Potatoes, s’mores and sausages: Cooking camp-out style


I enjoy cooking over a fire. It is caveman stuff and even burnt the food tastes better. Over time you may consider investing in a camp oven and then you can get really gourmet.

Words: Sheryn Clothier

POTATOES
1. Clean but don’t peel your potatoes.
2. Poke a piece of fencing wire or long nail longways through the middle of each potato and double-wrap it with tinfoil. The wire transfers heat to the centre and cooks it more evenly.
3. Do not add butter before cooking as it will burn.
4. Light your bonfire and when some embers have formed, rake them to one side with a green branch.
5. Lay the tinfoil-wrapped potatoes on the embers and poke more up and around and over them and/or rotate with stick until cooked.
6. Check one potato after 10 minutes, although everyone’s will cook differently. When cooked inside, remove others and place in and old tea towel and carefully (they will be steamy-hot) cut in half longways along the wire, tinfoil and all, with your pocket knife.
7. Flick out wire (it will be hot) to somewhere safe to retrieve tomorrow and add a dollop of butter to melt in. Eat with fork.

S’MORES
• Thread a marshmallow on the very end of the sausage wire/branch and hold above hot embers to crisp the outside to golden brown. This is not easy but burnt ones are almost as good.
• Get two Chocolate Thin biscuits and sandwich them each side of the cooked marshmallow and use them to slide it off the cooking wire.

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SAUSAGES
• Use your knife to sharpen the end of willow stick into a long point or fashion a handle on one end of the wire. Thread the sausage on and hold over the fire, rotating all the time.
• If the wire handle starts to get hot, use the tea towel as a cloth. It is a good idea to have the spare firewood nearby to rest the sausage end on when you pull it out of the fire.
• When cooked, lay on bread and smother (or not) with tomato sauce.

A bush campfire, with a billy boiling on the hot plate.

WATER
• The advantage of a billy or can with loop handle is you can thread a stick through the handle and lift it off the fire when boiling.
• If you are using an old saucepan, pull embers out to one side and bank them up around the pot.
• When boiling, you can push the embers away again and use the tea towels to grab the handle.
• Billy tea is made by boiling the water, throwing the tea leaves in, letting it ‘turnover three times’ (ie, about three seconds), then remove from heat.
• Tap the sides with a stick and the leaves will sink to the bottom.

NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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