22 October 2008

Foil packet dinners

Late fall, and in these unsettled economic times a camping trip reminds us that seasonal cycles are larger than stock market fluctuations. Southeast Minnesota is the driftless area, where non-glaciated areas were scoured by the melting glaciers long before the first shares of stock were traded. The resulting bluffs tower above valley floors and the mixed hardwoods now shine gold, bronze and yellow in the pale autumn sun.

After a gorgeous hike along the high ridges of Beaver Creek Valley, we started a fire for dinner. On the menu were foil packet dinners, camp food fit for a family. Ground beef, sliced potatoes, corn, butter, tomatoes, and salt and pepper, well wrapped in several layers of tin foil. When the flames died down and an even bed of hot coals pulsed in the fire ring, we laid our foil packets on the embers and waited. After a few minutes we could hear sizzling on the inside, proof that the meat was browning, the butter was melting, and everything was blending together. Ten minutes per side, and we flipped them to ensure uniform cooking.

Camping in the valley, the air cooled quickly, and by the time our packet dinners were ready we were putting on sweatshirts and wool hats. A plastic tablecloth over the park picnic table and we were ready to eat. Sizzling hot, I unpeeled the layers of foil and made a plate with the rolled up edges. We ate with gusto, drinking cold water and cold beer. The steam rose and we breathed like dragons, spuds good for the belly. Sitting around the fire after dinner, blazing stars in the clear sky, arguing politics and the upcoming election. Hiking the next morning we drank straight from springs, the cold clear water racing over rocks; we embraced the fall.

1 comment:

  1. Foil dinners are SUPER DELICIOUS!! They have all of my favorite foods and they are so easy to cook. While we sat by the crackling fire the smell of ground beef, corn, and potatoes wafted toward us.