Cookbook table of contents
Breakfast
Main dishes
Breads
Desserts
Complete Turkey Dinner
Aluminum foil cooking
Primitive: Cooking at its best
Acorn Squash
Victor's Campfire Roast
Cooking on a hot rock
Rotisserie Chicken or Cornish Game Hen
Best of Camp Cooking: Garlic Pesto
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People have cooked over a fire since the dawn of time. Long before the invention of pots or metals. As a master of the Dutch Oven, we learned to control the heat of charcoal or a campfire for sophisticated cooking. But there is a lot that can be done without any sophistication at all. Here are a few of my favorites, I’m sure you can come up with many of your own.

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


Acorn Squash

Open the squash by cutting off the top just like one would prepare a pumpkin for Halloween.

Clean out the seeds.

Fill with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1.4 cup of butter.

Put the top back onto the squash.

Place directly into the fire. Leave for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sides soften. Depending on your campfire fire, you may need to rotate the squash every 5 or 10 minutes.

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Victor's Campfire Roast

One of the most fun of all campfire cooking feats! A roast all by itself tossed into the fire. Does not work with charcoal.

6 to 8 pound roast 1/2 to 3/4 cup mustard
1/2 pound rock salt Optional – cabbage leaves sufficient to cover the roast

Holding the roast in your bare hands, coat it as thickly with mustard as possible. Sprinkle the rock salt onto the mustard to form an outer shell of mustard and salt around the roast. The goal is to have a "mud" pack of mustard protecting the roast. The rock salt absorbs water in the mustard, stiffening and thickening the outer coating.

Place the roast directly into the core of the fire. The goal is to have it in the hot coals, buried with ash. The ash covering limits the heat transfer – helping to prevent the outside from burning. Cook the roast for 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours, more for a larger roast. Do not turn or disturb. Keep the fire going over or next to the covered roast.

Remove carefully, keeping the sat covering as intact as possible. Place onto a plate and remove the outer crust of salt. Transfer onto a clean serving plate. Enjoy, remembering that a roast will continue to cook after it has been removed from the fire and can get over done if waiting for the rest of dinner.

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Cooking on a hot rock

When canoeing, it may be possible to find nice flat rocks that can be used to cook meat or other items. The thinner the rock, the faster it heats up. Like space shuttle tiles – hot rocks transfer heat fairly slowly, allowing one to cook meat without burning. Rocks must be preheated. One also needs to fashion a stick to move the rock in and out of the fire, or have tongs that will allow you to place food onto the rock. I usually keep the rock in the fire while cooking.

Try a pork chop. Insert a knife in one end of the pork chop and slice an opening into which you can stuff apple slices, or mushrooms. Place the stuffed pork chop onto the rock and cool as you would in a skillet, turning only once. Allow yourself an opportunity to practice judging when a rock has heated and is ready to cook.

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Rotisserie Chicken or Cornish Game Hen

The key to rotisserie stick cooking over a fire is to have a green stick with branches that can be wrapped around the legs of a chicken or Cornish game hen. It is important to skewer the chicken in as balanced a fashion as possible, then a branch must be wrapped around the legs to ensure that the chicken will turn on the spit as it cooks.

I prefer to tie the green branch in half hitches around the legs of the chicken. I may have a second branch, or a "Y" wrap around the entire chicken to hold it in place while it cooks.

The chicken is cooked close to the fire, but not so close that it burns. Turning every few minutes. If one’s green stick is not tied firmly to the chicken, the almost cooked chicken may spin on your stick. Leaving only the heavy side towards the fire.

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Best of Camp Cooking: Garlic Pesto

1 pound angel hair pasta 1/2 cup olive oil
1 to 2 ounces fresh basil (substitute 2 teaspoons dried basil if necessary) 1 or 2 bulbs garlic, peeled and diced (about 1/2 cup)

Gently simmer the diced garlic and basil in the olive oil, do not turn the garlic brown, this is not a sauté, just gently heat it to effuse the essence of the garlic.

Cook the angel hair pasta. When it is ready to eat, drain the water and stir in the garlic, basil and olive oil. Serve immediately.

Not a repellant for bears.

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