Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Cook Like a Hobo; Eat Like a King

on July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day, everyone! I plan to celebrate the holiday with family and friends in Iowa and Illinois. I’m sure there will be a parade. I hope there are fireworks — of the romantic kind would be nice but high-in-the-sky will do. How are you spending the day?

So, with the Fourth of July in mind, I thought I’d tell you about this easy, delicious campfire meal, often called a hobo dinner. This is a very flexible recipe so feel free to do with it what you will. Best of all, everyone can make theirs just the way they like it!

First, you’ll want to grab some ingredients. A few suggestions:

  • Hamburger patties
  • Chicken strips
  • Campfire Dinner - IngredientsPotatoes
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Corn on the cob (broken in half or in thirds)
  • Onion
  • Green pepper
  • Cabbage
  • Mushrooms
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Salt, pepper and other spices like paprika, garlic powder or even Italian seasoning
  • Butter

You’ll also need tinfoil, cooking spray, a hefty pair of tongs and a good campfire.

To prepare:

Campfire Dinner - In the FireTear off sheets of tinfoil, about a foot long — big enough to contain an individual meal. I recommend a double sheet for each dinner to make it sturdier. Spray the top layer with cooking oil. Place the meat first so it’s closest to the heat since it takes the longest to cook. Add whatever chopped vegetables you like, some barbecue sauce, a pat of butter, then seasonings. I would put just about everything listed here in mine … except onion because it is a bulbous weed grown in hell’s garden.

Bring the two long sides of the tinfoil together at the top, leaving a little room for the food to steam, then roll up each end nice and tight. Place the meal in the hot coals — not on the fire — and let it cook. The barbecue sauce might char a bit but that’s a good thing, in my opinion. If the meat and potatoes are done, you should be good to go!

Campfire Dinner - Ready to EatEat it out of the tinfoil with plastic forks and, when you’re done, just throw it away! This is a great meal to take with you on a camping trip. Just make sure you can tell whose dinner is whose.

Now, a few things I want to emphasize:

  • Put your meal on the coals, not directly in the flames. Keep an eye on it. A burnt hobo dinner is a bad hobo dinner.
  • Check it after 20 minutes. If the meat’s done but the veggies aren’t, flip it over. (Just make sure it’s sealed securely enough not to pop open.) It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to cook.
  • Adding ingredients like tomatoes, onions (if you must) and barbecue sauce keeps the food from drying out.

In the past, I’ve made them with chicken, tomatoes, potatoes, green pepper and a dash of Italian seasoning, which was yummy too. You’re only limited by your imagination!

But isn’t that true about many things?



4 responses to “Cook Like a Hobo; Eat Like a King

  1. Carole Brown says:

    Fun, easy recipe. I once did a research paper on hoboes. Fascinating!

    • sharynkopf says:

      That would be interesting. Were you researching a book, Carole? Have you seen the movie The Journey of Natty Gann? Much of it is about life as a hobo, riding the rails during the Great Depression. One of my favorites. 🙂

  2. Tracy Ruckman says:

    Where’s the bacon??? 😉 We always wrapped the hamburger patties in bacon, with just potatoes, carrots, and onions, salt & pepper. Nothing else. So incredibly good I want one right now. LOL! And don’t forget to polish off the meal with S’mores!

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