Introduction: Campfire Foil Meal

The beauty of this meal is its versatility and ease of personalizing. My sister the vegetarian would never make the kind of meal that I prefer! Whether camping with hungry Scouts, soldiers, family members, kids, friends, or solo, this easy and amazingly delicious meal may be crafted around individual tastes and nutritional needs. To encourage young outdoor cooks to build and monitor safe fires and good solid meals, foil dinners may be created in assembly lines, which often leads kids to prepare, assemble, cook, and actually enjoy foods that they might otherwise decline, such as one or two brussell sprouts, chunks of squash, or whatever. Build a safe campfire before food preparation. Have a few small-to-medium-sized logs burning so that they can burn down to coals while meals are being assembled.

For group preparation: First, THOROUGHLY WASH HANDS!

Place long-handled spoons in each bowl of food.

Assemble food in individual bowls, judging how much you will need of each type. Suggestions include, but are not limited to:

Meats: lean burger cut into small chunks or broken up into small chunks if ground beef

Any game meat - moose, caribou, walrus, deer, fresh fish, beef, lamb, etc. (yes, we live in Alaska!). Cut into small chunks.

Vegetables: carrots, potatoes (both white and sweet), bell peppers (get colorful here!), onions, garlic cloves, celery, squash (whatever kinds you like), broccoli, cauliflour, canned or ripe tomatoes, etc.

Spices: salt, pepper, hot sauces for those who want them, other spices as desired

Butter: a small dab or two depending on the size and content of the meal. This adds flavor and also helps prevent food from burning or sticking to the foil.

Wrap the food in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil laid at right angles, one on top of the other. Carefully bring up the sides of the bottom layer of foil, wrap around the food, then do the same with the inner layer. Tuck in and roll the ends to prevent the meal from coming apart on the fire. You don't want a camper to cry when his meal comes apart and burns and he has to begin all over while the others are enjoying their delicious meal!

Use a length of sturdy but hand-bendable wire to go around the meal all the way, once in each direction. Form and secure a 1-2 inch loop on one or both ends. This individualizes the meal and also makes it easier to poke the turning stick into. A long-handled campfire/BBQ metal spatula slid under the meal helps to insure safe turning.

When the fire has burned to a sufficient bed of coals, place the meals on the coals. Depending on the size of the meal, 10-12 minutes on each side will cook them thoroughly and safely. Remove carefully and place on a sturdy plastic plate or frisbee. You may want a piece of heavy cardboard or several layers of newspaper under the meal to prevent melting the plate, etc.

Cut the wire with lineman's pliers or wire clippers and dispose of wire safely. Remember to be thankful for your meal and your wonderful camping experience.

Open the foil carefully, eat with fork or spoon, and enjoy its unbelievable goodness!

Clean up easily and appropriately!