Homemade fire starters

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In two more sleeps (yes, I’m almost as excited as my four year old), we’re embarking on our second family camping trip, but what I lack in camping experience I make up for in fire starting, which, I hope you’ll agree, is an integral part of a camping holiday. For me, it’s all about the bbq-ing, toasting marshmallows and singing around the camp fire, wrapped in cosy blankets with your nearest and dearest. On removal of the rose tinted glasses, this is, of course, all dependent on the Great British weather not putting a dampener on things, however these nifty little fire starters will definitely get things hotting up.

You’ll simply need a cardboard egg box, enough lint from the dryer to put in each egg compartment and a couple of candles.

Share the lint out between the egg cavities.

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Cut up the candles into little pieces, put in an old container you don’t mind throwing away afterwards, set it in a shallow pan of water and simmer until the wax has melted.

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Pour over the lint and leave to set. Once you’re ready to start a fire, tear a couple off and use them along with your kindling before adding coals/wood. Viola! Easy, cheap and effective!

Smoked bacon and pancake dippers

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Oftentimes I dream food. I’m sure I can taste in my sleep. Occasionally whatever I was dreaming about cooking tastes so good in the dream I have to make it for real. This was one of those times.

I awoke from my slumber thinking I had come up with the most amazing amalgamation of two world renowned breakfast staples, so was slightly disappointed when I looked online and realised that actually my American brothers and sisters cottoned on to this phenomenon a long time ago!

Crispy smoked bacon encased in fluffy American style pancake batter, sprinkled with icing sugar and dunked in maple syrup. OMGOSH, heaven on a plate. I was trying to wait until our upcoming camping trip before making these, but caved when I decided to make the batter ahead of time and freeze it ready to take with us on our jollies.

Firstly, whip up a batch of your favourite American pancake batter.  My go to recipe is here. If you’re using it right away pop it in a piping bag, or a condiment bottle as it makes it easy to shape when cooking it.

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Grill some smoked streaky bacon until crisp. Then set it aside on some kitchen roll to absorb the excess fat.

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Pipe long oval shapes in a greased frying pan, top with a piece of bacon and then cover the bacon in another thin layer of batter.

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Cook over a low/medium heat until bubbles appear in the batter then flip over and cook the other side.

To serve sprinkle with icing sugar, and dip in warmed maple syrup.

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Divine!

I tripled the recipe on the link, poured the rest into a zip lock bag and will freeze it to take with us. If you lie it flat in the freezer it makes it easier to transport as it will stand up in the cooler and there will be lots of space for other meals too. Also, the bag will double as a piping bag when you come to cooking it.

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