Archive for December, 2017

Campfire Recipe: Cola Meatballs

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Yes, I know you may have never thought of making homemade meatballs while at camp but………they are easier to make than you think. The opened end meat choice leaves a lot of room for you to create your own special meatball recipe while the cola creates a wonderful sauce that should not be wasted. To soak up every little bit of sauce, consider spooning it over noodles or mashed potatoes, and for the meat you can get a meat processing equipment to carry around on your trips or for your business and they are top of their kind.

To change up the recipe beyond the ground meat, consider using other “pop” flavors, such as cherry or even vanilla.

Campfire Recipe:  Cola Meatballs


Liquid or spray oil

1 pound of ground meat

½ cup of seasoned bread crumbs

1 egg

1 Tablespoon of water

1 small onion


Black pepper

1 clove of garlic

1 cup of Ketchup

1 cup of cola

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 medium sized green pepper



  1. Build a fire to prepare the coals.
  2. In a large bowl, add the ground meat, bread crumbs, egg, and water.
  3. Finely chop small onion and divide in half. Add half to the bowl.
  4. Add ¼ teaspoon of each salt and pepper to the meat mixture.
  5. Lightly grease a 12 inch Dutch oven with liquid or spray oil.
  6. Mix the meat ingredients and form into meatballs. Place prepared meatballs in greased 12 inch Dutch oven.
  7. In a medium bowl, combine ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper.
  8. Mince the garlic clove and add to medium bowl.
  9. Add the Ketchup, cola, and Worcestershire sauce to medium bowl.
  10. Cut the green pepper in half. Finely chop one half and add to the medium bowl. Save the other half for another recipe.
  11. Stir the contents of the medium bowl and pour over the prepared meatballs.
  12. Put the lid on the 12 inch Dutch oven and move to a heat resistant surface.
  13. Arrange 12 prepared coals on the heat resistant surface. Put the Dutch oven on top of these coals.
  14. Add 22 prepared coals to the lid.
  15. Cook for 40 minutes.

After that time period has passed, gently remove the lid and check the doneness of the meatballs by cutting one open. If done, knock off the coals from the lid. Remove the Dutch oven from the coals. Serve. If the meatballs are not done, put the lid back on and cook for another 10 minutes.

How to Safely Build a Fire

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

In recent time, wildfires are broke out across the country. While many of these were not set due to improper fire building, why take the chance. Below are the basic steps by which you need to follow to safely build a fire. While these steps are geared toward backcountry camping, it is wise to follow these steps any time you plan on building a camp fire.

Prepare the ground

Believe it or not, skipping this step is a wonderful way of building a fire that will quickly get out of control. This is especially true in the fall and winter. Why is this? Well, think about all the dried plant material that is on the ground during this time. This includes leaves, dead grass along with dead wood. To create a safe surface, you must do two things. One, is to remove as much of this dead plant material as possible. Better yet, take the area down to bare soil. Once that is done, make a fire ring. The purpose of this fire ring is to keep the fire contained. If the fire does get on the ring, it will not get out of control. Why? Because a fire ring is made of something that is fire resistant. The best material to use is rocks but if you cannot find any, you can use a rim of compacted soil.

Create your own camp fire extinguisher

While you may take all the precautions that you can, there is still always that chance that a fire will get out of hand. Two items that you will want near the camp fire is a bucket of water and a shove. The water is self explanatory but the shovel may not be as evident. When putting out a fire, pour the water on the fire as close to the top as you can. This will prevent pushing the fire onto other flammable material compare to if the water is thrown from the side. Also, a fire can be put out with dirt. When you add dirt to a fire, it reduces the amount of oxygen that is available to the fire. Combining both of these techniques is an easy way of creating a simple fire extinguishing plan. You can also visit for getting more information about fire extinguisher.

Leave no trace

When camping one should always follow the principle of “leave no trace.” If you are not familiar with this the definition is simple-leave it the way you found it. When it comes to a camp fire, you may think that is a little hard to do. I mean you did have fire, which changes the area but the responsible way of putting a fire out can help you stay with the “leave no trace” principle.

Once you are done with your fire, put it out with water and soil. Continue to add the water and soil until you no longer feel heat coming off the ground. Next, remove the stones and/or soil rim. Finally, and only when you are absolutely sure the fire is out, add vegetation back on top of the burned area. At this point, take another precautionary measure and add more soil. Top this layer with water.

Yes, I know for some that these steps may seem like a waste of time but it is time worth spending to protect our wild places from fire.

Camp Fire Recipe: Gingersnap Stew

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Have you ever wondered what do you do with those few cookies left in the bag? Well, one choice is to eat them to simply get rid of them. Another choice is to throw them out but no one has ever thought of making a stew with them. While not every cookie tastes good in a stew, gingersnaps is one of those unique ones. The pure fact that this cookie is chopped with ginger and a touch of molasses makes it a great pairing with sausage.  Another one I have tried in this recipe is vanilla wafers. The hint and sweetness of the vanilla adds that unique taste while not being overwhelming. The best part is it gets those bits and pieces of cookies out of my camp kitchen while enhancing my dinner.

Camp Fire Recipe:  Gingersnap Stew


Spray or liquid oil

3 carrots

3 medium stalks of celery


1 Tablespoon olive oil

8 to 12 ounces of cooked smoked sausage

1 ½ cup of water

15 ounce can of kidney or black beans

1 Tablespoon of chili powder, variety your choice

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

14 ½ ounces of stewed tomatoes

8 gingersnaps



  1. Prepare the coals first by building a fire.
  2. Grease a 10 inch Dutch oven with liquid or spray oil.
  3. Prep your ingredients by first cutting your carrots into ¾ inch pieces. Add to Dutch oven.
  4. Cut your celery into ½ inch pieces. Place in Dutch oven.
  5. Chop a ¼ cup of onion. Add this plus the olive oil to the Dutch oven.
  6. Slice the cooked smoked sausage into 1 inch pieces and add to Dutch oven.
  7. Snuggle the Dutch oven into a bed of coals and cook until the carrots and celery begin to get soft along with the onion becoming translucent. This should take between 5 to 10 minutes depending on the heat of the coals.
  8. Add the remaining ingredients except the kidney/black beans and the gingersnaps.
  9. Drain and rinse the kidney/black beans. Only pour half of the beans into the 10 inch Dutch oven. Stir.
  10. Cover with lid.
  11. Continue to keep in the prepared bed of coals and add 20 to 22 prepared coals to lid.
  12. Cook for 20 minutes.
  13. After that time has passed, knock the coals off the lid.
  14. Crush gingersnaps and add to stew.
  15. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes without lid. This will allow the stew to thicken up.

Once the stew has thickened to your liking, serve.