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Monday, June 16, 2014

Campfire Cooking a la Pinterest

A week ago our family went camping for a weekend with my sister and her family.  This particular event was our tenth trip together, and it is been a wild and crazy adventure as kids were added year by year and they had to be taught the camping ropes.  Now that the youngest ones are two years old, and experienced veterans, the nights are a little more restful and the days a little less stressful - except for the nearly constant trips to the potty.  But this too shall pass, and future camping trips will be stress-free weekends of camping bliss......or maybe they will be mosquito-torture days and thunderstorm nights, only time will tell.
This year, for some of our meals, I decided to actually try some of those fantastic camping food recipes that I have been collecting on Pinterest.  What could go wrong with that, right?  Pinterest is foolproof, right?  People have actually tried to make those recipes before they post them, right?  Well.....maybe.  

The recipe I was most excited to try was "Cheesy Delicious French Fries on the Grill."  This pin only linked to an image, but the pictures were pretty self-explanatory, I thought.
Of course, it rained during the meal I was supposed to make these, so my poor brother-in-law tried to cook them between downpours.  It sorta worked......the ones he set straight on the grill tasted much better and were less soggy.
My other choices for that meal fell prey to the rain and we substituted quick-cooking hot dogs for the Pesto Chicken and Brown-Sugar Carrots.   Despite that set-back, I still really, really, REALLY wanted to try the "Cupcakes Made in an Orange Peel" that I had heard several people talk about.  Since I never actually pinned a recipe this probably doesn't technically count as a Pinterest experiment, but that's okay - I'll pin my own pictures later!  Here's how I did it a few days later, using the grill back home:

Step 1: Cut oranges in half and clean out the edible portion.  Also, prepare a box of cake mix according to the recipe on the package (I did substitute fresh mushed orange juice for the water in the recipe - that turned out to be a pretty good idea!).
Step 2: Fill the emptied orange peels about half full - I wasn't as careful as I should have been and one or two of my oranges overflowed on to the coals below, so don't overfill.  Then, tent aluminum foil over the oranges.  I found that wrapping the foil around my closed fist created a good shape that stayed on the orange without keeping the batter from rising.
Step 3: Arrange the oranges on the grill.  I closed the top, so that I'd get a more even cooking temperature, but I suppose you wouldn't have too.  Cook for about ten minutes, but check occasionally, as my fire didn't heat evenly and some were done more quickly then others.
Just like the oven, I used a toothpick to check for doneness.
The kids gave this one a big thumbs up.  Except for Cam, who instead ate crumbs off his thumb and waved his other hand around.  Were they any better tasting then regular old cupcakes?  Probably not, but the idea of making cupcakes while camping is really awesome!
Happy campfire cooking, everyone, and happy pinning too!

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