The Camping Trip

Hobo Dinner
serves 3

1 lb. ground beef
2 large whole carrots, cut into sticks (or 10-12 baby carrots)
2 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
6 Tbsp. butter, divided into 3 pieces
salt and pepper to taste
aluminum foil

Lay out three large sections of foil (double the layers if you're not using heavy-duty foil).
Divide the beef, carrots, potatoes, and onions equally between the three foils.
Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper (potatoes always need more salt than you think ... so, really, be generous here.  Camping is no time for cutting corners).
Place the butter on top.  Yum.  If you want more butter, then by all means go for it.  (Re-read previous sentence beginning with "Camping is ..." if you need affirmation)
Fold up the foil into packets, making sure to seal the ends by folding up a few times.  You don't want to lose the juices that cook up inside.
Place foil packets in hot coals of a campfire and cook for 15-20 minutes or until beef is cooked and vegetables are tender.  (Note: coals work better than flames.  Just a head's up.  Wait for the hot coals ... it's worth it!)
Prepping our hobo dinners
All you camping gurus out there ... can you believe this was my first ever cooked-in-the-coals foil dinner?  I can't believe we've never done it before.  They were so easy to prepare, and required such little clean-up.  I think that the Mr. and I have a new camping recipe to add to the mix!  Our second night of cooking, I substituted a bratwurst for ground beef but still used carrots and potatoes (and of course butter).  It was delicious, too!  Man, oh man.  I am now scheming about how to use our fire pit in the backyard in new and ingenious ways for cooking.

We did have a fantastic time camping.  Massachussets in the fall is gorgeous, and though it was COLD (low of 20 degrees on Friday night) everyone in the group managed to stay warm.  We are thankful that not only did we get to spend time with new friends, we also did not have to birth a baby in our tent.  Should such occasion have arisen, though, one of our camping buddies is a midwife (who planned ahead with a CD of labor music and a clean towel or two for me), so I felt very safe and taken-care-of.
Saturday morning: cold.  VERY cold.
Fashion flies out the window when it's cold.
We hiked at a local state park on Saturday and saw a really beautiful and interesting waterfall cascading through a natural tunnel.  We picnicked at a grassy area at the top of the hike, and then headed back for one more night at the camp while the other two families headed home due to prior obligations.  The rhymeswithsmile family enjoyed a second - and much warmer - night but woke up to rain, so our plans for exploring the area on Sunday were squelched.  (And, to be completely frank, I was glad to have an excuse to sit in the car instead of walking around.  Eight months of pregnancy really starts to wear on a girl.)

Little girl did a great job ... I think she stayed warmer than we did the first night, and except for a few wake-ups when she called out for us, she slept pretty well.  She even stayed in her own sleeping bag (a hand-me-down from somewhere) - this is a good sign!  We're on our way up in toddlerhood.

This is my last hurrah, in the outdoorsy arena.  I will not be attempting any more pregnancy camping or camping-with-newborn.  It's New England, and it's going to be really cold.  And, we'll have a newborn.

I am settling in for hibernation, and will emerge for another camping trip next July (maybe).

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