Sunday, February 7, 2016

First Meals at the Shack

Oh my wonderful plywood hunting shack perched near the top of a ridge. A perfect place to relax away from the rat race. It is an off-grid, dry cabin suitable for weekend getaways and camping trips. So far there are no utilities - no running water and no refrigeration. What follows are my first attempts with preparing hot and satisfying meals in off-grid conditions.

My Off-grid Kitchen Facilities


My "kitchen" at the Shack includes a dilapidated gas BBQ grill outdoors, a small wood stove indoors, no running water, no utilities, and no refrigeration. I have a refrigerator that the previous owners left. But I do not have utilities connected and I have no immediate plans to do so. Thus far, the refrigerator makes a fine mouse-proof dry goods pantry.

I really like hamburgers and hot dogs but didn't want to eat only hamburgers and hot dogs. I wanted easy and tasty meals. Usually meals for one. And because I carry in my water, I didn't want to have many dishes to wash after each meal.  Cooking in foil packets turned out to be a great solution.

Hobo Packs


My first few meals cooked inside consisted of meat chunks and veggies baked in tinfoil. I didn't didn't realize that someone had given this style of cooking a name. It's called a Hobo Pack.  I just learned that today while trying to find additional easy, off-grid recipes.



My version includes whatever meat was for sale at the grocery store closest to the shack. Cubed or sliced into smaller pieces. Sliced onions and bell peppers. Sprinkled with "hot shots" pepper.  I love my hot shots. If I can have only one spice available, I'd choose hot shots every time.

Hot Shot pepper blend
I have added cubed potatoes when I have some.  I spray the inside of the foil with a cooking spray if I am adding potatoes in order to keep the potatoes from sticking.  Then all I do is wrap the foil tightly and toss the pack into the coals to cook.  I turn the pack several times during cooking.

I warm flour tortillas on a skillet, on top of the wood stove, or laid across the top of the hobo pack inside the stove, to serve with these hobo packs.

I was able to finally find a small enameled cast iron dutch oven that fits perfectly into my stove.  Between that amazing little dutch oven and the endless flexibility of cooking in tin foil packs, I will surely eat well while at The Shack.

Give it a Try


I'm not good with sharing recipes, since I just throw things together. But I can assure you that if I end up with tender and tasty meals, you can too. If you need an easy way to cook while camping or off-grid, but aren't sure where to start, the Food Network provides a list of 50 Things to Grill in Foil.








14 comments:

  1. Makes me want to go camping so I can enjoy some delicious hobo packs, too. Bet they taste amazing when they're cooked on your wood stove!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't even begin to describe how wonderful they taste out there in the fresh air and cooked in a wood stove.

      Delete
  2. Sounds like you are having some great meals up at your 'get-away' shack, Dawn Rae. Cooking in foil sound like the perfect way to go.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You know, I don't think I ever would have thought to do that, but it makes perfect sense! Throwing food you like together in foil and cooking it on coals is the perfect solution when there is no electricity or stove. A fabulous article for anyone who enjoys great outdoor (or barely indoor) living!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! I love that saying and may use it... barely indoor living. That sums it up.

      Delete
  4. how enterprising you are! Not ready to go without water myself but if I do, this way of cooking sounds amazing....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is pretty shocking to not have water-on-demand at every moment. It makes me think about how much I use in the apartment. As soon as I decide where to put it, I will have a very large holding "tank" of water up there and get water deliveries. I'll still be careful to use as little water as possible though.

      Delete
  5. I've camped for years and never thought of putting together some hobo packs. What a great idea....Wow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't thought about it either. Until I had started thinking about buying one of those long-handled pie maker things (for campfires). And I realized tin foil might work.

      Delete
  6. Wow, you are my outdoor hero! you go girl :) you must feel so renewed after that, and the hobo packs, fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just thinking about the place renews me. I can't wait to live there full time! And my list of to-dos... OH WOW! Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Delete
  7. Simplicity is the great refreshment in life. There is something very liberating in sustenance that comes together in a way that flows easily in a day that is about all about enjoying life's simple pleasures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do feel liberated there. It's hard to explain but I know you totally get it.

      Delete