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Everyone from God on down knows that things taste better when cooked over an open fire.

My wife and I love cooking outdoors, mostly because of our long backpacking history. It's hard to imagine taking an RV out on the road without looking forward to some tasty homemade camp meals. We also know that just because you cook outdoors doesn't mean that you can't have great meals. Forget the peanut butter sandwiches roasted hot dogs - how does a delicious camp stew with meat, carrots, potatoes, onions and dumplings sound?

The following recipes were all selected because in general they are quick and easy to make, don't require special ingredients, and really taste good in a camping environment. With some exceptions, most of the ingredients can be found at a local grocery or supermarket.

A few of the recipes, like the chorizo and eggs, do violate the special ingredients rule in that you have to search for a good Mexican food store to get authentic chorizo, but they are such tasty camping treats that we feel going out of the way for those items is well worth it.

We carry a flat electric griddle with us when we camp. This is really great for many meals and doesn't take up a lot of space. It's hard to imagine living without it, and while it's not quite the same as cooking over an open fire, it is heads down better than using the stove.

Click on any of the links below to see the recipes.

A lot of the recipes haven't been posted yet, and a few that are are not quite finished. I promise I will complete this page soon, so if you want to be notified when they are complete just give us your contact info and we will be glad to shoot you an update.

Have a recipe that you want to share with others? Click here to send us the details, and if we publish it we will be glad to give you credit.

By the way, here is an unusual cookbook I found during our trip to the Canadian Maritimes. If you are into trying different things, you can get "The Traditional Newfoundland Kitchen cookbook on Amazon. Some of the recipes may use ingredients hard to find outside of northeast Canada, but many others like Rabbit Pie are sure to make your next dinner party a lot more interesting!

click to enlarge

If you have favourite recipes of your own, please let us know. The only rules are they (a) should not be complicated, and (b) should not require ingredients that aren't easy to find.

Chorizo and eggs

This is a delicious and hearty breakfast food. Chorizo is a pork sausage found in many Spanish countries as well as Europe. It can be found in almost any supermarket. We have tried several brands but we find that the Ole Mexican Foods brand is best; you may have to go to a Mexican food store to find this particular one.

The following ingredients are for a single serving. Multiply as appropriate for more people.

  • Chorizo sausage - 1 link; keep frozen until ready to use
  • Eggs - 2 large, scrambled
  • Flour tortilla - 1 large
  • Salsa, if desired. Either hot or mild. Mango salsa is mild and quite tasty.

Chorizo and eggs are easy to make. Simply thaw out the sausage [nuke for 45 sec], smash it up and fry it in a skillet pan. When it gets hot, mix in the scrambled eggs and stir. Cook a little longer until the eggs are done, mixing all the while.

At the same time, heat the tortilla in another pan until brown spots begin to appear. Don't allow them to harden or they won't fold. Put a hot tortilla on a plate and add a heap of the chorizo and eggs. Fold the tortilla into a roll by folding opposite ends over the edges of the chorizo and then making the roll in the opposite direction. This makes little "diapers" on the ends which keep things from running out, especially salsa.

We find it best to make and serve one at a time. You won't like them if they get cold. However, you can make up the entire chorizo and egg mixture first and then heat the tortillas one at a time.

Hotdogs and Hamburgers

Hotdogs and hamburgers are always best cooked on a grill, and ground steak is superior to ground beef, although a bit more expensive.

We like to make hamburger by mixing the meat into a large bowl with chopped up garlic and onions. If you don't have fresh garlic then garlic powder (not garlic) salt will do fine. Adding a little A-1 sauce gives a nice smoky flavor, but soy sauce will do in a pinch. Hand-knead the mixture until the ingredients are thoroughly worked in.

We like fat hamburgers but make them as you wish. Mold them into shape with your hands by playing patty cake, pating them back and forth and squeezing each time. They should be tight enough so as to not fall apart on the grill.

Here's an easy way to peel garlic cloves. Lay the clove on something hard like a cutting board or a counter top and smash it with the side of a cleaver. The skins can then be easily separated. Be sure not to damage the counter!

Some folks like just plain hot dogs, but most like to add some "fixins" like mustard, ketchup and/or relish. I am personally a purist in insisting that only French's yellow mustard will do. You may also find that tasting the buns makes hot dogs better.

