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mrkstvns

Thanksgiving at Camp...

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Have you ever tried cooking a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner at camp?  Dutch oven turkey?  Stuffing?  Potatoes?  Yams?  

I can imagine that back in the days of the Pilgrims, everything was cooked over an open fire.  It doesn't seem like much a stretch then to adapt our favorite holiday recipes to an outdoor kitchen.

Bryan on Scouting has an article about doing exactly that. Evidently some troops have an annual tradition of cooking a Thanksgiving dinner outdoors.  I know of one troop in our district that has set up big propane burners to deep-fry whole turkeys in peanut oil.  Got any ideas of your own for cooking Thanksgiving favorites outdoors?

Story:  https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/11/05/its-time-for-campsgiving-a-great-outdoor-thanksgiving-tradition/ 

 

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50 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

Have you ever tried cooking a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner at camp?  Dutch oven turkey?  Stuffing?  Potatoes?  Yams?  

I can imagine that back in the days of the Pilgrims, everything was cooked over an open fire.  It doesn't seem like much a stretch then to adapt our favorite holiday recipes to an outdoor kitchen.

Bryan on Scouting has an article about doing exactly that. Evidently some troops have an annual tradition of cooking a Thanksgiving dinner outdoors.  I know of one troop in our district that has set up big propane burners to deep-fry whole turkeys in peanut oil.  Got any ideas of your own for cooking Thanksgiving favorites outdoors?

Story:  https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/11/05/its-time-for-campsgiving-a-great-outdoor-thanksgiving-tradition/ 

 

Yes...but with Bean Holes.  However, I've plans to introduce into our MM program the Green Corn Ceremony which predates our Thanksgiving holiday....

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Yes. For the last decade or so I cook a traditional thanksgiving menu in the woods over an open fire. I use backpacking cook gear (no dutch oven) .  We camp from Thurs-Sat. Since most cannot make it for Thurs, I cook the main meal on Friday. I break down the turkey into breast and thigh pieces before heading out as it is easier to cook in parts. (I do the same when I cook turkey at home.)

 

 

Edit: This is not a scout trip. But one w/ adult friends. Although there is no reason it could not be undertaken by youths.

Edited by DuctTape
add info

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1 hour ago, le Voyageur said:

Yes...but with Bean Holes.  However, I've plans to introduce into our MM program the Green Corn Ceremony which predates our Thanksgiving holiday....

Very cool!  Though, I have to admit, it took me some effort to understand what your message meant, never having heard of "Bean Holes" or "Green Corn Ceremonies"...once I looked 'em up on Wikipedia, I gained a bit of educated appreciation.  I had no idea that native Americans had such a wide-ranging tradition.  Interesting that it not only reflects gratitude, but also forgiveness.  

Now if only I could figure out what those Native Americans might have been cooking over their campfires...

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59 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

Now if only I could figure out what those Native Americans might have been cooking over their campfires...

There are a number of water colors done by John White (1584) that can help.  But, suggest starting with a Three Sisters pottage (a stew) ...hundreds of variations, serve with flat bread (easy to make....it's okay to use either APF, or masa harina).  

 

Edited by le Voyageur

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22 hours ago, le Voyageur said:

There are a number of water colors done by John White (1584) that can help.  But, suggest starting with a Three Sisters pottage (a stew) ...hundreds of variations, serve with flat bread (easy to make....it's okay to use either APF, or masa harina).  

 

Interesting ideas here.  I had to do a bit of research to figure out what the heck "Three Sisters" meant, then more research to figure out what the heck "pottage" was, since it's not exactly something that comes natural to my kitchen.

"Three Sisters" refers to the Native American practice of growing corn, squash, and beans together in the same plot, or mound. "Pottage" was a thick stew made in medieval times, consisting of veggies and grains with little or no meat.

I found a couple of "pottage" recipes that were adapted to modern cooking methods, but they were based around other veggies, like turnips, but it's an easy matter to change those out for the "Three Sisters" veggies. I then threw in onion and garlic to add flavor and, well, I just like onions and garlic.  

I'll post the pottage recipe separately so it stands on its own.  Any feedback would be appreciated.

Further Reading:

Recipe:  

 

Edited by mrkstvns

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We have used cardboard box ovens to roast turkeys and bake pies. At the troop meeting before outing, patrols cover boxes with foil. Temperature control and coordination are key in preparing outdoor feast. 

 

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We cook turkeys on tripods over charcoal. Turkey is put in oven bags to cook in its own juices. Chicken wire baskets full of charcoal are placed strategicall around box made of aluminum sheets

 

Turkey_Roast_copy.jpg

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We use the tripods with the chicken fence towers as well. This patrol isn't using a bag, but the adults use the bags on their turkeys.

 

Eagle40.jpg

Edited by Eagledad

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We just did this a few weekends ago.  Every November we have our annual Tarp & Twine campout, and for the adults that participate in the campout, we do an early Thanksgiving dinner.  Most of the food is cooked in dutch ovens or over the fire, and the turkey gets wrapped in foil & cooked in a hole in the ground.  The boys are always interested in what we're doing, but none have tried it yet.  

74685189_10218231480111521_8689770243507093504_o.jpg

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Ah the memories. The troop of my youth wanted the scouts to experience killing, cleaning and cooking animals. First we killed a one hog as a troop and cooked it on a spit for 24 hours. Each patrol also killed and eat chickens and turkeys. The turkey is the most member-able because chopping the head off of a turkey isn't as easy as the adults assumed. They are heavy when holding them by one arm, and they can fight. After the first couple of failed attempts by the patrols, the adults took over and it went easier. Next we drop the turkeys in boiling water to make feather removal easier. Then we wrap the turkey in foil, wet cardboard, then more foil, drop then in a bit and moved fire over them. The problem with cooking in a boy scout fire pits is that scouts tend to poke their fires with sticks. I don't remember why we were so lucky, but our turkey was the only one that survived out of the eight. So, we fed the whole troop. 

Because of that experience, I kind of suggested of finding a different method of cooking turkey above ground, and that is how we learn of the chicken fence towers wrapped in foil. Turkeys above the ground are easier to gauge when the turkey is done, and the fire can be controlled by adding or removing charcoal. It is so easy that the patrols cook turkeys a lot. 

Barry

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