Photo Credit: E. Rosemond-Hoerr
With our five brothers and sisters, camping was one of those family vacations that always made sense. We enjoyed cheap lodging, an amazing view and the novelty of cooking every meal over a fire. We camped a lot growing up, and some of my favorite memories (and meals) came from those trips.
A staple in camping cuisine, whether I was with my family or on a church retreat, was the foil pack. A hodgepodge of vegetables, tomatoes, starches and butter, these packs cooked directly in the coals and always tasted like adventure. Nothing says “roughing it in the woods” quite like pulling dinner out of the fire, literally.
Turns out I still have a soft spot for camp food because this weekend, on my one-year wedding anniversary, we rented a cabin in the woods and roughed it (just a little—it was our anniversary). For dinner the first night we dined on ribs, corn on the cob and foil packs—all cooked in our fire. It was a far cry from our fancy rehearsal dinner one year ago, but delicious.
Campfire Foil Packs
10-12 small red potatoes, quartered
1 red bell pepper, cut into large chunks
1 white onion, cut into large chunks
3 Roma tomatoes, cut into large chunks
1 jalapeño, diced
1 small eggplant, cut into large chunks
1/4 cup fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh oregano, finely chopped
Fresh basil, finely chopped
1 stick butter
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup wine
Salt and pepper
At least four hours before cooking the foil packs, marinate all vegetables and herbs in olive oil, wine, salt and pepper.
When you're ready to cook the packs, get a campfire roaring. Let it die down until it is mostly coals. Lay out a large piece of aluminum foil and spoon a fourth of the mixture on it. Top with a quarter of the butter. Bring the edges of the pack together and roll them down, pinching up the sides. Place the whole pack on the hot coals and let cook 25 to 30 minutes, stoking the fire as necessary.
Elena Rosemond-Hoerr is a writer and photographer and can be found on her own website, biscuitsandsuch.com.