russets.  But they still tasted delicious.

delete 700

Butter Potatoes: (makes four servings)

4-5 russet potatoes, peeled & quartered

1/2-1 stick of light butter (to taste)

salt & pepper (to taste)



Boil potatoes + 1 tsp salt for 30 minutes or until fork tender. Drain water, then add butter to pan and mix lightly to coat.  The exterior of the potatoes should be creamy, but don’t mash the pieces.  They’ll probably break up some as you stir—that’s okay.  Then add salt & pepper to taste.

Serve as a side with your favorite grilled foods.



Calories 330.0

  Total Fat 7.8 g

  Saturated Fat 2.4 g

  Polyunsaturated Fat 3.9 g

  Monounsaturated Fat 1.5 g

  Cholesterol 0.0 mg

  Sodium731.2 mg

  Potassium 1,560.2 mg

  Total Carbohydrate 64.8 g

  Dietary Fiber 8.3 g

  Sugars 2.9 g

  Protein 7.5 g


  1. Girl. We love the car camping as well. Hubs made me sleep in a tiny tent with only therma rests last time and I was peeeesssssdddd. Not the same as my enormous tent with an air mattress. God, we are not animals. Am I right?

    That food looks super yurm. One of these days I'm gonna cook something you put up here. I swear it.

    1. Totes right. I mean, roughing it when I was a rough 'n tumble 21 year old geology student at field camp was one thing...40 degree weather,huddled up in my 0-degree rated mummy bag on top of a 1 inch thick yoga mat...putting my clothes for the next day inside the bag with me around my feet so they could be warm when I put them on the next morning...

      ...Yeah. I don't camp like that anymore. On purpose. :)