We also enjoy toppers like onions, chili or cole slaw. The cans of Hormel chili without beans is pretty good for hot dogs; serve it hot. One of my goals in life is to find or make a chili comparable to the chili dogs found at the Varsity restaurant in Atlanta GA, which so far I have been unable to do.

Here is a good hot dog chili recipe:

-- recipe

Regarding cole slaw, if you happen to be near a Publix supermarket, in the vegatable section cooler they have a brocolli cole slaw that is delicious. If you want to make your own cole slaw, here is a recipe:

-- recipe


Sliders are basically mini-hamburgers, usually made into small squares about 2x2 inches and placed into a soft bun. The term has come to refer to any small sandwich made with a bun, but purists will always think of it as the little burgers found at Krystals and White Castles.

I still have fond memories of when my mom used to take me to downtown Atlanta, where we would inevitably wind up at the Krystal. I remember how proud I was of myself being able to down five or six of the mini-burgers, although I can now easily consume a dozen. Not long ago I swore to either find a recipe that approximated the little Krystal burgers or I would give it a try myself. It turns out that such recipes now abound and some are pretty good. However, I've never found any that do justice to the Krystal, so I made some tweaks. Following is the result.

Note that, like lobster rolls, Krystal-like sliders depend on the bread used for the roll. I still haven't found anything that lives up to Krystal standards, but a good bakery potato roll seems to suffice.

2 lb ground beef
1 sm onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp beef bullion or beef broth
1 Tbls Worcestershire sauce
2-3 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup water
2 pkg 12-count dinner rolls or potato rolls
1 pickle, dill or kosher
whatever cheese you prefer (optional)
French's mustard

Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Cover a baking pan with diced onions. Place the ground beef, water, bullion, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly. Spread the meat mixture on top of the onions until it fills the pan. Partition the mixture into 2x2 inch squares; a pizza cutter works well for this. Punch a hole in the middle of each square to allow steam to escape. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

When done, drain liquids from the pan. Serve on mini-buns with a slice of pickle. Cheese and mustard make nice additions -- and it has to be French's!



Naan bread, toasted on grill
lamb, marinated and grilled
black pepper
tomatoes, cubed
onions, sliced
lettuce, chopped

Lobster Rolls

If you camp in New England do not fail to try the lobster rolls. They are something quite special. In parts of Massachusetts and especially in Cape Cod, lobster roll stands can be easily found. These lobster rolls are special because New England lobsters are normally fresh and tasty. Also, the bread they use\ for the rolls can't be duplicated.

Lobsters are best when they haven't been out of the water for long. Even if kept in tanks, they start losing their taste the longer they have been out of their natural habitat.

And don't let anyone tell you that larger or older lobsters don't taste as good as the younger and smaller ones - it simply isn't true. I remember camping on the shores of Cape Cod and meeting the lobster boats when they came in. We bought an 18 pound lobster and took it back to the campsite, where we proceeded to cook it in the lobster pot we brought with us. It was absolutely great, and was enough to feed four people with leftovers to spare. Even the local cats ate so much they got sick!

As an aside, I personally believe that New England lobsters are better than those we found in Canada. I don't know why.

-- how to cook lobster
-- lobster roll recipe

Pruchitto sandwich

Favorite bread: white, wheat, sourdough, etc
Pruchitto ham, thinly sliced
Mozzarella cheese, freshly made
Vidallia or white onion, thinly sliced
Vine ripe tomatoes
Black pepper

This is one of my all-time favorite lunch sandwiches. Make like you would any other sandwich; the secret is fresh ingredients. Try to find home-made mozzarella if possible, likely at an Italian deli. And you can be sure it won't taste the same without a fresh vine tomato; typical grocery store varieties just won't do. Thanks to an old friend Mike James for this recipe from a long time ago.

Sourdough sandwich

Thanks to Maria Trenor for this. She likes to grill two slices of sourdough bread, with cheese, horseradish and a ripe tomato in the middle. Season with pepper, may and/or mustard to taste. Turn often and press with a spatula.

Sourdough bread slices
Cheese, with horseradish if possible
Horseradish, if above cheese cannot be found
Vine ripe tomato
Black pepper
Mayo and/or mustard

Authentic Mexican tacos

Lest you think I might be referring to the cardboard-esque Old El Paso taco kit that comes in a box, let me assure you that is not the case. Unless you have ever had authentic Mexican style tacos, you haven't had tacos. Many Mexican restaurants in America don't do them justice either. You are much more likely to find authentic tacos in the little road side stands you tend to find in the southwest and south Florida, especially if there is a big crowd standing around. If you have ever gotten a taco in Mexico then you know that the crap you typically find in the US are poor substitutes.

