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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Campfire Cooking

School may have started but summer isn't over yet.
(The autumnal equinox is on September 22nd this year.)

Late summer and early fall are some of the best times to enjoy the great outdoors. There are fewer mosquitoes, the sun is less intense, and the weather is mild. Day are still warm but no longer hot and humid, and nights are cooler and more comfortable, sometimes even a bit chilly. Conditions are perfect for a campfire.

Cooking over a campfire isn't as convenient as cooking at home, but it can be just as fun if you get organized and plan meals ahead.

My friend Keely, who I call the Campfire Gourmet, prepares the most impressive meals in the middle of nature. It's always such a pleasure to camp with her. Left to my own devices, I usually keep things simple.

My camping staples include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, a jar of home-made vinaigrette, and foods that don't have to be kept cold or require cooking before eating like hard boiled eggs (with a little sea salt), tinned fish, and Lara bars.

Lunch in the Redwoods

I do like a fresh, hot meal at night when I'm camping. I usually pack proteins like wild salmon and pasture-raised sausage frozen inside a cooler. They won't thaw in time for the first dinner, so I also pack some food pouches prepared ahead of time that I can cook with very little effort. It's especially welcome after a long journey.

Recently I camped in the California Redwoods with my friend Juliah and we made Aromatic Salmon Pouches for dinner and Dark Chocolate Bananas for dessert. It's easy to do: Assemble them before you leave home, then nestle them in some red hot campfire coals about 10 minutes before you're ready to eat them.

See recipe: Aromatic Salmon Pouches

See recipe: Dark Chocolate Bananas

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