By: Gabrielle McLaren, Features editor
It’s so cold and snowy that students on the Burnaby campus have been congregating at the fire pits like moths drawn towards a light. While there are always happy students there ready to provide you with marshmallows and roasting sticks, if the cold is going to keep this up, we as a school need to level up and make the most of these fire pits.
As a note though: we’re going to limit this list to items that you can make without disrupting other fire-goers. This means that the camping cooking category of “wrapping things in tin foil and sticking them on the coals” is out. Additionally, we’re going to stay away from fresh meat in this article because salmonella is an embarrassing way to die, which rules out the school of “wrap things in bacon and cook that on a fire,” delicious as it might be. However, you still have plenty of good ideas. Trust me, I was a girl guide.
1) Elevate your marshmallows to s’mores
Nesters is so close that there’s no reason not to grab graham crackers and some chocolate — Jersey’s Milk chocolate bars are awesome for s’mores. If you’re looking for a life hack: pick up Celebrations cookies and get your cookies and your chocolate squares all in one. Fair warning, though: my friend who did this was quickly forced to share his goods with other strangers. Some other s’mores hacks include sticking your cooked marshmallow in an Oreo, or throwing a Reese’s Cup into your s’more.
2) Spider weenies
I mentioned that I was a girl guide leader, yes? Well, the kids would actively chant for these. You’re going to want to get a package of wieners, sausages, or veggie sausages. With a knife, slide the ends of the sausage four ways. Do not chop the end of the sausage off: simply slice it halfway once and then twice so you have four “legs” on each end of your sausage. This way when you cook your sausage, the ends will curl up. The name of this old favourite should be pretty self-explanatory now.
3) Roasting fruits
Does your mother sound worried about you on the phone? Does it worry you that university students as a population still deal with scurvy? Well, stick some fruits on a kebab and roast them over the fire! Pineapple is delicious when it’s all nice and warm and roasted. Peaches and apples are also good choices, but the opportunities are as endless as the produce section, really. You can also follow-up with some creativity: will you dip your roasted fruits in caramel or Nutella? Will you get around to roasting peppers, zucchinis, carrots, corn cobs, and other vegetables? Are you going to go down the route of kebabs, here? You are the master of your own fate, friend.
4) Pigs in a blanket
Pillsbury crescent dough is going to be our friend in this list. Impale your hotdog on your roasting stick. Then, break off a square of crescent dough and stretch it out so that you can wrap it around your hotdog. No need to be pretty with this one; it doesn’t have to be even, you can leave some of the hotdog exposed, etc. Once your dough starts to brown, test it for doughiness and cook. Once you’re satisfied with this, you get to worry about what kind of condiment to dip it in. Ketchup, mustard, mayo, relish, chipotle mayo… Keep in mind that while The Peak doesn’t endorse stealing condiments from the food places around campus, you already probably do.
5) Cinnamon buns
Go find a package of frozen biscuits, and wrap it around the end of your campfire stick — make sure that the dough isn’t wrapping over itself, so that you have an easier and more even cook. Once the dough starts expanding (and be patient on this one, a mouthful of raw dough will ruin your life), remove your creation from the fire and slather it in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
6) A grilled cheese
This is easier to make once you’ve found a nice V-shaped branch to balance a sandwich on in the wilderness, but you should be able to replicate this on Burnaby Mountain. All you really need to do is assemble your grilled cheese (throw in some cold cuts or tomatoes or pesto if you’re feeling frisky), and balance it over the fire. Pro-tip: if you pound out your bread beforehand, it takes less time for the cheese to get all melty, which is what the end goal here is anyways.
If you’re trying to get creative, a strategically folded and impaled burrito is also a possibility when armed with patience, some tortillas, and whatever filling your heart desires (again, if you’re being meaty about this, use pre-cooked). I’m also going to put it out there for any vegan chefs that peanut butter is delicious when melty, so echoing this sandwich principle with peanut butter and bananas isn’t a bad idea either.
7) Potato spirals
You might have seen these at fairs, and now is your chance to make them on your own instead of spending $7 on them. This one is going to take a little more handiness: you’re going to want to peel a potato, and use a knife to cut it into a spiral. If you’re lazy: just cut them into slices and them impale that. If you’re feeling up to it, this YouTube tutorial will show you the proper technique. Once you’ve roasted up your spiral potato, the world is yours. Sour cream, green onions, and those bacon bits made for Cesar salads can bring you to instant baked-potato level. Ketchup and mayo will make this just like fries. Cheese can bring you to nowhere but happiness.
8) Pockets of goodness
I don’t know what these are called, but we make these on the fire pit in my aunt’s backyard every summer, and they’re absolutely delightful. We’ve found no name for them other than the very apt description you see above. What you’re going to want to do is get a package of Pillsbury crescent dough. Unroll a dough square, and stuff it with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and a chopped banana. The ratio is flexible on this one. Wrap up your little pouch of delight, and stick it on the roasting stick. Physics may or may not be on your side on this one, so make sure that you’re really solid before roasting that until the dough starts to brown.