The annual Bundaberg Four Wheel Drive Club Camp Cooking Competition, ’Christmas in July’ weekend, was recently held at the club's camping grounds at a private property on the banks of the Kolan River, about an hour north of Bundaberg.
What started as a Camp Oven Cooking competition in 2001 has evolved into an any style of camp cooking. Over the year’s meals have been cooked by various means.
Hay boxes, bell ovens, fry pans, caravan ovens, thermo cookers and the trusty camp oven have been used to serve up some quality meals, and some not so good and would be best forgotten, but that’s camp cooking for you.
Rules for the competition were that the meal had to be prepared and cooked at the camp. Mains and desserts were able to be presented to the group for judging.
Our feast included some dishes with not so run-of-the-mill names, and crowd favorites to make the judging even more interesting.
Dishes included “Kathy’s Chicken Stir Fry and Rice”, “Two Cows”, “Beef and Booze”, “Brads Fried Chicken”, “Chicken Carbonara”, “Chicken Corn Bacon Chowder”, “Braised Beef Shiraz”, “Rocket Rods Rissoles”, “BBQ Pulled Pork”, “Nachos and Damper”, and deserts such as “Caramel Cheesecake’, “Golden Syrup Steamed Pudding”, “Strawberries A La Cointreau and Creme” and “Passionfruit Custard Slice”.
The variety would put some top-class restaurants to shame and all were in the running.
All meals were served to members in attendance and a ballot taken.
After much sampling of the dishes, the winning offering was Jan Van Wyk’s “Oxtail Stew”, which sat over the smoldering charcoal embers in a Potjie, a South African 3 leg cast iron pot, all day.
You would have thought sheep stations were up for grabs, but alas, it was only some 4WDing merchandise.
For Jan’s effort as overall winner his name will adorn the perpetual trophy that has been handed down since the competition’s inception.
Not all weekend was spent around the fire feasting.
Setting up our firefighting/wood trailer and adding some finishing touches to the campground filled in the weekend, with a game of Trivia on the agenda before the cooking started, and plenty of discussion on some of the answers.
Members joined in with the “Christmas in July” theme and decorated the campsites and themselves to get into the spirit.
Trips to these special, isolated, spots are one of the benefits of being a member of our club. Not to mention the fun and varied activities we participate in.
Brad Praed, Bundaberg 4WD Club Inc
- Other news: 4WD Club members gear up for fire season