The following recipe uses the small corn tortillas which you can find in any Mexican food store. Don't even think about using flour tortillas . If you're going somewhere where you don't think they might be available, get them beforehand; they will keep a long time. We also show how to make your own tortillas if you prefer.

The recipes for steak and chicken tacos are slightly different. Notice that the ingredients lists do not contain "typical" things like lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream or shredded cheese, although salads can be served along with the tacos. Mexican tacos are never spicy, although you can add your own hot stuff if you prefer.

The following recipes should feed a group of four:

Homemade tortillas

4 cups masa flour
2 cups warm water
1 t salt

To make the tortillas, combine the flour, water and salt and thoroughly mix. Cover and set aside for 1-015 minutes. Them make into small balls about 1-1/2 in. diameter and flatten with a rolling pin. You can buy a tortilla press that makes this easy. Cook over medium heat (not too hot) with a tsp or two of oil, until they start to brown. Remove and keep warm.

Steak tacos

2 lbs thinly sliced steak (rib eye, top sirloin or skirt or flank steak; not hamburger), pork, Chorizo (Spanish sausage)
3 T vegatable oil
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 t ground cumin
1 t chili powder
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 lime, sliced
1 cup salsa (red or green)

Put some vegetable oil in a medium-to-hot skillet, and add the meat when the oil is hot. Brown for a couple minutes. If you're cooking steak and chorizo, wait until the steak is done and cook the chorizo in the same skillet with the steak juices. When the meat is almost done, add in the onions, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, and cook about 5 more minutes.

Chicken tacos

1 whole chicken, chopped
3 T vegatable oil
2 c chicken stock
4 tomatillos
1 chipotle pepper
8 garlic cloves
1 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
4 whole jalapeno peppers
1 cup white onion, diced
1 dozen corn tortillas
salt and pepper to taste
1 lime, sliced
1 cup salsa (red or green)

While the meat is cooking, warm the tortillas in another skillet or on an open grill. Wrap in a towel or moist paper towels when done. After the meat is done, chop into small pieces and place on a warm tortilla. Top with chopped onion and cilantro.

Click here for a good variation on the theme.

Click here for a treatise on the difference between American and authentic Mexican tacos.

Homemade salsa

3 T chopped red or white onion, peeled and finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
2 c boiling water 3 large ripe plum tomatoes or tomatillas (peeled, cored, seeds removed, and chopped)
3 Chile (hot or mild), jalapeno, serrano, habenero or scotch bonnet peppers, chopped
2-3 T chopped cilantro (or fresh parsely)
2 T fresh lime juice
1 T ground cumin 1 bundle fresh parsley, chopped Salt and black pepper, to taste

We begin with a good salsa recipe, although you can always substitute store-bought salsa if you don't want to go to the trouble. But if you do buy your salsa, I recommend you get it from a Mexican food store rather than a grocery store. However, if you do go the store route, mango or peach salsa are usually crowd pleasers.

If you want to make red salsa (salsa roja) use red plum tomatoes. If you want green (salsa verde), use green tomatoes or Mexican tomatillas (with husk removed). Also, use red onions for red sauce and white onions for green sauce. Or, you can mix them in the same salsa.

Chop the onions and garlic. Place in a strainer or sieve, then pour the boiling water over them. Let drain and cool. Combine with the tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix (a food processor works great) and refrigerate for a few hours. This should keep for up to a week if refrigerated. Note that true Mexican salsa is not runny like you find at a lot of American restaurants.

Leave the pepper seeds in if you want a spicier salsa; otherwise, remove them. And if you don't already know, serrano, habenero and scotch bonnet peppers are hot - use only if you are a 5-alarm junkie. Warning: wash hands thoroughly after chopping; don't get near eyes or... well, you know!

You might also want to consider tossing in a little apple cider vinegar to make the salsa a bit more tangy. 1/4 t of cayenne will also add some kick.

Note that some folks have only experienced restaurant salsa and aren't quite into the freshness of homemade salsa. You can "tone down" the freshness a bit by adding canned tomatoes and/or peppers. Also, some people add a few black beans and/or cooked corn kernels.

