2nd & 1st Class Cooking
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By Charles Smith

 

Practice in Your Own Back Yard

Cooking, like charity, seems to begin at home. Then, why not your back yard? Begin by making a small crisscross fire. When it burns down to glowing embers, be prepared. The fire will draw an audience, and your first cooking experiences will be shared with your family. Later you'll be ready for the Scouts. In the meantime, what about that juicy steak for the Sunday dinner? Why. of course, broil it over the open fire, and look for a lip-smacking result. Should the family become loud in its praise, well, that shouldn't be hard to swallow either. Hold on, though, you're afraid you might overcook the first one? What if you do? Most everyone else does. But now that you're forewarned, just watch out! Careful timing does it! Six to eight minutes makes it rare.

 

Individual Cooking Required

You know now that you're a cook and you're ready for your boys. Several of them will want to cook over the same fire. They can't do it to meet the cooking requirement, so why do it now? Call to their attention that their Handbook states, a Scout must prepare his firewood, build and light his fire and cook his own meal over his own fire.

 

The Clean Up

Emphasize the fact that before he meets the requirement, a Scout must dispose of his garbage properly, clean his dishes, put out his fire and clean the site thoroughly. Teach him that a good Scout leaves no trail. Show him how to burn garbage and flatten and bury tin cans.

 

Boil Potatoes and Broil Meat

The large bed of glowing embers required to roast potatoes is the stumbling block that trips beginners. Therefore, if you do not have time to help the Tenderfoot, suggest that he start with boiled potatoes. Then, when his potatoes are nearly boiled and his fire has burned down, he can lower the pot and time the broiling of his meat, so that both will be finished at about the same time.

 

Tips

Cut the potatoes into small pieces (mouthful size).

Hang the can (1-pound coffee can) with a single stick. Notice, no forked sticks are required. If the ground permits, just drive a stick at an angle and then cut a notch at the height desired to bring the can to the top of the fire. If the ground is rocky, hold the stick with two rocks.

 

Start with a Crisscross Fire

Start the Tenderfoot with a crisscross fire with hardwood on its upper layers. Round or square, do not use sticks thicker than one inch, and remember, split sticks start burning much faster than rounded ones. Do not let him light the fire until it is properly laid and the pot is hung. Have the grill and the meat ready to broil 15 minutes before the potatoes are cooked, which should be after the potatoes have been boiling for about 15 minutes.

 

How to Roast Potatoes

If you take over an established Troop in which roast potatoes are traditional, you will want to know at least one reasonably sure way to roast them. Here it is: Scoop out a hole at least 6" deep and 6" in diameter for two potatoes. Fill the hole with tinder and lay a crisscross fire over it at least 12" high, using hardwood. When the fire burns down wrap the potatoes in green leaves or wet paper, scrape about half of the coals out of the hole, throw in the wrapped potatoes, quickly cover them with the glowing embers and sprinkle a light layer of sand or dirt over it to shut out the air so that combustion ceases. In 40 to 50 minutes, depending upon the size of the potatoes and the quantity and quality of the hardwood embers, test the potatoes by thrusting a pointed stick into them, without disturbing the coals.

 

Tips

If pebbles about the size of a golf ball are available, intersperse them through the layers of wood when laying the fire. They will become hot by the time the fire burns down and you will require fewer embers. If you do not use pebbles, rebuild the fire in cold weather. Yes, it's difficult to roast potatoes.

 

Broiling Without Utensils

The secret of successful broiling is to have a sufficiently large bed of glowing embers without flame or smoke so that the fire need not be replenished once the broiling is started.

A forked stick or a straight stick grill is all that is needed. If you do not object to a possible few scorched spots, just throw a steak or chop on the bed of coals, after dusting off the ashes with a branch of green leaves.

 

Broiling on Coals

The late L. L. McDonald, former National Camp Director of the Boy Scouts of America, liked to simplify trail cooking. Here is his recipe for broiling steak without fuss or bother:

"If you are not fastidious, broil your steak directly on a bed of glowing embers. I prefer mine broiled that way to any other indoor or outdoor method I have ever tried. Stir a fairly large bed of hot coals so that the small coals will sift to the bottom and throw out all smoking chunks. Drop the steak onto the coals and in three or four minutes turn and cook the other side. Turn only once."

 

Pine Tree Jim Kabobs

Aluminum-Foil Cooking

Fry Pan Fish

Woodcrafter Fish

Patrol Hike Chowder

Scout Troop Hike Chili

Candied Apples On A Stick

Banana Short Cake

Hike Chocolate Peppermint Drink

Sassafras Tea

 

Boy Scout Games

 

 

 

   

 

 


Additional Information:

Pine Tree Jim Kabobs ] Aluminum-Foil Cooking ] Fry-Pan Fish ] Woodcrafter Fish ] Patrol Hike Chowder ] Scout Troop Hike Chili ] Candied Apples on a Stick ] Banana Short Cake ] Hike Chocolate Peppermint ] Sassafras Tea ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.