What a beautiful Autumn weekend we have just had. We have had crazy weather this year, it’s still so hot and muggy and the rain now just doesn’t want to stop! It was nice to get a break in between the storms.
The bonus of all the rain is that our summer fire ban has now ended, so this past weekend we decided that we would have our first campfire of the year. This was at the request of Alex, who is super excited because in a few weeks he will be going on his first hunting trip with his dad at Lake Waikaremoana, and while they are there, they will be using the fire to cook on and keep warm.
At my parent’s farm, we have a little campfire set up with stones and seats but Sunday was such a hot day we decided to set up a small fire near the shade of an old willow tree.
Our children have been helping set up and cook on campfires since they were about two, so don’t be put off by the age of your children, they can be a part of it from any age. Frankie and my nephew Jamie have been tagging along since they were born.
Collecting the wood, pinecones and sticks is all part of the adventure and learning about how to start the fire. Once the firewood is collected and the fire started we send the kids off to hunt for longer sticks for toasting their marshmallows on.
When cooking on the campfire, everyone sits around the fire. We don’t have any rules apart from that they need to sit or kneel. Over time the Alex and Meeka have learnt how to cook their own marshmallows to their own liking, sometimes they like them burnt and other times they will cook them with such precision above the coals and not get any burnt bits.
There are plenty of foods you can try cooking on the campfire and if you have a hot plate or a wire rack you can treat it just like a BBQ. Below are a few things to get you started but ideas can be endless.
- Damper – similar to a scone, once cooked eat with butter and jam
- Popcorn in a pot or in small tin foil packages
- Apple pieces with marshmallows and chocolate pieces, cook them in tin foil until the apple is soft and the marshmallow and chocolate are all gooey.
- Potatoes wrapped in tinfoil and then cooked in the coals
- Smores – adapted from the American treat, pop a toasted marshmallow between two chocolate thin biscuits.
If you don’t have access to farmland you can have campfires on the riverbed and at some beaches, just check your local council for fire bans and to make sure you don’t need permits.
When lighting a fire, make sure you are well away from trees and any building that could catch on fire and always put plenty of water on your fire at the end. You don’t want the fire to relight and if you are in a public place such as the beach or river, you wouldn’t want someone to walk on hot embers.
Have fun creating childhood memories.