There is a very distinct part of me that loves nothing more than feasting on processed hot dogs, cheap beer, and gas station donuts for days on end. "Days on end" being somewhere along the lines of 4-7 hours. As a child my tolerance was never ending- the more the better! Unfortunately that part of me seemed to fizzle out around the same time I stopped styling my hair with Elmer's glue (yes really). Although I guess I was more of a grumpy teenager than a child at that point. Either way.
Some of my lovelies and myself are planning a long weekend camping at Bay View State Park on Padilla Bay in just over a week. Aside from the hot dogs that we'll consume for nostalgia's sake (and also because they're totally delicious- don't deny it), I'm hoping to do as much creative campfire cooking as patience will allow. And don't worry- Amy dubbed me "Two Match Mielke" a few years back- so I have minimal worries about a troop of halfway-city-girls trying to cook over hot coals. We'll be just fine. I'm going into this knowing that sturdy aluminum foil and a good pair of long-handled tongs are going to be our best friends- I have a ridiculous amount of faith in our ability to pull this off. Ridiculous!
Pizza: I have been anxiously awaiting my chance to grill pizzas. I know that this was trendy ohhhhh two years ago- but since when am I that cool? I live in an apartment in the city- we had never had a patio until this year, so really I don't feel so bad about it. Plus- there is something so much more magical about every type of food when you are lacking walls and running water. Serious Eats has a good guide to the basics- although they are using a less temperamental charcoal or gas grill- we'll be using wood. I think with a few packages of Trader Joe's dough, a lot of patience, and some basic toppings we'll be eating something that at least resembles pizza. Maybe.
Potatoes: You can go the easy route- just throw them in the fire and let them do their thing (poke a few holes first), or you can go the "fancy" route: Slice the potatoes almost all the way through- leaving the skin on the bottom half intact. Put a thin slice of onion between each section of potato. Top with butter and herbs, then wrap in foil and place in the coals. Cooking time depends on the size of your potatoes- test with a fork, and pull them out once tender.
Eggs: I have been struggling to figure out the best way to cook eggs in an aluminum foil packet without making a huge mess. Then (no joke) I landed on an article put together by The Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. Who are apparently all a bunch of little friggin' geniuses. Hash browns! You make a "nest" of hash browns, veggies, and sausage, then dump eggs into your little nest, so they don't go running all over the place. Seal that sucker up and cook it for 5-10 minutes. They are so smart.
Seafood: Yes, really. First of all- prawns are the perfect candidate for kabobs- which are in turn perfect for grilling. Salmon (skin on) cooks up quickly and easily wrapped in aluminum foil. Mussels, clams, and scallops are easy to cook in foil as well- with a little red wine they'll be perfectly steamed and wonderful. Unfortunately the area that we're going to doesn't permit clam digging, but we're lucky to have great access to fresh seafood regardless.
Campfire cakes: How did I not know about this before? You dump cake batter into a hollowed out orange, put the top back on, wrap it in aluminum foil, and stick it in the fire for 5-10 minutes- and you have fresh, hot, beautifully orange infused cake. Bread and Honey blogs about her experience here. I would personally lean more towards a vegan cake recipe- my favorite being this. I'd suggest mixing all of your wet and all of your dry together beforehand- then combining them once you're ready to make these.
Cinnamon rolls: These can actually be done in the exact same manner as your cake- or you can wrap them individually in foil. Just use good ol' crappy store bought biscuit or croissant dough, and wrap them up with lots of butter and cinnamon sugar. You can of course just use the straight-up cinnamon rolls out of a can- but it takes a little of the fun out of it.
The two most important aspects in all of this- are the ability to keep food chilled until cooked, and the patience to allow your food to cook thoroughly before eating. Taking along an old pot from the thrift store isn't a bad idea either- especially if cooking in aluminum foil feels like too much of a hassle. I'd also suggest practicing general fire safety guidelines as to avoid any unnecessary incidents (such lighting your pants on fire- as I learned at 4-H Camp).
What are your favorite campfire foods?
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