If you decide to make the chorizo and eggs recipe shown above, adding a little salsa on top makes for a great taste.

Click here for one of my favorite salsa recipes.

Grilled chicken

There's not much to know about grilling chicken, other than deciding when it's done enough for you. However, the marinade does make a difference.

Marinade - ingredients are for 6 full breasts:

  • 2 T vinegar, preferably balsamic or white
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 pkg meat or chicken marinade / tenderizer, such as Adolph's
  • 2 T crushed or powdered garlic; less if desired
  • Enough water to cover meat

This marinade recipe also works for other meats such as steak. Put ingredients into a large bowl or flat marinading dish, and stir. Peel fat off the chicken if desired and then put meat into dish. A large ziploc bag also works, and is easier to store in the fridge. If possible, try to cover the meat but if you cannot, be sure to flip the pieces every hour or so. It also helps to pierce the meat with a fork before marinading. Marinade for at least four hours before grilling. You can keep the meat in the fridge if desired; it won't affect the marinading process.

When ready to grill, simply place the breasts bone-side down and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Then flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Experiment with the times to deliver to your preferences.

Note - leftover grilled chicken is great as a salad topping.

Warning: DO NOT place cooked chicken back into the same container with the old marinade - there's too much risk of bacterial infection such as salmonella or E-coli!

Grilled salmon


For this recipe the salmon must be fresh. If you get it at a grocery store ask how old it is. Costco has great salmon; the farm grown is cheaper than the wild Atlantic variety and is just a good.

We haven't tried this recipe with a fish other than salmon, so I can't testify as to how it would come out.

  • tinfoil - 1 sheet
  • raw salmon - ?? lb per person
  • butter
  • garlic - at lest 5 cloves, more if desired
  • soy sauce

Cover a rectangular baking sheet in tinfoil. If you will be cooking the fish over an open fire, and I hope you do, wrap the foil around the fire so that the fire doesn't char up the bottom.

Place the fish onto the foil. Dry it thoroughly with paper towels. Lightly slather the fish with butter; don't go overboard, just enough to keep the garlic in place. Crush the garlic and spread over the fish, pushing into the butter so it will hold in place. Finally spread soy sauce over the fish.

Either cook in an oven, grill or over an open fire. Periodically check to see if it is done to your taste - depending on the heat of the fire and the size of the fish, about 10 - 15 minutes if you like it rare-ish, maybe 20-25 minutes if you like it well done. Personally, the more it resembles sashimi the better I like it.

When done to taste, use a spatula to divide it out and serve.

I personally like it on the raw side, primarily because I love salmon sashimi.

This dish goes great with rice. We always take a medium size rice cooker with us. One cup rice to two cups water is a good ratio; we tend to use chicken stock instead of water for flavor. Adding in a few cloves of garlic and/or a teaspoon of basil sauce adds interest. Sometimes we toss in something like fresh asparagus spears. If you're on a low carb diet consider using brown rice or basmati rice instead of white rice.

Camp Stew

This is an old backpacking recipe that I created when we first started hiking on the Appalachian Trail. It has subsequently been refined over the years, and is best cooked over an open camp fire.

Of course, we used beef up on the Appalachian Trail but our recent excursion into Newfoundland encouraged me to try it with moose meat - it was delicious! Of couesw you can use any kind of stew meat you like: beef, veal, venison, moose, rabbit, lamb, mutton, squirrel, bear or whatever. Most grocery stores have stew meat already chopped into 1" cubes.

In the follow ingredients list I don't show any amounts, since I leave the amount of stew to make up to you. But to give you an idea, I typically use around eight large-ish potatos, onions and carrots and about a pound of meat. This makes a pretty good sized pot full of stew, enough for four people or enough for tasty leftovers if you are only two people.

You can find a good deep, lightweight aluminum cooking pot for use over open flames.

  • carrots
  • onions - white, purple, green
  • spices: garlic, oregano, black pepper, salt, bay leaf
  • potatoes
  • bell peppers - red, green, yellow make for colorful stews
  • garlic
  • green peas
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 packs stew mix
  • stew meat, cubed [beef, moose, chorizo, kielbasa, chicken, whatever]
  • water, chicken or beef stock
  • Bisquik flour
  • Optional: corn, cilantro, chili powder, red pepper

Wash carrots. Peel if you want, but it's not necessary. Cut into 1/2" slices.

