Fire

What are your first memories of fire? Mine are in my Great-Grandad’s bungalow as a young child. We used to visit him quite often, we’d sit and watch the flames and then throw our smartie tubes into the fire and watch them shrivel up in the heat.

Unless your first memory of it is unpleasant then I imagine, like me, you still love a good fire. With bonfire night fast approaching I thought it would be nice to share a few recipes for cooking over a fire.

Remember a huge great bonfire isn’t for cooking over, a small fire pit is perfect and make sure you take all the proper precautions, keeping children well back unless supervised, having water on hand. But if you take the correct safety measures this is certainly something the whole family can enjoy!

Dampers

These are a Guiding (and Scouting but I’m biased!) classic. My girls love making this sweet version, but a savoury version can be made by omitting the sugar.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbs butter (you can omit butter but it is better with some fat)
  • 3/4 cup milk/water
  • pinch salt

Method

Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers to make a breadcrumb consistency.

Add sugar/salt and slowly mix in your liquid. You need quite a firm consistency, it mustn’t fall from the stick as you turn it around.

Whittle a stick and sterilise in the fire, or wrap tin foil tightly around it. Wrap the dough around the stick.

Cool over the embers of the fire, turning frequently until golden brown and cooked through.

Variations

Place a cooked cocktail sausage on the stick and wrap the dough around for a sausage roll.

As above but with a marshmallow!

Spread jam or chocolate spread over before enjoying.

Chocolate Bananas

These are an old family favourite, a must have post-Barbecue dessert.

Ingredients

  • Banana
  • Chocolate buttons
  • Tin foil

Method

Slice through the banana skin on the inside of the curve. Just enough to make a pocket in the fruit but not all the way to the other side.

Tuck in as many chocolate buttons as you want – you could also add any other treats!

Wrap tightly in foil and gently tuck into the embers of the fire. Leave to cook for at least 30 minutes until the banana flesh is soft and the chocolate it melted.

Scoop out the inside and enjoy!

Chocolate Orange sponges

These are a gem from my forest school training at Everdon Outdoor Learning Centre, a fab autumn treat.

Ingredients

  • Large oranges
  • Chocolate sponge mix (ready prepared is great or your favourite sponge recipe)
  • Foil

Method

Make up your favourite chocolate sponge mix.

Cut the orange in half and scoop out the flesh – either eat or use in another recipe.

Wrap the outside of the orange skin in tin foil, slightly higher than the top of the skin.

Fill the empty orange skin half way then carefully place in the embers of the fire.

Leave until risen and cooked, this time will vary but may take at least half an hour. Remove carefully with tongs and enjoy.

Popcorn

Another Everdon idea! Two metal sieves clamped together with a jubilee clip make an excellent container for popcorn cooking. Make sure both handle and sieve is metal so nothing melts. Use a sturdy piece of green hazel to extend the handle and fill the newly formed dome with popcorn kernels and hold over the embers.

It’s not just the children who will love watching the kernels magically transform into puffy popcorn.

Add sugar, salt or the topping of your choice and enjoy warm.

Remember the sieves will be super hot!

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