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Happy-Gourmand

Top 3 campfire snacks

With summer in full swing, all the fun that makes up the season is happening every day and night.

  • Days on the beach
  • Picnics in the park
  • Evenings around the campfire.

(In British Columbia we improvise a bit with the campfire, but that is perfectly alright. Please do not have a campfire during the ban, and do not leave your propane fire or grill unattended.)

It occurred to me as we sat in front of our little grill at our campsite the other night that a good topic for this week would be the best of the campfire snacks.

Here is my completely unauthorized list of top treats to cook over the flames, along with my advice for how to best enjoy them.

Weiners

There is a lot to be said for the ubiquitous roasted weiner on a stick. You can easily customize this campfire meal – your favourite type of weiner, your preferred bun or bread (or maybe you like it gluten free?), even your favourite toppings.

This rustic variation of grilled hotdogs is possibly the best application of cooking food on a stick.

Whether you believe it’s best to cook them lengthwise or widthwise on said stick, they are easy to roast and even easier to remove, using the bun like an oven mitt.

How can you not love a meal so simple?

There is the debate on ketchup versus mustard to consider. I am a mustard lover, along with about 70 per cent of the population. Ketchup comes in second in most polls, at just over half the people using this condiment.

In case you’re wondering, more people choose onions than relish. To me, the ultimate roasted weinie includes a bun that gets warmed up by being propped over the weiner during cooking and then gets filled with mustard and a mixture of chopped tomatoes and onions.

S’mores

S’mores are the king of North American campfire treats. Legend has it they were invented by the Scouts in the 1920s; a recipe for “Some More” was mentioned in a 1927 book called Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts.

(They were also mentioned as a Graham Cracker Sandwich, but, well, we can see why that name lost out.)

Being a Girl Guide in my childhood, and a leader now, I can certainly say I have had my share of s’mores. However, I must submit that in its current form it is a less than perfect snack.  

With hard chocolate next to a sticky soft marshmallow being pushed between the wafers, you are bound to have a mess. It’s also hard to bite through. I’ve seen many a s’more end up in the dirt when the owner lost their grip on this sticky mess.

This is easy to fix though, in three easy steps:

  • GOOD INGREDIENTS ARE CRUCIAL: Choose your favourite chocolate, and don’t be too greedy with the marshmallows (extra large ones don’t work, as they are not proportionate to the graham wafer so you lose stuffing out the sides of the sandwich).
  • BE PATIENT: Roast your marshmallow slowly. (This allows it to heat up on the inside as well as the outside.)
  • ASSEMBLE CAREFULLY: Place your toasted marshmallow on one graham wafer. Gently push the chocolate inside the marshmallow, so it will melt. Then, carefully place the second wafer on top, and bite. Prepare for nirvana.

Banana boat

Although the s’more is delicious, my favourite campfire snack memory is of a banana boat. This wonderful concoction was also created at a Girl Guide camp.

Unless you are allergic to bananas, I highly recommend you try one. It’s not hard to make:

  • just take a banana and slice it lengthwise. Pry open the cut and squeeze in bits of chocolate and torn pieces of marshmallow.
  • Then, wrap up the whole thing in aluminum foil and toss it in the campfire so it can be heated by the embers. I was amazed at my first camp to see the magic of how this transformed into a wonderfully gooey dessert.

A word to the wise: campfires are hot, so don’t wait too long before you fish out your treat. Be sure to use tongs, and be careful when unwrapping the foil. You can eat it out of the foil if you like but putting it in a bowl is less messy. A spoon is all you need.

I could go on to offer more choices. I originally thought of listing  five snacks. Then I considered the ultimate contest with awards for top contestants – the Olympics – and so three it is.

If you’d like to weigh in with your vote or comments, feel free to submit your opinion on my Facebook page.



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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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