We survived! (Country Thunder AZ that is)
The last few weeks have been dedicated to Country Thunder preparations and having a blast with my hubby and close friends. Preparations for this mega event each year is always time consuming for me. I am always in charge of the camp site, including meals, camping supplies, and making sure all the newbies truly know what they are in for.
We spend about five (drunken) days in the desert with no electricity, water, etc. I LOVE it! But I know it can be pretty stressful for others who don’t enjoy the prep work as much as I do. The food is the most important aspect to me. I meal plan, prep food ahead of time, freeze as much as a can, and pack the coolers strategically. The best solution I have found for feeling the food cold for five days is by layering the bottom of the cooler with block ice, adding a layer of the frozen food, and then everything else on top. I kept a separate cooler for items that did not need to be cold but could not get too hot, such as cookies, muffins, bins ,etc. I had a frozen gallon of water in the cooler which was enough to keep everything cool throughout the weekend.
Another awesome trick I discovered this year is aluminum Dutch Oven liners! These beauties saved a lot of time because I was able to make meals ahead of time, freeze them, and all I would have to do is defrost the meal and throw it in the Dutch oven. When dinner was complete, I could simply remove the liner and the oven was still clean! No scrubbing!
Here was my extensive meal plan (for 7 people):
Day One: Dinner Only – Sausage and Potatoes
Day Two: Breakfast – Breakfast burritos, Lunch – Burgers, dogs, and sides (pasta salad, chips, beans, etc.), Dinner – Chili & cornbread
Day Three: Breakfast – Breakfast casserole, Lunch – Burrito Bowls, Dinner – Chicken, steak, & veggie kabobs
Day Four: Breakfast – Breakfast burritos, Lunch – Buffalo Chicken Salad Wraps, Dinner – Green chile chicken enchiladas
Day Five: Breakfast – Crunchy Eggs, Lunch – Burgers, dogs, and sides, Dinner – BBQ chicken and potatoes
Other food, snacks, and desserts: cereal/protein bars, muffins, fruit, coffee (& creamer), tea & cocoa, chips & dips, cookies, snack mixes, etc.
Everyone raved about the food, which is my favorite part about hosting. The appreciation makes all the hard work worth it!
Interested in my personal packing list? Click here! (This list does not include the camping and cooking supplies)
So Country Thunder is a drunken, crazy time. However, I am so thankful that it has become a place for my husband and I to reconnect. We get to leave the worries of the real world behind for a little bit and fall in love all over again. I am blessed to spend the time with him, no matter how crazy it may get!