Rising with the sun is my idea of a happy Saturday. No alarm clocks, nothing to get up and go for, just waking up with the light. And most often that rise and shine alarm clock comes when we go camping. It’s our weekend getaway as a family and we try to do it as much as we can in the summer.
Camping, like gardening, is a way to family connection. It is time away from the laundry and the lists to instead be on sunshine time, getting up with the sun, playing in the sun, watching the sun set, and listening to the logs of a crackling fire when the sun is down.
Why Camping Rocks
What I love most is how we do camping together. We have a pop-up camper and when we arrive at the campground, the kids don’t run off to explore, instead they are ready to do their jobs and help open up the camper so in about an hour we can explore together and relax. From lowering the jacks, raising the top, putting out the awning, loading our food and clothes, it’s a family affair.
While we have explored other camper options, I think I would have a hard time letting go of our pop-up for this very reason. It brings us all together to work on one thing as a family.
So with The Recipe ReDux cooking challenge this month of…
“Start unpacking your favorite vacation memories. Think about a trip you took state-side or internationally and create a healthy recipe from an unforgettable meal you enjoyed. Or, create a recipe from a native ingredient you saw or tasted on your travels.”
…I’m sharing the recipe for Hobo Packets. (Yes, this is the pre-cooked version, the meat is still raw! I only bring my iPhone on camping trips so have to go with the phone photos :))
These little foil packs of deliciousness come to you from my son who brought the recipe home from his time at summer camp. We have them every time we go camping because they are easy, they are customizable, and they are nutritious and delicious.
And in the dead of winter, while not cooking over a fire, we can cook them in the oven to remind us of our camping adventures.
Making them together is so much fun!
Here are five more ways you can recreate your favorite vacation meals:
- Grab menus to take with you as souvenirs if possible, or snap a photo of the menu on your phone.
- Take time each day to record your memories in a journal or scrapbook while on vacation…it’s so easy to forget which day you did what if you save it til the end, so do it each night. I bring a scrapbook with me with pages for writing, and I have my kids journal too. While they might fight you at the beginning, it’s surprising how much it helps to process the day on paper right before bed.
- On your way home from vacation, ask all family members to name their favorite meal.
- Record those favorite meals and why they were favorites in your vacation journal or scrapbook.
- Using the journal entries, the menus, native ingredients and even native techniques, recreate those favorite vacation meals to take you right back on vacation and cook like you ate!
Here’s the recipe for the Hobo Packets! Enjoy and mix it up with different vegetables and proteins. I always add in some baked beans too! (And yes, beans are a vegetable!).
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 pound lean ground beef, divided into four equal portions
- 4 potatoes, with skins, diced small
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- Seasoning salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Optional: Baked Beans
- Cut four pieces of foil to about 18 inches. On each piece of foil, spray non-stick cooking spray or use butter to lightly coat in a square shape.
- For each serving, roll divided lean ground beef into small meatballs and place onto foil. Top with desired amount of sliced potatoes, onions, and carrots. Add one tablespoon butter to top of vegetables with desired seasonings.
- Roll and fold up foil so no openings exist.
- Cook over hot coals of fire for 20-30 minutes, flipping once. Check doneness of vegetables with fork, and use thermometer for meat doneness of 165 degrees.
- Use caution when opening foil packs, they are hot!