Campfire Cooking with Kids

Homesteading is being resourceful…This past Saturday after I went on a little bike ride down the lane, I came home.  It was a beautiful day.  The birds were singing, the sun was shining its warm glow on your face, and you just know it is a day that you need to be outside.  I could here my children’s voices coming from the creek.  I made my way to a trail that led into the forest.  It was there that I saw the camp site the children made earlier that day.  There were forts posted at every angle and fires cracking.  The children were running back and forth with dry wood to burn and wild edibles to cook over their growing fires.

To my delight, they were learning to be resourceful.  

I went from one campfire to the next, learning all about the soup they were preparing.  Molly was finding wild onions, chickweed, and earthworms.  Here she is frying earth worms on a rock to make crisp before adding it to her soup.  I was very shocked that she was planning on worm soup for supper.

“Worms are good protein, mom!”  She added, “If we were trying to survive, we would have to eat what ever was available and worms are plentiful in the ground.  Why not eat them?  They could give you energy if you were really hungry.”

That was true and very brave for a girl to attempt.  I would hope I could be that brave to to eat worms if I were ever faced with hunger.  The soup smelled delicious.

I look over my shoulder and see Megan throwing a bucket into the creek to gather water.  She figured out that it was easier to tie a string to the bucket handle and draw up the water so she did not have to climb down the bank to gather it up.  Very smart.

“I will use this water to wash my food and hands with.” Megan said very confidently.
Megan’s fort was so darling.  She chopped logs and made a little shelter with them.  It looked like a little log cabin.  She decorated it with some CDs that were laying around in the woods.  They find all kinds of treasures that come by way of flood waters.
Miles made a pretty sturdy fort with twine and branches.  He covered it with a big tarp to keep out the rain.
Molly chose to use a lighter color for her tarp so it would allow more light in her little home away from home.  Her fire was close enough to give her warmth.  I really liked the location of her fort because it was right on the bank of the creek.  She wanted to have easy access to the water supply, a pretty view, and she said she enjoys hearing the relaxing sound of the flowing water.  How cute, practical, and domestic!  She will make such a lovely home for herself someday.
Mikey had a very nice shelter.  He had his log for a cutting board and a bucket of water for washing his hands.  He is my meticulous child.  Everything has to be in place.
If he wasn’t busy chopping fire wood to stack neatly in a pile for his campfire, he was down at the creek catching fish and then cooking them over the fire on flat rocks.  It was neat to see how he made his wild onion and fish soup over the fire.  So Resourceful!
Junior had a little blue fort.  It was a good start but he later decided to camp out with Molly who had a much larger fort to sit under.
Molly and Junior were peeling potatoes, making potato chips over the fire by placing them on a flat rock.  The rock gets hot and can be used for cooking food like a skillet.  Isn’t that neat?  I was just enthralled with how my own kids could think of such things on their own.
Using our stainless steel drinking mugs, the kids were filling it with creek water (spring fed and clear), cutting up potatoes, celery, carrots, wild onions from the forest, and boiling it all together for some wholesome soup.    You can see the mug standing close the the hot coals.  That was sufficient to bring the contents to a boil.
I did not have to cook that evening because they made dinner for everyone.  Even the neighbors stopped over at the camp to enjoy a taste of their cooking.

Letting the kids take a few tools from the old wood shed and few knives or pans from the kitchen was well worth it.  Sometimes we need to let our kids figure things out.

They are learning to be RESOURCEFUL.
In life it is of paramount importance to learn to be resourceful.
What they learned that day will translate into life.  It will cause them to think for themselves, to be productive with their time, and how to handle life when there is little to work with.  Making the most with what they had.

It was a day we will all cherish in our memory as long as we live.  Watch the video I made of the kids telling how they made their camp cookout.

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