On our way home yesterday from a quick Memorial Day trip to Gatlinburg, TN, we passed a Cracker Barrel billboard advertising their Summer special. I smiled thinking, “the retail world thinks it has an answer for everything!”
I confess, I was probably feeling a little cocky with that thought but I couldn’t help but recognize the reality that there are some pretty awesome experiences in life that just can’t be served up on a plate called “Campfire Dinner” at Cracker Barrel.
Just the night before we had filled our bellies full of our own campfire dinners. We call them “Silver Turtles” and they are served up with the kinds of things that make memories that last a lifetime. We work, we laugh, we solve problems, and build skills all in one evening and top it off with a deliciously satisfying foil wrapped, campfire meal of chicken, broccoli and carrots. Soooo good!
So here’s to say…you can do it too!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
About an hour. 30 minutes for getting the fire ready and 30 minutes cooking time.
your choice of meat and two or three veggies
seasoning (i.e. garlic salt)
a foil pie pan for each person in your family
one roll of heavy aluminum foil
fire starter (I use pine straw, twigs, and dryer lint. Yes, I save that stuff!)
lighter or matches
a shovel for spreading coals and removing pans from fire
Find a place to build your campfire. To determine the size of your campfire, take your foil pans and lay them out separately in a bunch on the floor. That’s how big your campfire needs to be!
Get everyone working together to build a fire. The little ones can gather pine straw and twigs with some assistance while the bigger kids gather fallen limbs and logs. You may need a tree saw to cut large pieces; dad, step aside and encourage the man in your son to show off. High fives are in order here! =)
Spread foil pans out on your table with food in the middle. Let everyone go to town assembling their own plate. My best advice here is for everyone to get the same amount of each item. This way you are not having to keep up with varying cooking times for each plate. You can always share from plate to plate for more or less. Don’t forget to season. Give everyone a piece of foil to cover their plate tightly around the edges. If Billy wants to make sure he ends up with his master piece, initial it with a permanent marker on the foil.
Your fire is ready when it has been given time to simmer down to a bed of red coals with little flames. Spread coals so that they are two to three inches thick and the circumference you need to spread pans out side by side. And you are ready for cooking!
Place pans as level as possible in fire pit and allow to cook. Ours had thick bone in chicken breasts and were cooked perfectly after 30 minutes. Times will vary depending on meat sizes and thickness.
It may take a little trial and error to get it just right. If the end goal is family learning and growing together, I promise you won’t be disappointed!