No one wants to spend much time in the kitchen on vacation. You’re in the Smokies to hike, explore, relax and spend time with those you love. Not to cook! So when you’re headed to the mountains for a cabin getaway, you need plenty of quick meal ideas. Here are two of my favorites. I can’t believe I haven’t posted about them before now!
Both of these meals require two basic supplies: lots of aluminum foil and a Sharpie marker. These are very important, because both of these meals will end with being wrapped in foil and initialed. Or decorated. We used to make everyone create foil designs to designate their meals. It was fun, but harder. A Sharpie works best.
(Keep reading to the very end of this post, and you’ll be rewarded with a funny story about my mother!)
You may be saying, oh, we make Hobo Pies. On the campfire, right? With bread and pie filling? Nope, different Hobo Pies. I know that’s what MOST people call Hobo Pies. But nevertheless, Hobo Pies is what we grew up calling these yummy meal packets.
The basic idea is to give each person a double thickness of aluminum foil. Coat it with a non-stick spray. They then fill it with whatever meat/veggies, seasonings and sauces they want. Then they wrap it up very securely, write their initials on top and throw it on the cabin’s grill or in an actual campfire. Either way works. Expect close to an hour to cook, especially if you have a lot of potatoes.
After cooking, eat it with a fork right out of the foil. (I like mine with a little sour cream on top!)
Here are ideas of meat/veggies to put in your Hobo Pies:
- Hamburger (raw — it will cook in the fire, crumble some on your foil first thing)
- Sliced kielbasa
- Or hot dogs
- Lots of thinly sliced potatoes
- Green peppers, diced
- Onion, diced
- Carrots, diced
- Celery, diced
- Mushrooms, sliced
Set out some sauces. Here are a few ideas:
- Barbeque sauce
- Ranch salad dressing
- Pats of butter
- Garlic butter
- Italian salad dressing
- Honey mustard
- Sweet and sour sauce
Finish with a few spices. Here are the shakers to bring along:
- Garlic powder
- Seasoning salt
- Chili powder
- Lemon pepper
This is a similar idea, but it ends up tasting quite different! Again, everyone gets a piece of aluminum foil. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Buy some fun, fancy-pants bread. Sub buns work really well, but you could add variety by offering tortillas for wraps or pita bread. Let each person fill the bread with lunch meat, cheeses, sauces and seasonings, then wrap the sandwiches tightly in the foil, label them with the Sharpie and stick them in the oven. (This can also work with a campfire, but don’t leave the sandwiches for long.) Cook for about 15 minutes, then serve with chips and fruit. Yum!
Sandwich filling ideas:
- 3-4 kinds of lunch meat (we love ham and salami)
- 3-4 kinds of cheese (I LOVE Swiss!)
- Lettuce leaves (some people may prefer to add these later)
- Sliced tomatoes
- Sliced onions
- Pickle slices
- Ranch dressing
- Italian dressing
- Honey mustard
- Barbeque sauce
In closing, I’d like to tell you a funny story about my mother. We had a big group of family around for a football game one crisp, fall afternoon. I’d set out all the supplies to make Oven-Warmed Subs. I’d explained the process, carefully telling people to write their initials on their sandwiches before putting them on the cookie sheet to go in the oven.
Everyone started bustling around, making sandwiches. My mother was just finishing up when I looked over to see her writing her name RIGHT ON THE BREAD OF THE SANDWICH!!!! That’s right, she’d taken me quite literally and written her name right on her bread. Now, in case you think my directions were confusing, please note that everyone else had understood that they were to write on the foil. All but my wonderful mom! This is the woman who has a PhD, for goodness sake! Of course, we didn’t tease her at all!
Anyway, try these foil meals. They’re healthy, delicious and easy! Here’s to more time to hike, read, relax and play games in the mountains.