Thursday, 6 September 2012

Camping is so much better with Fondue

We did a lot of camping while we were away, so now we are back we want to keep this up and make the most of the patchy summer weather.  We took a trip north of Harrogate up to Leyburn and set up camp for the evening in a lovely garden camping field. It was quiet and we had our own picnic bench and private garden complete with stream at the gorgeous Craken House which lies about a mile out of Leyburn, Wensleydale. There were a handful of caravans on the further paddocks, but we were the only tent. The campsite overlooks Middleham and the scenery is gorgeous. Facilities there are basic but clean and tidy and although the driveway up to the house is a little confusing, the neighbours pointed us in the right direction :) Camping cost 10 pounds: one night for two people and a car.

So, once we had unpacked the boot and backseats of the car which had been filled with duvets, pillows, walking boots and a hamper of food, we set up the gas stove and started to cook our Swiss cheese fondue!

Swiss Cheese Fondue

450g Emmental Cheese
450g Swiss Gruyere Cheese
One quarter of a bottle of dry white wine
1 tbsp cornflour
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 juice of one lemon


1. Mix the cheese and cornflour in a bowl (or bag if you are taking the ingredients camping).
2. Pour the wine and lemon juice into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the crushed garlic. You can add a few sprigs of thyme or cloves at this point, too.
3. Slowly add the cheese mixture a handful at a time, stirring lightly until all the cheese has melted.
4. Season to taste

The beauty of eating fondue while camping is that you can put the cheese in one pot and take blanched crudities and crusty bread along with you. It might be worth trying this with some Wensleydale cheese! Whatever cheese you choose, this makes a lovely comforting one pot meal which is very simple to make and involves very little washing up. This is a good thing as we always, always forget our washing up stuff! We also took a bottle of ale and enjoyed the rest of the wine to wash it all down. The alcohol definitely helps you wind down and keeps you warm during the night! Although you shouldn't really be able to taste the alcohol in the fondue, be careful to cook off your wine for long enough to release most of the alcohol before adding the cheese! You need to keep the cheese loose by maintaining the heat beneath the pan so make sure you have lots of gas for your stove! The heat from the pan also acts as a lovely warm fire!

We packed everything up and had a little walk through the sheep fields, all of them looked at us suspiciously (probably because we smelled of garlic, cheese and wine).

The next morning we drove up to Aysgarth Falls, the setting for the very wet Kevin Costner fight scene in 'Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves'. We enjoyed the shorter walking trail along the riverside including the upper, middle and lower falls and delighted in exploring our dearly missed English countryside!

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