This Homesteading Thursday, I want to bring us back to the campfire. Campfire cooking is the most primitive way of cooking. Every homesteader in times past learned to use the fire to heat their homes and to cook many meals.
During the depression, many people were homeless and lived in encampments. They were known as Hobos. Whatever food they could find, whether it was wild caught, wild grown, in the trash, or given from a neighbor, they would cook all the food over the fire. Because they were hungry, they would use even the peelings of vegetables that others would throw away. Being resourceful was their survival. I am sure that is where we get the term “Hobo Dinner”, because it is comprised of simple ingredients that are cooked together.
Hobo Dinners take me back to my childhood. My parents used to take us on very remote camping adventures in the forest. We never had much money, so camping for free was what we did the most. And it was one of my fondest memories growing up. We would backpack deep into the woods and set up our camp. All our meals were cooked over an open fire. There is nothing that makes you feel closer to nature than sleeping under the stars and cooking all your food over that open fire. Hearing the crackling of embers, the smell of smoke, and the noise of wind blowing through the trees is such a wonderful experience.
Mom would pack a roll of tin foil along with vegetables, potatoes, and beef in a little cooler that we would tote along. Hobo dinners are both a simple meal and fun to make together as you huddle around the campfire.
For less need of refrigeration, you could use a quart of my canned potatoes, canned veggies, and canned hamburger. We like to make individual servings for our Hobo Dinner.
1. Tear off a sheet of tin foil about 24 inches long.
6. Set all the Hobo Dinners on a grill piece over an open fire for about 20-30 minutes. Try not to position them too close to the flames. Flipping the packets is also a good idea. This will help avoid burning the contents on one side. You can also use a grill to cook these. If the contents are raw, you should cook them twice as long. You can check inside the foil to see if one is steaming hot and the contents are cooked. Keep a close eye on the dinners so they do not burn. If one is ready, they all are.****By the way, if you are worried about using tin foil, just use a cast iron pot. Dump all ingredients into one pot and stick the pot over the open fire. Stir your contents frequently. Enjoy!