Summer is a season of outdoor parties, camping and picnics. Most involve family and friends who are their cottages or camping at campgrounds. They all seem to involve cooking outdoors, or enjoying food outdoors.
Anyone that knows me, realizes that I enjoy food, and family and friends know that I enjoy cooking. Every week the newspaper receives a dozen recipes over the wire service and countless others by submitted by various food organizations. Often they find their way onto our recipe page.
I have used many of the ideas and recipes for cooking.
Last Thursday, on page 8 of the Bulletin, we laid out a full page of outdoor cooking recipes. Some of those recipes could have gone a long way when I was a Cub Scout leader. We were constantly on the lookout for recipes that our cubs could use when we took them camping.
We used the trusted recipe of a hamburger cooked with potatoes, carrots and probably frozen beans all neatly wrapped up in foil and tossed in a bed of coals. It was successful, and even slightly burned potatoes or hamburger improved with a little bit of ketchup.
At our cabin last weekend, we used a variation, laying out onions, mushrooms, red and yellow peppers, zucchini, and chunks of chicken. The chicken had been marinated in a mandarin orange salad dressing.
At the cabin, everyone made their own kabob and roasted them on the barbecue grill. We each chose what we liked.
As cub leaders became braver, we taught the boys to cook bannock on a stick that was roasted over the fire to a nice, gentle golden colour. When cooked, it released from the stick and then the Cubs filled the cavity with their favorite jam and drank hot chocolate before hitting the sack.
But the recipes of last Thursday were much more elaborate, yet simple. The breakfast cooked in a “Ziplock” bag that was basically two eggs, cheese, onions, crumbled cooked bacon that was all tossed into the plastic bag and then placed in a pot of boiling water was simplicity in itself.
Of course with that breakfast meal one would want to brown toast over coals. To this day, I swear no toast can taste better than that browned over coals.
One of the fun desserts that we used to do was to slit a banana still in its skin length wise, fill the centre with Hershey milk chocolate bar pieces and then wrap the banana in foil and put it on a grill over the fire. The banana would warm, just melting the chocolate and the kids would enjoy a chocolate-filled banana.
It ranked second only to “S’mores,” but it is hard to outdo roasted marshmallows stuffed inside two graham wafer cookies and chocolate. We still make those “S’mores” around a campfire at the cabin.
That cooking page rekindled all kinds of memories. I am watching the blue berries slowly mature, with such a late start. In my youth my mother would encourage us to go blue berry picking. Yes, we picked. One handful for the bucket and two handfuls for our stomach.
If we continue to get those good rainfalls, and warm temperatures, the berries on the island will refill our depleted larder. And nothing is better than a fresh blue berry pie with a touch of vanilla ice cream following a fish fry with friends.
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