Whether you’re a foodie or not, when packing for your summer camping trip, food is a top consideration and we’re here to help. The Parks New Brunswick staff got together to share our favourite campfire recipes and we want to share them with you. So, light that fire and get ready to whip up some tasty camping treats!
Camping just doesn’t seem like camping without S’mores and these twists on a traditional favorite are going to upgrade your s’more game and start you off strong. Life is short, let’s start with desserts!
1. First up, we have the S’more cone, a favorite from New River Beach Provincial Park Assistant Manager, Ryan!
a. Grab yourself a graham cracker ice cream cone.
b. Stuff that cone full of marshmallows and chocolate chips.
c. Wrap your cone in tinfoil and set it on a low fire for 10 to 12 minutes.
d. Unwrap and enjoy that melted goodness, but don’t forget the tongs! Safety first!
2. Traditional recipe upgrade number two is a go-to for Guest Experience Coordinator, Patrice from Sugarloaf Provincial Park: S’more Nachos!
a. For this twist you will need a cast iron frying pan.
b. Break those graham crackers into bite size pieces.
c. Layer graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate chips in the pan just like you’re making nachos.
d. Place on the fire (don’t forget your oven mitt for safety) and cook until the marshmallows are a gold brown.
e. Carefully remove from heat and enjoy!
3. Last on our S’mores favorites list from Herring Cove Provincial Park’s Assistant Manager, Stacie, is the Sweet and Salty S’more!
a. You’ll stick with the traditional graham crackers of course.
b. Place your marshmallow between those graham crackers.
c. Instead of a piece of chocolate or chocolate chips, for this recipe you will add a chocolate covered pretzel or chocolate covered potato chip.
d. Melt over the fire using a cast iron skillet or campfire sandwich press
e. Let cool and enjoy your sweet, salty treat!
We could go on about dessert, sweets and chocolate all day long but the staff at Parks New Brunswick knows that all those fun camping activities require nutritious fuel for your body, so they managed to move on to those filling campfire meals too.
Starting with breakfast, park Manager of République Provincial Park, Eric, starts his camping days off with traditional Acadian pancakes known as ‘Ployes”. With their no muss, no fuss easy cooking method they are a great easy and filling camping recipe.
1. For this recipe you will need:
a. 1 cup of buckwheat flour
b. 1 cup of all-purpose flower
c. 1 tbsp baking powder
d. 1 tsp salt
e. 1 ½ cups of cold water
f. ½ cup of boiling water
2. Mix the dry ingredients in your large mixing bowl
3. Add the cold water and mix well then let stand for five minutes
4. Add the boiling water, mix vigorously and then let it stand for another five minutes
5. Pour about a ¼ of a cup of batter into the skillet and spread it around until you have a thin circle
6. Cook until the top is dry and covered in holes, no need to flip!
7. Choose your favourite topping and enjoy!
A trending favorite this year for campfire cooking has been Bannock on a stick. Bannock is a form of bread that served as a staple in the diets of early settlers, fur traders and later, Indigenous Peoples. Most Indigenous nations in North America have some version of Bannock. (Reference: The Canadian Encyclopedia) This versatile favorite has been served at many events at Mactaquac Provincial Park!
1. For this easy recipe, you will need:
a. Two cups of flour
b. 4 teaspoons of baking powder
c. 4 tablespoons of butter
d. 2 teaspoons of white sugar
e. Half a teaspoon of salt
2. It’s as simple as mixing the ingredients in a sealed bag until the dough is crumbly. This part can be done at home and placed in the fridge until you head to your camping spot, or you can make it right at your campsite and place it in a cooler with ice. When you’re ready to start cooking, add a half cup of water to the bag and work the dough until it becomes 4 to 6 solid balls.
3. It’s time to remove your Bannock from the bag and roll it into a dough snake.
4. Wrap your dough snake around your roasting stick and bake it over the campfire for 10 to 20 minutes.
5. This is where the real fun and creativity begins! Your Bannock is a blank, food canvas ready for the dip of your choice! Will you choose maple syrup? Jam? Nutella? Maybe try them all? You can’t go wrong!
