Cooking outdoors is special.
Specially frustrating and specially annoying!
But also, specially good.
No-one knows why greasy fingerprints on the plate of beans you dropped on the floor doesn’t send you into a spasm.
No-one can explain why finding the lamb you cooked to perfection has less flesh than Tutankhamen’s mummy doesn’t make you despair.
Truth is – it doesn’t.
The key is, it’s not the same as it is at home.
(At least, we hope not).
All part of The Dome Garden adventure.
‘local provenance’ that's what it's all about - or so they say.
‘They’ being the TV gurus we all love to hate.
It means if you’ve collected the logs, lit the fire and rolled out the pasta you’ve woven yourself, you can have a great big, organic, pat on the back.
But don’t go spoiling it with New Zealand butter… or Argentine beef… (or Peking Duck?!?)
To help, there's your own forest kitchen beside each dome, complete with everything you need to make your own top notch nosh - from pots and pans to last lickers and garlic squishers.
And to cook on? My own handy gas ring?
NO CHANCE. We laugh in the face of modern sophistication and the gas known as Calor. We gasp at the ineptitude of the Open Fire - complete with its pot cranes and cast iron trivets.
These days the gliterrati of the glamping fraternity are kitted out with the latest in Forest cooking chic - a rocket stove and hot box - a kind of Forest Aga. Now it's a synch to conjure up a family feast and flex your credentials as a campfire cognoscenti
(or as some have done - resort to impressions of F-word supremo Chef Ramsay).
Success here needs a small serving of the two p's - practise and perserverance - so our best advice is 'start simple'. Maybe pot noodles or a pot of tea - before moving on to a side of spicy morroccan lamb with fruity couscous.
If talk of tripods and trivets is all Double Dutch ovens to you then take heart. This is the lingua franca of the budding barbeque chef and given a little practice you’ll be speaking it fluently boiling, baking and burying to your stomach’s content.
Either that or you’ll go home several pounds lighter.
So, to help with your first stumbling phrases, the lovely people at Cool Camping have produced a fantastic book on the delights of outdoor cookery.
We’re not trying to butter up their crumpets but it might give you a few ideas for how to sustain yourselves during your visit.
You can borrow our copy or buy your own grease-free one from the aforementioned Handee Shoppee.
Of course if all this goes horribly wrong (more likely - when!) it’s handy to know you can sign up for the Breakfast option too. Maybe just once during your stay it would be nice not to burn your fingers on the charcoaled remains of your once beautiful organic leek and chilli sausages
You only get really good pizzas from really hot ovens – far hotter than your average oven – and that only happens in a woodfired oven.
Of course, being the dome garden ours is in he shape of a – err cube.
Just kidding it’s a dome.
Add to that the best pizza recipe on the planet – thanks to yet another TV chef (what is it with these guys?) – and you’ve got the best pizza between here and Napoli.
And even if it isn’t - you’ll think it is!
That’s the magic of the Dome Garden (Whooohooh!!)