Monday, February 27, 2012

Campfire Potatoes

Cooking baked potatoes in a campfire is a great way to have a hot nutritious main dish to eat when you are camping. Many people think it is hard to be cooking baked potatoes on a campfire and nothing could be further from the truth.

First, it is important to make sure you have a right type of potato, as some work better than others do. Russet potatoes and salt potatoes are two great ones to use camping.

You will also want to make sure the potatoes are of uniform size to ensure that they are all done around the same time. As we all know the size of the potatoes varies greatly within the package, and if this is the case for you, it is better to cut the potatoes in chunks and cook them that way.

First, I am going to tell you how to cook with chunks of potatoes and then I will tell you how to do the full potatoes. Both of these are the preparation stages to a great side dish or main meal at your outdoor excursion.

Get a bowl or pan, and cut the potatoes into roughly the same size pieces. Go ahead and chop any items you would like to add to your potatoes at this time. This can include chopped onions, bacon, or even cloves of garlic. Tear off a sheet of tinfoil, place a handful of your potatoes and your toppings on top of that tinfoil. The close that tinfoil up you can make this a ball, or even form a small package.

If you choose to use whole tubers, make sure to pierce the potato in a few different places to allow steam to escape. Get a sheet of tinfoil that is large enough, to cover the baked potato. Put your favorite toppings in there such as onions, bacon, garlic, or even some butter and close the tinfoil.

Now with either preparation method you have chosen it is time to begin cooking baked potatoes in the campfire. You do not want to put these directly within the flames, but you would put them at the edge of the fire by the hot coals. Allow them to cook at least an hour for the chunks of potatoes, or two or more hours for the whole potatoes.

You can also cook these potatoes in packets on the grill but putting them in the campfire makes them taste much better. You can be cooking these while your meat is also being done, this way you have a nice hot meal that is filling and satisfying.

You want to cook these potatoes, more than you usually would because while many of us are camping we use plastic silverware for convenience. You do not want to break the fork by trying to cut the potatoes, the cook them a few extra minutes before you enjoy your meal.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mountain Pies and Hobo Pies

Mountain Pies, also called hobo pies among other things, are a sure fire campfire hit. These mountain pies can be filled with many ingredients to be a main dish, a quick snack or even a scrumptious desert.

These are simply 2 pieces of buttered bread (white or wheat) which are filled and then grilled to perfection.
Every thing tastes better over a campfire so try these quick ideas on your next camping vacation.

Mountain or hobo pies are small hot pockets of bread that are cooked over a campfire. You can fill these with all sorts of good foodstuff. These have many names, and are made all over the world in different cultures, so you are sure to find your favorites.

There is various mountain pie makers which can be seen on Amazon if you have no clue what I am speaking of. Do your family a favor and purchase one of these for your next trip and your family will thank you repeatedly.

AppleJackMountain Pies
Please butter your bread and add in fresh slices of apples, apple pie filling, or even applesauce. Sprinkle on cinnamon, raisins and cook as directed.

Mixed berry hobo Pies
Once you bread is prepared and placed into the cooker, top it with your favorite berries which are in season. Sprinkle with sugar if you must, and cook as directed.

ChocolateRaspberryMountain Pies
Prepare your bread. Add in half a regular size Hershey's chocolate bar and a hand full of fresh picked raspberries. You could use white chocolate or special dark in this version. If raspberries are not to your liking try cherries, blueberries or your favorite type of berry.

Pizza hobo pies
If you wish to create a Pizza hobo version, prepare your bread and top with your favorite pizza sauce. Add in the sausage, pepperoni, cheese, or other ingredients and cook as directed. Do not over stuff your pie as the hot filling will run out and you may get burnt.

Meat and Cheese
If you have chunks of chicken, pork, beef or sausage left from summer, toss them on two pieces of bread. There is no better comfort food than a grilled ham and cheese, but in this twist, you can use chunks of ham or a variety of cheeses. Use you imagination and come up with something creative for your family.

Meat salad mountain pies
If you have tuna, chicken or ham salad you can create these sensations for your family. Take care not to over stuff the meat salad, as you would not want to risk a family member or friend being burnt.
Please all any of these mountain or hobo pies to cool down before they are eaten.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Camping Tips

Are you headed camping? Here are some tips for gathering wood, and other ideas for keeping entertained during a camping trip. Camping promotes teamwork and family togetherness and I highly recommend it.

Fix the fire before you go to sleep for the night with big logs which will slow burn during the night so there are plenty of coals in the morning.

Place all games in a plastic bag with pens so that you have pens to keep score.

 A tarp comes in vary handy in a campsite so purchase one for an awing, to cover excess belongings or even hang over tents, which may leak.

Use a tarp to cover wood, this prevents it from getting wet, yet it is easily lifted when wood is needed.

Camping is a wonderful way to relax over the summer, and it is one of the cheapest vacations around. You can camp at a public campground, private campground or even your own backyard.

Battery operated lights from the dollar store are a necessity in a camper or even a tent.

Grilled hotdogs were the name of the game and boy were they great. Grab some extender marshmallow poles from your favorite sporting goods or department store. They are great not only for grilling hotdogs over an open fire, but also for grilling marshmallows for your gram crackers and chocolate confections.

Extended grilling sticks make cooking hotdogs and marshmallows over a campfire safer.

Purchase a used camper. If you can afford one, for a few hundred dollars and it is in good shape, purchase it quickly to sleep in. Make any repairs before you head camping this way you are ready to enjoy camping when you head out.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Opening a Camper for the Season

How does one open the camper for the first glorious days of summer? Ray and I bought a camper last year at the end of the season, so this year will be our first real vacation in there. This list includes non-food items that you need to stock your camper with when you open it for the season.

Before we move in though we need to clean it up, and stock it before hand with some items. This makes other vacations less stressful. After the first time we visit, each other vacation will be less work.

You can go out and buy special dishes for camping vacations. However, I already have camping dishes from last year so I will just be packing them up so that we can take them to the camper and leave them for the summer.

I will need to buy more paper plates to fit in the wicker holders, but we have the cups and plastic covered dishes that I will just remove from the cupboard. I received new silverware over the wintertime so my old silverware can be taken up to the camp, and this way I do not have to use the dreaded plastic versions.

Rummage sales are a great place to get assorted dishes along with pots and pans for your vacation. I do not recommend cooking on a open fire with your good pans because the flames from the fire will turn your pots black quite easily.

Pick up a few cast-iron frying pans if you can get them and a couple of saucepans for side dishes. Leave these pans right at the campsite. This way they are always there for you and you do not have to cart them back and forth.

Every family that I know of has extra blankets within the household. If you have faded blankets that you would rather not use on your bed, take to the campsite. Store them in your camper, because on chilly summer nights these faded blankets will come in extremely handy.

You can also use these faded blankets, under your sleeping bag to provide actually comfort and warmth. These will also protect you from the dampness that comes up from the ground, if you or your children prefer to sleep out on the ground rather than the camper.

You can store these blankets in large containers that you keep in the camper or within the many storage places within the camper. It is always a good idea to stick a sheet of fabric softener in with the blankets before you store them for a day of any length of time to keep that freshness.

Miscellaneous items
Miscellaneous items to keep in your camper throughout the campaign season include fresh batteries of various sizes. This way you are covered all the time.

You will also want to include a first aid kit. You can buy one of the prepackaged ones, or put one together yourself. Make sure you include pain relievers, bandages, and some antibiotic ointment for the cuts and scrapes which always tend to happen.