Peel onions & garlic. Cut into 1" cubes. [A a great way to remove the skin from a clove of garlic is to give it a good smash which something flat, like a Chinese cleaver]

Wash potatoes. Cut into 1/2" cubes, or larger if you prefer.

Peel garlic. Cut into 1/8" slices.

Boil large pan water and chicken / beef stock, equal quantities of each. More liquid makes the soup thinner, less makes it thicker.

Add carrots, onions, potatoes and garlic.

Add salt and pepper to your taste. I find that pepper makes the meat taste better.

If green peas are frozen, add them now. If not, wait until other veggies are almost done; otherwise they will get too mushy.

After veggies have cooked a few minutes, add the stew mix. I find that it enhances the flavor.

Toss the meat in a large Ziploc with enough flour to coat the meat, salt, pepper and any other seasonings you wish to add. After thoroughly mixed, pan-sear the meat with olive oil, bacon grease, lard or whatever you prefer. Sear meat on all sides. Add to pot when done.

Cook uncovered. The longer it's cooked, the more tender the meat becomes. Anticipate cooking for at least an hour or more.

When things are about done, add some dumplins on top. Make t hem according to the recipe on the Bisquik box. After adding dumplins, cover the pot and let cook until they are done.

Cook until broth is thick enough for your taste.

Pan-fried Fish

If you are lucky enough to camp close to a lake or river and you have your trusty rod with you, you probably won't be able to resist tossing in a line or two. Of course, if you are a seasoned fisherman you probably already have your own favourite recipes. If not, give this one a try.

We have camped several times at Grandfather Mountain close to Boone NC, where there was a well-stocked lake where you could rent fishing gear and the personnel would clean anything you caught for you - and the fish were delicious!

As I myself am not a fishermen, those of you who are can probably improve on the recipe. If so, I would love to hear what you have to say.

Wash fish thoroughly in cold water. Dry.
Sprinkle a little lemon or lime juice on fish.
Shake in freezer bag with Bisquik, salt, pepper, SeasonAll
Take fish out of bag and shake off excess breading.
Cook fish in frying pan with olive oil. Only flip once.

Grilled veggies

Everyone knows that veggies are always better when cooked over a fire such as a campfire, or closed fire such as a hooded grill.

Here are some guidelines for veggie grilling times. You will get better the more you do. Adust times for personal taste - less time for more "al dente", longer time for softer.

Some veggies are best cooked in rolled-up tinfoil, some on open foil. It is usually best not to lay veggies directly on a grill as they will tend to burn, not to mention sticking to the grill,.

  • Potatoes - red or white; wrap in foil; microwave first
  • Onions
  • Corn - leave in husk
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes - cherry?
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus - 20 minutes
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli or cauliflower
  • Bell peppers
  • Hot peppers; eg jalapenos
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Eggplant
  • Snow peas
  • Cabbage?
  • Artichokes? - boil first

Mustard potato salad

This recipe was given to us while we were up at the Crescent Lake RV Park in Robert's Arm NL, by Doug and Roz who are the campground managers. I'm copying it here almost verbatim.

"You really need some bottled or canned moose to go with the mustard salad. But it goes well with a good beef roast or baked chicken as well.

Mustard salad is really about your own taste. Obviously if you're not fond of mustard, you should switch to ketchup. Just kidding!

Boil a few spuds, cut into smaller pieces to speed the process, and mash with butter when tender. Add some mayonnaise, mustard, fresh milk and sugar.

Milk should be added to create a creamy texture. Mustard, mayo and sugar to taste. Play with it!

If you want to add another dimension, forego the mustard and add some diced beets and some beet juice for colouring for a beet salad. Forego the beets and throw in a can of mixed veggies (peas, carrots, green beans etc) and of course now you have a mixed vegetable salad.

Many a mainlander has been perplexed to sit to a meal with salad and wonder what the coloured mounds are. None of that old leafy ecoli-laden salad for us Newfies. We gotta have heavy grub in our guts!"

[click to enlarge]

Tart apple sauce

If you are a serious camper you will likely find yourself close to fresh apples. Heck, while backpacking we've even found wild apples growing along the trail miles away from civilization -- probably due to birds! Anyway, if you want a real treat and don't mind taking a little time to peel [or not] some apples, this recipe is sure to delight.

