Archive for April, 2012

How to Make Hobo Stew

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Hobo stew is a very easy dish to make that can tantalize the taste buds of the pickiest eaters. The ingredients are as simple or complex as you would like them and the only other requirement for this dish is a fire.

Hobo stew is a create way of using up leftovers from other meals. To begin the process of making a hobo stew, one must arrange an assortment of ingredients. These can be broken down into categories, which includes a meat group, vegetables, and spices.

The meat group can include meat that has already been cooked or leftover, raw meat, such as hamburger, and/or beans. The vegetable group includes leftovers and raw vegetables such as onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and/or peas. Any spice can be added to this dish and includes salt and pepper, basil, crushed red peppers and garlic both fresh and dried.

What makes this dish extremely easy is not only its ingredients but also the container it is cooked in. There is no need to lug around a lot of cookware when a simple roll of aluminum foil will do.

Below is a basic recipe for Hobo Stew. As described above, leftovers can be used. If you use all leftovers keep in mind that it will just need to be heated verses cooking raw ingredients. The time described below is for raw ingredients.


Serves 4

Ingredients and/or supplies
1 lb of ground beef, divided into four patties
4 potatoes, cut into quarters
1 lb of carrots, cut into bite size pieces or use baby carrots
1 can of peas
2 whole white onions, quartered
Salt and pepper to taste
1 roll of aluminum foil
Cutting board
Oven mitts and/or potholders
Sharp knife

Preparing Stew
1. Wash all the vegetables prior to cutting and do not worry about drying them. The moisture will help steam the vegetables.
2. Roll out the foil and cut off four pieces of foil that is large enough to hold all ingredients.
3. Place a patty of meat in the center of each piece of aluminum foil.
4. Top the meat with the cutup vegetables and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Pull up the long ends of the foil until then meet at the top. Roll the two pieces together until you reach the meat. Seal off the ends by rolling them toward the center.
6. Place the pockets on a rack above the fire or place then around the edge of the fire. Do not put them in the fire. Radiating heat will cook the meat.
7. Turn these pockets often for the next 20 to 30 minutes.
8. Remove from fire and check for doneness.
9. If not done, place back on the fire and recheck in 10 minutes.
10. To serve, open foil pockets and place on a plate or empty the contents of the pockets onto a plate.

Keep in mind when using this recipe, that the pockets and their contents are hot so handle with care and use oven mitts or potholders when handling. Also, do not forget to dispose of your foil and packaging appropriately.

Having your Juice and Cake Too

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

When it comes to camping, a dish that requires limited amount of tools or equipment is in order. This saves time, money and weight. One may say, Ok I understand the time and money but weight? My answer to this query is simple. If you have camped in a location where you had to carry everything in, you understand and appreciate the concept of weight.

Also, dishes that serve two purposes are excellent. What I mean by two purposes is that you get at least two uses out of the dish and this is where the idea of having your juice and cake too comes from.

The equipment you will need for this dish is a campfire, six large navel oranges, boxed cake mix, and heavy-duty aluminum foil.

To begin the process, one will need to build a campfire a few hours before you begin this process. I like to use the fire that I used for breakfast. If the fire has been burning most of the day, a nice layer of coals will have developed. Also, if you use breakfast’s fire you can enjoy the fruit in the morning and then the cake after dinner.

Regardless of when your fire was built, the next step of this process is to cut the oranges. You will need to cut a small “lid” in the top of each orange. Once this is done, scoop out the pulp of the orange and eat. Do not discard the “lid.” You will need that later in the project.

While you are enjoying the fruit, cut six sheets of aluminum foil the size that is needed to wrap around each orange.

The next in this process is mixing up the cake batter. If you are a purest, you can make the batter from scratch. If you want an easier approach, use a boxed cake mix and mix according to directions. Regardless of which approach you choose, pick a flavor that goes with oranges. This cooking method keeps the cake moist while infusing a slight orange flavor. I have used several different flavors for this dessert and have found that a vanilla or chocolate cake mix works best.

Once the batter is mixed, you will be using the navel orange shells as a pan. Fill each one of these “pans” two-thirds full of cake batter. After that is done, place an “orange lid” on top of each orange and wrap in aluminum foil.

Set the orange peel cakes in the coals of the fire for 20 minutes. But do not leave them alone. To keep the cakes from burning, one will need to turn them often. When turning, do not forget to use oven mitts or another piece of foil to keep from burning yourself.

After the 20 minutes have passed, remove the orange peel cakes from the coals and let them cool.

To serve, open the foil, remove the lid and enjoy. Once the orange peel is empty, do not forget to dispose of the remains correctly.

Creating a Fire Starting Kit

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Nothing is as discouraging as hiking to ones campsite in the rain and trying to start a fire. While a fire is simple to start when all the conditions are right, a less then perfect situation can be disheartening and in some situations dangerous. To help start the home fire burning, a homemade fire starting kit is in order.

When camping, especially if one is primitive camping, space is a very important commodity. In doing so, this kit is designed to provide the most fire starting equipment without taking up a lot of space.

The basic premise of this kit is to fill it with fire starting tools so the first ingredient in this fire-starting recipe is the container. The best container to use is an old plastic medicine bottle or an old film canister. Both of these are small and waterproof, which is a very important factor.

The next ingredient in this recipe is something that will be a fuel source for the fire. Since a liquid is out of the question, the next source would be something that would burn just as easily. There are a couple of options at this point but two of the simplest come from common household items. The first one can be found in any dryer and that is dryer lint. This substance is a great ignition source and if do not believe that consider how many home burn up due to dryer fires.

The second ignition source is no farther then your cupboard or vending machine and that is chips. Whether you are talking about corn or potato chips, these little treats are great fire-starters. The oil that they were fried in burns very hot and long. In doing so, they make great ignition sources.

The next ingredient for a fire starting kit is something that will create a spark. A flint and steel is a good choice but it can be hard to fit into a small container. Another choice is blue-tipped strike anywhere matches. These matches, as the name describes, can be struck anywhere. As an example, they can be struck on a rock, shoe or on any other hard surface.

To make these matches even more useful, it is a good idea to waterproof them. While you can buy waterproof matches, the process is so simple why not do it yourself.

To waterproof matches, simply paint several layers of fingernail polish on the head of the matches. Make sure that each layer is dry before applying the next layer.

The last ingredient to add to the kit is something that will keep the fire going while the kindling is burning. This can be dried pine needles, dried bark from dead trees and old candles.

Once you have all your ingredients together, the next step is to fill your fire starting kit.

Organize it so that the items are easy to reach and in an order by which they will be used. As an example, place in the bottom the kindling aids, such as old candles or pine needles. Next, place a layer of some type of ignition source and then push matches around the perimeter of the container. Once this is done, place the lid on securely.

If you are using a larger container, consider adding a 9-volt battery and steel wool. Both of these can be used to create a spark.

So this year, while you are enjoying the wilds, keep your fire starting ingredients safe, dry and sound in your homemade fire starter kit.