On of the best parts about living in Hawaii is camping on (or very close to) the beach! Over Labor Day weekend my friends and I went camping in Waimanalo, on the East side of Oahu. We spent our days hanging out on the beach, relaxing, and of course eating!
The campsite is right on the beach. The ocean is literally just steps away.
View to my right!
View to my left!
Last year I went camping here and it was the first time I ever truly camped outdoors and slept in a tent! Our family has a cabin about an hour away from our home in Pittsburgh so most holiday and summer weekends are spent "camping" there with cable TV, air conditioning, warm showers, and a full kitchen!
The best part of camping is always the campfire. The smell that stays with you for days, the ritual of gathering around in a big circle, the stories and jokes that can only be told and truly appreciated there, etc. It's the party to punctuate a day, or weekend, of spending time together and get down to the really good and funny stuff! And, there are even special foods to commemorate such an occasion: s'mores, hot dogs, and marshmallows are the usual campfire fare for most.
My favorite campfire grub is what my family calls a "mountain pie". Hey, don't judge the name, we're camping and can act as country as we want to! A mountain pie is a sandwich that's cooked over a fire (or over hot charcoal) in a mountain pie maker!
When I went in search of such a cooking device here in Hawaii, I found one called the "camp cooker" for $20 and bought it right away!
This, my friends, is a mountain pie! Should we call them a campfire sandwich instead?
You start with bread and butter. To save myself the hassle, and need for operating a knife after drinking, I buttered all of the bread early on in the day. Yes, on a cutting board - on my lap - at the fire!
Place the buttered side on the cooker, fill with ingredients, top with the other slice of bread (butter up), then close the cooker and roast over the fire! You'll quickly learn just how long to achieve the perfect golden brown sandwich and everyone will probably eat the burnt ones anyway.
You can be as creative as you want with the filling of the sandwiches. The most popular on our trip was the peanut butter and banana.
The other variety was pizza - pepperoni, pizza sauce, and mozzarella cheese (not in photo).
Some of our friends got really creative and used some of the s'mores stuff to their sandwiches! Behold, the peanut butter, banana, giant marshmallow, and chocolate sandwich!
To quote the Sandlot, "then you add the chocolate!"
It was so huge it barely fit in the cooker!
See all the stuff oozing out? YUM! Note that the fire is now a real fire and not just charcoals. Stupid campsite rules require you to keep the fire within a fire pit or contained in some way.
The PB, banana, mallow, and chocolate was the messiest and most delicious sandwich, I'd guess!
Of course there was plenty of other camping food, too.
The camp cooker's instructions say you can use it over the stove, but I think that would take away all the fun of the experience of camping! Until next time, camp cooker, enjoy the hallway closet. I look forward to the next camping trip as much as you do!