  • 4 lbs Granny Smith apples
  • 1-1/2 c apple juice, cider or vinegar
  • 1/4 t fine sea salt
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 10 cloves
  • 2-4 T cinnamon
  • 2 c V8 Splash Mango Peach drink
  • Core apples and cut them into 1/4" cubes. Do not peel, as the peels add to the tartness of the sauce. Put them into a large sauce pan or pot. Use apple juice, cider or vinegar to cover the apples as you cut them up. Add the sea salt, brown sugar, cloves and cinnamon.

    Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer over low heat for a couple hours, stirring occasionally. Taste periodically and add seasoning to taste.

    If you like a mushy sauce then put through a food mill. We like the chewy texture so we forgo this step.

    Put in fridge to cool down. The sauce can keep for a week or so, but that probably won't be an issue

    Baked beans

    This is always a hit at cookouts, especially when there's steak, hamburgers, hot dogs or BBQ involved. We have taken it to our Tropical Orchid Society picnic for years and everyone seems to love it (see photo at right). There's nothing hard about the recipe other than a few teary eyes from cutting the onions. Hint: try sticking a carrot from your mouth while cutting - sounds crazy but it works!

    The ingredients make enough for about four hungry people.

    1 lg can Bush's baked beans
    1 lg can black beans
    1 can lima beans
    1 can kidney beans
    1 can butter beans
    1 can pork & beans
    3/4 lb. bacon (maple preferred) cut into 1" slices
    4 lg. onions
    2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
    1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
    3/4 c. dark brown sugar
    1 T dry mustard, or French's or Gray Poupon
    1/2 t. dry horseradish, or fresh minced

    Cut the bacon while it is thawed; it's much easier than frozen. We prefer simmering over low heat but you can make it crispy if you prefer.

    Cook onions and garlic together, until onions are translucent. Add vinegar, sugar and mustard. Simmer about 20 minutes.

    Pour off at least half of watery liquids from bean cans. Heavy liquids are ok. Put beans, etc into large cooking pot. Bake about 2 hours at 325 degrees. Keep lid on about half the time. Note that you can precook the beans on a stove top for awhile if you like.

    Note: Multiply ingredients by 2, 3 or 4 for larger crowds.
    Note: Additional bean suggestions: lintels, navy, chili, etc.
    Note: Here's a trick for quickly peeling garlic. Smash a clove with a heavy object, something like a Chinese cleaver. Do it on a cutting board so you don't damage the counter. Oh, and those cutsy little tubes you put garlic cloves in and roll them around? Forget 'em!
    click to enlarge


    Smores are the classic favorite of kids when they get anywhere close to a campfire. They got their name because kids were always asking "Can we have 'smore?". They are good, and fun to make. Everyone knows that the marshmallows are always better when cooked using the branch of a nearby tree. And by the way, you absolutely have to catch at least one on fire!

    1 large marshmallows
    1 Graham cracker
    1.5 oz chocalate bar

    Using a small, narrow tree branch, skewer or coat hanger, heat the marshmallow over an open flame until it begins to brown.

    Break a Graham cracker in half, and place the chocolate bar on one cracker half and place the hot marshmallow on the chocolate. Put the second cracker half on top.

    You may want to allow the marshmallow to cool a moment before eating.


    Old-fashioned ice cream

    I have fond memories as a child of sitting outside on a sunny day turning the crank on an old-fashioned ice cream maker. I was always in charge of doing the cranking and I still remember how worn out is was, but the ice cream was always worth the work. Recently I found one of the old crank type makers on Ebay and I'm looking forward to using it when we go out west. Although you can certainly add in various ingredients as you wish, my personal belief is that plain vanilla is the best, although peach does come in a close second.

    Electric makers work fine and are probably a better alternative for those who are not inclined to sit and turn a crank. For me, however, it just wouldn't be the same.

    Be sure to clean the maker thoroughly. Using scalding water is a good idea. Make sure the ingredients are as fresh as possible, especially any fruit. If you use something like peaches, they seem to taste better if they are allowed to ripen sufficiently.

    1 bag of ice
    1 box Kosher or sea salt
    1-1/2 cups milk
    1 to 2 cups heavy cream or half-and-half
    1 vanilla bean, deseeded and grated
    6 egg yolks
    1 cup granulated sugar (unrefined is best)
    1 pinch salt
    Fresh, ripe fruit if desired. Slice if necessary.

