Monday, December 17, 2018

A Camping Christmas | Cooking Guide

Tis the season for cooking, spending time with family and friends, and good, quality camping. While good, quality camping and company can be found at Ocean Lakes, there is still the food to think about. Today, we are giving you the perfect cooking guide when camping during the holiday season. 

First, let's take a look at the menu: Fried Turkey, Sweet Potato Souffle, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Hot Wassail.

Sounds delicious, right? Well, let's get started!

Prep Work

Make a checklist to stay organized and ensure that you have everything you need.
  • Grocery Shopping (Each recipe below will include all ingredients needed)
  • Propane (Stop by the Main Office and have it delivered to your site)
  • Dispose of used Cooking Oil at the Meet n' Eat 
  • Turkey Fryer/Dutch Oven/Grill/Fire Pit
Once you have more of an idea of what needs to get done, it gets much easier to accomplish tasks.

Meal Prep | Fried Turkey

Holiday Turkey Rub:
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Thyme
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Rosemary
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Sage
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 14-16 Pound Turkey - Rinsed, Patted Dry Inside and Outside (Neck, Heart, and Gizzard Removed)
  • Salt and Pepper 
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Into The Fryer:
  • Tip - Do not use too much oil. If oil overflows, you have the potential for an oil fire. Most turkey fryers will have an oil line to save you the trouble, but when in doubt, put your turkey in the fryer, fill with water until the turkey is covered, take the turkey out, and mark the water line. 
  • If you need propane, stop by the Main Office and you can have it delivered to your site. 
  • Once the flame is on, keep an eye on the turkey and the temperature. If the oil starts smoking, turn down the heat. We recommend cooking the turkey steadily at 350 degrees. 
  • After lowering the turkey slowly into the oil and pay close attention.
  • A good deep fried turkey typically takes about three minutes per pound to cook.
  • When it is done cooking, use a metal hanger to lift it out and place it on a pan. 
  • Let the oil cool down and dispose of it by taking the used cooking oil to the Meet n' Eat where they will have it recycled.
Meal Prep | Sweet Potato Souffle

  • 3 Pounds Sweet Potatoes - Peeled and Cubed
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • 1 Can Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Eggs, Beaten
  • 1 Cup Chopped, Roasted, Salted Pecans
  • 1/2 Cup Mini Marshmallows
  • 1/2 Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut
Into the Dutch Oven:
  1. Fire up the grill to 350 degrees or get the fire pit going good. Butter the bottom of the Dutch Oven and set aside.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes to a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil on the grill or over the fire pit. Reduce heat and let simmer until sweet potatoes are tender. Drain once tender.
  3. Mash the sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add the evaporated milk, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, beaten eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix together until smooth. Pour mixture into the Dutch Oven. Cook for 25 minutes.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, toss together the pecans, marshmallows, and coconut. Remove the Dutch Oven from grill or fire pit once finished cooking. Top it with the mixture and place back on the grill or over fire pit until marshmallows are lightly toasted. 
Meal Prep | Chocolate Chip Cookies

It is Christmas time and this part can include help, so grab the kiddos and make some fun, family memories!

  • 1 1/2 Cups Butter, Softened
  • 1 1/4 Cups Sugar
  • 1 1/4 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs, Beaten
  • 4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • Red and Green Sprinkles or Red and Green M&Ms
Onto the Baking Pan:
  1. Heat grill to 350 degrees or heat up the fire pit. Mix the butter, sugar, vanilla, and beaten eggs in a large mixing bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips.
  2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto greased baking pan.
  3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool. Spread the sprinkles or M&Ms onto the cookies.
Meal Prep | Hot Wassail

  • 2 Apples
  • 8 Cups Apple Cider
  • 2 Cups Orange Juice
  • 1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 4 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 15 Whole Cloves or 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar
Into the Mug:
  1. Poke the whole cloves into the apples on all sides.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large pot over medium, low heat. Place the pot onto the grill or over a fire pit
  3. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. Remove the apples and whole cloves. Ladle into mugs and enjoy!
Memories That Last A Lifetime

Just imagine a relaxing walk down the beach followed by frying a turkey and making Sweet Potato Souffle with Christmas music playing. Then, let the Hot Wassail smell up your camper like a candle and warm your insides while you sip it sitting by a fire pit with fresh chocolate chip cookies. 

