Campfire Treats

Summer is almost over. Here in the United States we celebrate Labor Day at the beginning of September. Many of us go camping and many others have that one last barbecue before we put away the barbecue and dig out the tools for cleaning up the leaves that fall in autumn.

I came across some fun foods to make over the campfire and they should work as well on the barbecue. The kids will have a great time preparing these and an even better time eating them. It is a good way to keep them occupied.

I'll start with my youngest brother's absolute favorite. It is the exploding hot dog. Unfortunately not much is left to eat but it can be a fairly inexpensive way to provide a little excitement and a science lesson at the same time. Wrap one hot dog snugly in a piece of aluminum foil twisting the ends tightly. Make sure the whole hot dog is wrapped or it will not work. Then place it in the hot coals or on the barbecue. As the wieners heat up and the juices expand there will be no room for expansion. The aluminum foil eventually cannot hold and the hot dog blows up. I would recommend this treat be saved until other cooking is done. Remind everyone to step away from the fire until all hot dogs have exploded so no one is burned. The rest of these recipes will be safer.

For this one you will need approximately 10 oranges. Cut the tops off of each one at about one quarter from the top. Scoop the pulp out (it can be eaten by the children or used in a fruit salad). Mix a cake mix of your favorite flavor. I like chocolate. Fill the orange about three quarters of the way to the top with the mix. Wrap with aluminum foil. Place onto the coals but not the fire. Cook for about 30 minutes turning each one a couple of times. Unwrap, peel, and eat.

Strawberry shortcake is another easy recipe. You will need two pie tins. I use the disposable foil ones because the children can get a bit carried away when serving themselves plus there is no washing necessary. Grease them well. Make the shortcake batter from the recipe on the package of biscuit mix. Spoon the mix into the pie pans and cover tightly with foil. Place them on the coals. Turn them a couple of times while they cook for about 25 minutes. Take them from the coals, remove the aluminum covering, and top the shortcake with strawberries and whipped cream. If you have bben out berry picking that day, any fruit will be good.

Cherry cobbler takes a greased Dutch oven. Pour two 21 ounce cans of cherry pie filling into the Dutch oven. Pour biscuit mix shortcake batter over the top and cover with the lid to the Dutch oven. Place the pot onto the coals and turn every few minutes. In 30 minutes you can eat nice warm cherry cobbler.

Want a hot banana split? Cut a banana, peel and all lengthwise leaving the bottom of the peel intact. Place it on a sheet of aluminum foil. Gently open the banana and fill it with marshmallows, chocolate, caramel, chocolate chips, or whatever fillings and combinations you like. Squeeze the banana gently to partially close. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Place on the coals well away from the fire for about 10 minutes. Unwrap and eat.

For a slightly different flavor try filling the banana with brown sugar and cinnamon. I like this with hot chocolate but there are those who think it goes well with rum.

As you can see, none of these are difficult to make and do not take a lot of time. And they are all delicious. Try them before you put away the barbecue and before the end of your last camping trip of the summer. I would love to know how you like them. Better yet, I would really love to know how your children like them.