    Pack the bucket with ice and allow the unit to chill.

    Combine the milk, 3/5 cup heavy cream, half the sugar, and vanilla bean into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until bubbles form. Then remove from heat. Whisk the egg yolks until they froth and then gradually add the other half sugar and salt, continuing to whisk until blended. Add 1 cup of the hot milk mixture and blend. Move mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until it coats a spoon or knife. If possible, measure temp to ensure it reaches around 175 F. Don't let it boil! Stir in remaining cream. This is essentially a custard. Put the saucepan into a bowl of iced water and allow to cool. Stir occasionally. Pour mixture through a strainer into a bowl, cover and chill from anywhere between 4 hours to 3 days. Pour into the can and blend in fruit if desired. Never fill the can more than 3/4 full. Fruits that make great ice cream include peaches, strawberries and blueberries.

    Churn away. If using a manual maker, stop occasionally to let the mixture chill. Start off slowly to let the ice settle, then increase speed for 10 minutes or so. Occasionally remove the top and check to see if the ice cream has become solid. Until then, keep adding salt to the ice as it melts; otherwise it will melt completely. Three parts ice to one part salt should work fine. Be aware that the handle will become harder and harder to turn (as I so fondly remember). When it finally becomes impossible to turn, it's ready!

    Try to resist immediately digging into the ice cream. Pack the maker with more ice and salt, cover and let it age under shade for a couple hours.

    If you cannot get your hands on a vanilla bean, you might want to add 1 Tbsp of vanilla extract to the mixture.



    This is a yummy marinade for either meat or fowl. Although I firmly believe that a fine steak doesn't need anything, a good maridade doesn't hurt - as long as it doesn't overpower the taste of the meat. The following ingredients should serve for a couple large steaks or a half dozen chicken breasts.

    • 1 pack meat marinade, such as Adolph's or McCormick's.
    • 2 T white vinegar
    • 1 T soy sauce, Kikkoman's recommended
    • 2 t garlic powder
    • 2 T water

    Mix the ingredients thoroughly and pour over the meat. Occasionally flip the meat over in order to thoroughly marinate. About 30 minutes should do, but the longer, the better.

    How to peel boiled eggs

    Who hasn't been frustrated when trying to peel freshly boiled eggs? Whether you're making deviled eggs or just eating them with a little salt, you envision nice, perfectly peeled eggs but often wind up with an ugly mess. Here is a trick that's worked for me.

    First of all, don't use fresh eggs if you can help it. This may sound a bit like sacrilege but it can be important. The membranes between the egg and shell are tightly bound to the two in fresh eggs. As the eggs age a bit the membrane starts to loosen. Now don't fret about leaving eggs around for a few days; they will keep nicely in the fridge. I recommend about a week but you can experiment.

    Boil the eggs for around 12 or 13 minutes. This is important. Less boiling or longer boiling doesn't seem to work. There's something magic about the 12-13 minute range.

    After boiling, put the eggs in ice water for another 12-13 minutes. Then peel by first tapping both ends of the egg onto the counter top. If peeling one end starts to go awry, try the other end. While peeling, make sure you get under the thin membrane. You want the shell to stick to the membrane as you peel. If the shell comes off in large chunks (or hopefully one big chunk) then you have gotten the membrane. If you have to pick it off in little bits then the membrane is still attached to the egg. The whole point of the above instructions is to cause the membrane to loosen from the white of the egg.

    How to peel garlic cloves

    I don't know about you but I hate to peel garlic. Seems like a waste of time. Luckily I learned this little secret many years ago and it works like a charm.

    Place a clove of garlic on a hard surface, like a cutting board or a sturdy counter top. Give it a good whack with the side of a rather heavy cleaver or kitchen hammer (like the ones used to marinade steaks). This should loosen the skin around the clove allowing you to easily pull it off.

    How to make ice cubes faster

    If you want to speed up the ice cube making process, use boiling hot water. Yes, I know it sounds counter-intuitive but it works.

    It's a scientific fact that hot water freezes faster than cold water. For the nerds out there, check this out.

      Diabetic? You may have some trouble locating low sugar food products while on the trail. Here are some diabetic-friendly foods and drinks you might want to know about.
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