For our parks visitors who visit at the start or near the end of the camping season (of course we offer winter camping but that is a whole story on its own!), you may be looking for something a little heartier to keep you toasty around the campfire. Campfire stew or jambalaya was brought up many times by our staff here at the provincial parks head office. They have had the pleasure of cooking this up at both Mount Carleton Provincial Park and North Lake Provincial Park. There is something about cooking and eating this hearty meal surrounded by nature that makes it so much better. Although this author has never personally tried it, I fully expect my co-workers to offer a full service, campfire stew dining experience for this popular favorite! There are many recipes out there for different types of campfire stew but the staff pick was a simple beef stew that is quick to prepare and simmers for a couple of hours to really absorb the flavours.
1. For this recipe you will need:
a. 2 pounds of boneless, bite sized beef chunks.
b. Salt and pepper
d. Garlic (4 cloves or two teaspoons of minced)
e. 1 can of tomato paste
f. 1 box of beef broth
g. 1 teaspoon each of rosemary and thyme
h. 3-4 medium to large potatoes
i. 1 pound of carrots
j. 2 stalks of celery
k. A 12 inch Dutch Oven cooking pan (It’s also best to bring a campfire grill cover if you’re unsure of the fire pit design at your campground)
2. Before you begin preparing your ingredients you will want to get your fire started to bring it to the desired cooking temperature.
3. Prepare your ingredients by chopping your potatoes, carrots and celery into 1 inch cubes/slices, dice your garlic, onion and spices.
4. Sear the beef chunks in the pan until browned, then add garlic and chopped onions, cooking until softened.
5. Stir in all other ingredients, cover and let it simmer until your veggies are soft, stirring occasionally. A minimum of two hours of simmering is recommended to bring out the flavours and ensure the meat and veggies are tender.
6. Remove the lid and continue to simmer if you would like to thicken your stew for up to 20 minutes.
7. Enjoy your campfire stew! Imagine, you can even dip your Bannock in for a hearty, homestyle meal!
(This recipe can be converted to vegetarian by removing the beef and swapping the beef broth for vegetable broth)
Because dessert is always on our minds, our Park Manager, Michel from Parlee Beach Provincial Park has teamed up with Murray Beach Provincial Park’s Maintenance Supervisor Pam to share this amazing Cinnamon Bun recipe.
1. For this recipe you will need:
a. 2/3 + 1/3 of a cup of margarine
b. 1 ¾ to 2 cups of flour
c. 1 Tbsp of baking powder
d. 2/3 of a cup of milk
e. ½ a cup of brown sugar
f. 1 Tbsp of cinnamon
g. ¼ of a cup of honey or maple syrup
h. You will want a large mixing bowl and large flat surface such as a cutting board for rolling and a rolling pin.
2. Mix together the 2/3 of a cup of margarine, flour and baking powder
3. Add the milk and knead until smooth
4. Roll the dough out thin and spread the 1/3 of a cup of margarine onto the dough
5. Sprinkle with both the brown sugar and cinnamon and then drizzle your honey or maple syrup over that!
6. Roll into a log and cut into one inch circles.
7. Slide onto a skewer and rotate over the fire for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until they are nicely toasted.
For our last staff favorite (and to be 100% honest, this author’s favorite and absolute must for every camping trip), let’s bring it back to one of the simplest of camping staples that your inner child will really appreciate. Almost all of us have roasted hot-dogs on the campfire, but a camping hot-dog just isn’t right if we don’t turn it into a spider dog! Slice an “X” into each end of your hot-dog, put the end of your roasting stick through the middle and roast it over the fire. Watching those ends curl as they sizzle is so much fun. Hot-dogs just hit differently when they’re turned into a childhood favorite while camping.
We hope that our Parks New Brunswick staff campfire favorites have inspired your inner camping chef to get creative this summer or try something new!
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