Load up the camper, grab the decorations, and head to Ocean Lakes for the holidays! 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at Ocean Lakes Family Campground!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

21 Years of the Sandy OLFC Christmas Card

This Christmas marks twenty-one years that Ocean Lakes Family Campground has issued a Christmas Card featuring Sandy Starfish. It all started in 1997 and creatively grew under the supervision of Barb Krumm, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations.

Follow along this week as we take you back in time to revisit all of the Sandy Starfish Christmas Cards!

A Sleigh Ride Through Sandy’s Past

We ended 1997 with Sandy sending her warmest wishes for a five-star holiday!

In 1998, Sandy Starfish decorated the Christmas Tree with guests as the “star” at the top of the Christmas tree.

Sandy did flips on the beach to kick-off into the millennium!

Sandy and our Snowman friend sent their warmest holiday wishes in 2000!

Sandy and friends sang their hearts out for the 2001 Christmas Card!

We splashed into Sandy Harbor in 2002!

Sandy Starfish and Ocean Lakes Golf Cars teamed up to spread holiday cheer in 2003!

2004 was a special Christmas Card as all Sandy’s came together for a unique Christmas Tree design!

We saw two very familiar characters in our 2005 and 2006 Christmas Cards. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson joined Sandy and friends to send holiday cheer to guests!

No better way to spend Christmas in 2007 than by lounging in the sun with Sandy, Santa, and Reindeer in Ocean Lakes!

Ocean Lakes was honored with the National RV Park of the Year Award in 2008!

In 2009, we celebrated the twelve days of Christmas through our iCare Program!

2010 was a BIG year for Ocean Lakes – We celebrated our 40th anniversary!

We got creative in 2011 and our Christmas Card doubled as a Christmas Ornament!


We kept our Christmas Card simple in 2012 and celebrated the beach!

Sandy got a little tangled in the Christmas lights in 2013! Oh, Sandy!

Ocean Lakes sent “Sea Sand Greetings” from your home away from home!

Construction began on the Sandy Harbor Water Park in 2015, so naturally all we wanted for Christmas that year was a new Water Park!

Ocean Lakes, as well as all of our guests, received their wish in 2016 - We opened the doors on the new Sandy Harbor Water Park!

In 2017, we graciously accepted the Mega Park of the Year Award for the 6th time!

And finally, our 2018 Christmas Card incorporated Sandy, Santa, and the Polar Beach! Our 18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge is on December 31st, New Year’s Eve! We hope to see you all at Ocean Lakes for this special event. After all, there’s snow place like Ocean Lakes.

Ocean Lakes Spreading Holiday Cheer 

Barb’s goal was to animate Sandy Starfish and bring the Ocean Lakes mascot to life. For  each event, holiday, departments, seasons, and activities in the campground, there is a Sandy. 

When Barb first started, she took the idea of "Disney-izing Sandy" to Lance Thompson, Ocean Lakes' VP/General Manager. He loved the idea and challenged her to go for it, all while keeping the Ocean Lakes Sandy at the heart of her project. 

20 years later and many Sandy sketches later, Ocean Lakes has a library full of creative Sandy Starfish. Our artist, Ron Zwing, has worked with Barb to draw and illustrate each of these, and continues to add to the collection. 

Through this ongoing project, the Sandy Christmas Card has become a must each year! We hope to send some Christmas cheer and a friendly reminder of everyone's home away from home during this time of year. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Ocean Lakes Family Campground!