For the past few days, we have been celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles (or Sukkot) with other believers. Over the weekend, we camped and enjoyed good food and fellowship. You can see a picture of our tent above.
Here’s the view from our tent entrance. This was the main eating/gathering area. To our right and left are more tents. There were five other families besides us. With a lot of kids.
This was our first year celebrating Sukkot. We didn’t really know anyone except for the family who invited us, but we were quickly received with a warm welcome. The children all took to each other as if they’d been friends for years. (Here they are playing Ring Around The Rosie in our tent.) And the men had our tent up in 2 minutes flat.
Every evening we had somewhat of a potluck. I planned on taking full advantage of the open fire, and came prepared with my cast iron dutch ovens and skillet. I’ve been wanting to practice cooking over hot coals, and this was the perfect opportunity.
The first night I made dessert, a peach cobbler. I was SO afraid I’d burn it, or it wouldn’t cook all the way through, or something would go wrong and my contribution to the meal would be an embarrassment.
I was relieved when I uncovered my dish to find a delicious, fully cooked, unburnt cobbler. Perfection.
My grandpa shared with me this recipe from his old Boy Scout days, though it must be a very popular one ’cause I found it in the Lodge Camp Dutch Oven cookbook as well!
Campfire Peach Cobbler
- 2 (29 oz) cans sliced peaches, in syrup
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1/2 stick butter
- Cinnamon (to taste)
Place your dutch oven over a 2″ deep bed of hot coals (or about 15 hot charcoal briquettes), a couple of feet away from the fire itself.
Spray the dutch oven inside, and on the lid, with a non-stick spray.
Pour the peaches in first, then dump the cake mix on top of them; just dump it right out of the box onto the peaches. I promise, it’ll be okay.
Cut the butter into slivers, and place them evenly on top of the cake mix. Then sprinkle it all with cinnamon.
Put the lid on the dutch oven, and put several hot coals on top of the lid, spacing them evenly.
Rotate the entire dutch oven about a 1/4 of a turn every 15 minutes or so, for even cooking. Turn the lid as well, in the opposite direction from the way you turned the oven. In about 45 minutes it should be ready to enjoy!
I learned that first night the importance of having two very handy tools for dutch oven cooking: a lid lifter (which I did have) and a fireplace shovel (which I did not have).
Let me tell you, it’s tricky trying to collect hot coals to put on the lid of your dutch oven if you don’t have a shovel. I ended up raking them into an empty peaches can with a stick, and then quickly dumping them onto the lid. Can you say HOT?! Keep this in mind the next time you go camping, and be sure to bring along a small shovel from your fireplace tools!
The next night was a Chili cook-off. Since we already had plenty of chili to go around, I made cornbread in the skillet. I just followed the recipe on the back of the bag of cornmeal, doubled…
- 2 large eggs
- 2 2/3 cups milk
- 1/2 c. vegetable oil
- 4 cups self-rising corn meal mix
Spray a 12″ cast iron skillet with a non-stick spray; do the same with a fitted lid.
Make a ring of rocks a foot or two away from the direct flame, to place your skillet on. Fill the center of the rocks with a couple of inches of hot coals. You want to rest the skillet on the rocks, over the coals, and not directly on the coals.
Let the prepared skillet preheat over the coals while you mix all of the ingredients together.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in milk, oil, and corn meal mix until smooth. Pour into heated skillet and cover.
*Side note: doubling the original recipe ended up being a little too much for my 12″ skillet, so I removed about 1 cup of the batter to avoid spilling over.
Place several coals around the top of the lid. Rotate the skillet about 1/4 of a turn every 5-10 minutes or so. It took about 25-30 minutes to cook through.
Once again, I breathed a sigh of relief when it turned out well!! Yes! Open-fire cooking success.
Oh yeah, see that black handle cover on my skillet in the picture above? Definitely a good thing to have.
Okay, so back to celebrating Sukkot…
We really enjoyed camping. Having a baby along was a little challenging at times, especially at night. It got cold, and I just couldn’t bare the thought of Elias getting chilly, so I laid him on my chest in the sleeping bag with me. Of course, I couldn’t sleep a wink with him there… but he stayed snuggled and warm, so that’s what mattered!
Jada and some of her new friends made a fort to play in (or maybe it was a Sukkah!).
Titus enjoyed playing with spiders. And no, it’s not on his face 🙂 He also had fun playing soccer with his daddy, riding a bike, and eating, eating, eating.
One of the more experienced campers brought a kids’ table and coloring supplies. Genius. Xia was in scribbling heaven.
All of the kids helped decorate a Sukkah, and then they put on a cute little play for the parents to enjoy.
Evenings were great. It was such a blessing to sit around a campfire after all of the kids were asleep in the tents, and read Scripture and share what has been on our hearts lately.
We wished we could stay longer, but Jerry had work the first of the week (a blessing for sure!), so we came back home and set up camp in our front yard.
Yesterday, I did a little more campfire cooking here at home. Jerry found some rocks and made a fire pit for us to enjoy. I made something Jerry calls a Hobo Dinner. My grandpa also shared this recipe with me, though I’m not sure I did it right…
You take ground beef, and form it into hamburger patties. Then you put sliced onions and potatoes on either side of the meat. Wrap it in foil, creating a pocket for them to cook in.
Place your foil packets over hot coals, flipping them halfway through cooking time. I cooked mine for an hour, and they were kinda burnt, so keep an eye on them.
When they are done it’ll look something like this. A yummy pocket of delicious flame kissed meat and ‘taters. Next time, I’ll spray the foil with non-stick spray, and not cut the potatoes so thin.
So, there you have it! Some open fire cooking tips, and a glimpse into our first Sukkot.
If you celebrated Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) this year, or if you have experience cooking over an open flame, I’d love to hear your thoughts!!
Of course, all comments are welcome 🙂