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posted: 8/9/2012 4:21 AM

Move over Mom: Foil-packet potatoes easy camp food that fills you up

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  • Potatoes and vegetables wrapped in foil and cooked over an open fire make for hearty camp cuisine.

    Potatoes and vegetables wrapped in foil and cooked over an open fire make for hearty camp cuisine.
    Bill Zars

By Jerome Gabriel

I've been camping many times; camping is a fun experience for the whole family.

The thing that makes camping fun is that you can sleep under the stars or in a tent, go fishing, take hikes and see cool things in nature that you don't see in your backyard.

Like earlier this summer when I went on a rafting and camping trip in Utah. On one hike we saw a mountain spring, and on another hike we went to a place called Butt Dam Falls.

When we camp we use a propane stove to make dinner or we cook right over the camp fire.

Easy camping foods are foods that they don't need a lot of preparing and ingredients. For breakfast on our rafting trip, we had cereal and sometimes pancakes. We use pancake mix that only needs water so you don't have to worry about eggs breaking on accident.

One of the dinners we had on the raft trip was tacos. Tacos are good camp food because everyone can add the toppings they like. But I'm not going to talk about tacos, I'm going to talk about potatoes.

The reason potatoes are easy to take camping is because they don't bruise or mold easily. The key is to cut them all the same size so they cook at the same rate. We tested this recipe cutting the potatoes in slices, in cubes and in wedges and I liked the slices the best.

A word from Mom: When we camp I look for ingredients and recipes that can do double duty. This recipe fills that bill because chopped peppers, onions and zucchini that don't go into the foil packets can be used in pasta sauce or pasta salad. I like serving the potatoes with chicken sausage links; I buy the precooked variety so they just need to be heated at camp.

After a day of hiking, fishing and fresh air we're pretty hungry and this meal fills us up. When there are leftovers I reheat them in the morning in the same skillet I used for cooking bacon. I stir the potatoes and veggies into the bacon grease and crispy bits and we have a hearty hash to fuel new adventures.

• Jerome Gabriel, a seventh-grader, has been cooking since he was old enough to hold a spoon. His mom, Deborah Pankey, is the Daily Herald's food editor.

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