The Wright side of life: Posh camping and a food festival

Karen Wright writes:

Thursday, 18th July 2019, 9:50 pm
Karen enjoying her caravan stay

“You cannot be serious!” I always think of that phrase when Wimbledon is on. I was a teenager when John McEnroe was playing the naughty boy of tennis back in the 1970s. Before that I remember coming in from playing a game, my opponent being the wall, and the screen of our black and white telly blinking and rolling around. My Dad would say “it’s the tube” and bash the top of the telly with his hand to try to get the picture stable enough to enjoy the match.

Rod Laver, Mrs King, Ann Jones, Nasty Nastase, Arthur Ashe, a few of the tennis players I can remember. Decades later I still like to watch, probably the only sport I sort of understand the rules of.

I watched the men’s final from the comfort of a rather large and comfortable six berth caravan. We are testing it out for the manufacturer, Baileys of Bristol. It is a strange feeling to be one of the swanky pants campers, our own caravan is about 18 years old. We are staying on a site a very short stroll away from Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. John has just been for a cycle to locate the church where he is buried so this afternoon we will be paying a call on him and to the palace.

Karen at the Foodies Festival

I was at home until Thursday and I was prepping for this trip away which includes a booking for me at Tatton Park Foodies Festival. On top of that I decided our kitchen needs a bit of an upgrade, as come autumn I may well be offering workshops for small groups Chez Moi so it needs tidying up. We drove down to this campsite on Thursday, I had Friday to make the “one I made earlier” and on Saturday we were away up to Cheshire for my appearance at the Foodies Festival. Honestly, it was so much fun. For me anyway but judging from the audience they were having a good laugh too. I don’t set out to be funny, must be the way I tell em!

Part of my duties on this trip are to show how easy it is to cook and make interesting and scrumptious food in a caravan or motorhome. We have had chicken in white wine and mushroom sauce with a cherry clafoutis for pudding, a barbecue with sides of stuffed peppers and potatoes cooked in a Dutch oven in the embers. A Dutch oven is just a cast iron pan with a lid. On Saturday I used a sheet of shop bought puff pastry and made a quick cheesy tart. Yesterday I did a meatloaf with an ‘eat up your greens’ side dish and a rhubarb Bakewell tart. It’s all well and good cooking and I do love it but I am so looking forward to Wednesday when the fish and chip van visits the site!

This is how I made the peppers:

Make some couscous as directed on the packet and mix through any herbs or spices you fancy, I used smoked paprika and oregano

Karen's recipe for stuffed peppers

Dice up an onion and a couple of large mushrooms, lightly fry off in chilli or garlic oil then add to the couscous

Cook some lardons or just add more veg instead for a veggie option and add to the couscous

Stir through a bit of tomato puree then season to taste

Hollow out the peppers (or beef tomatoes if you prefer) and pack the mixture in

Top with slices of cheese and put the lids on

Bake either in a regular oven or as above on the barbecue, time varies, I go on the look and smell, when they are softened and squidgy they’re done

Until next week, hasta la vista!

For more tips and recipes go to my website