As a family, we camp a lot. I really mean a LOT. Sometimes we are away 3 or 4 weekends a month in the summer. Last year in July we were only home for 7 days. Yeah, we camp a lot.
We’ve evolved a tradition of sitting around the campfire roasting unhealthy, but delicious fare. We started out small with the occasional marshmallow, s’more, or hot-dog. Then we started roasting a LOT of hot dogs and trying various mustards and other condiments. Now we sometimes eat 8 or 10 marshmallows each and 4 to 6 hot-dogs, or more in a night. It’s delicious, but it is terrible for my waistline and cholesterol level.
Last year we got a little creative with our campfire treats and wrapped our hot-dogs in bacon. A complete success! Then we thought: “Why do we need the hot-dog?” and started roasting bacon alone. Delicious! Bacon is now a staple in the trailer.
On the trip we took last week, we took our insanities and cholesterol to a new level. It started when I wrapped a marshmallow in bacon. That’s right: bacon-wrapped marshmallows. Fat, sodium, and sugar! If you think about it, bacon and maple syrup is pretty popular, so it’s not that big of a stretch. And Denny’s has that bacon ice-cream sundae thing. So why not?
In fact, it was absolutely tasty! Cook the bacon first and after it cools a bit, wrap it around the marshmallow then back into the coals for a bit of marshmallow toasting. I tried roasting the two separate then wrapped the marshmallow and ate it. It tasted about the same, but lacked a bit of the wrapped and roasted flare and the bacon fat dripping all over the marshmallow.
Another discovery from last year was a bit of a fluke. My uncle brought some glazed donuts for desert, but brought about 3 dozen too many. A day or two or three later we tried warming them over the fire. AMBROSIA! Better than a donut fresh out of the fryer.
Not to be outdone by last year’s antics, this year we wrapped the donut in bacon. Purely delightful. Cook the bacon at least half-way first, then wrap the donut and finish cooking. I found that donuts should be cooked over hot coals and turned pretty quickly. The glaze bubbles and melts and if you don’t turn it fast, it all drips off. Turn it fast and the glaze carmelizes and the donut warms through. When it cools, the glaze is a little crunchy and the donut deliciously warmed.
We tried a couple other new adventures on this trip. Bacon wrapped string cheese seemed a little too normal to me, so I skipped it. I thought the bacon wrapped apple wedges held promise, but I was a bit disappointed. The apples lacked flavor compared to the bacon and got drowned out.
The final stroke of genius came from my aunt Brenda: bacon-wrapped asparagus. It took a few tries to work out the technique. We tried spearing the asparagus with the roasting sticks, but it tended to split out and break off and we ended up with a mass of wrapped bacon and pieces of asparagus that didn’t cook evenly.
Finally we settled on the proper technique. First wrap two spears of asparagus tightly with 2 or 3 strips of bacon–just enough to cover the asparagus with a single layer of bacon–then stick the roasters through the bacon and between the spears. If you roast until the bacon is done the asparagus is done to perfection. Let cool a bit then chow down. (Apologies for the bad photo quality below. It was just my phone and it was getting dark.)
Of all the newly discovered treats, my favorite is the roasted donuts (with or without bacon) and the bacon-wrapped asparagus. Bacon, donuts, and asparagus will be permanently on the packing list. Forget the hot dogs and plain marshmallows.
For the next trip, we are going to try to make s’mores with donut holes. We don’t need no stinkin’ marshmallows. We’re also considering bacon-wrapped corn on the cob. I think zucchini spears would also work out nicely.
Your turn. I know some of it sounds a little weird, but I bet you’d like the marshmallows and bacon. Everyone in camp (who tried it) was surprised at how good it was. Anyone would like the asparagus. AND… I need some more ideas. Tell me what else we should try to wrap in bacon. Or something else. Something new. Something original. Something you don’t dare try yourself, but we probably will. Leave your ideas in the comments.