In the last installment of our four part series on outdoor cooking with the family, we’re tackling everyone’s favorite course: dessert. You can try many different dessert recipes on an outdoor flame, and a Dutch oven will be your best friend to make use of the heat of coals. Today, we’re going to be using a method that doesn’t require any equipment.
Wood Chopping Safety
Before we begin with food, though, we want to go over some basic wood-chopping safety. At some point, your kids will get to an age and responsibility level when you want to teach them how to cut wood with an ax. I start with teaching them to cut kindling, and later move on to chopping firewood as they become more mature.
The Boy Scouts of America have a lot of great resources for teaching this kind of thing to your children. If you have a scout in your home, you can probably turn this activity into a fun patch or belt loop. For a great, basic breakdown of how to properly handle and use a wood cutting implement, just visit this link from BSA Troop 780. I’d suggest printing it out and posting it in your home, talking about the principles over several days and then moving on to trying them out. We learn through repetition and practice.
Just a few basic reminders for when cutting wood:
- Wear closed-toed shoes.
- Never chop alone—always have a responsible mentor present.
- Keep a wide stance when you cut.
- Keep your cutting tool sharp.
- Pay attention.
Recipe: Chocolate Banana Boats
Everyone loves s’mores and my family is no exception—we like to make ours in a solar oven—but sometime’s it’s nice to have other options. This simple chocolate banana boat uses chocolate but no sticky marshmallows—it’s so simple!
- 1 banana per person
- bag of chocolate chips
- Set you banana on the counter so it’s lying face up, like a half moon. Use a knife to cut off the peel in the inner side of the crescent, leaving the rest of the peel on. Feed the banana peel scrap to the chickens.
- Using a spoon, scrape out the inside of the banana, making a nice trough. Be careful not to puncture the skin from the inside out.
- Fill the trough with chocolate chips.
- Carefully place the banana upright onto the medium heat of a bed of coals. Watch for the chocolate to melt.
- Remove from the coals carefully with a strong pair of tongs and let cool on a plate before eating.
Do you have a favorite campfire treat you’d like to share?