May Memories

Montana Mitzi buckBy Montana Mitzi

Raw hamburger, burnt potatoes, crunchy carrots, campfire smoke.  Thus my day began.

Young girls dreamed of boys; buttercups and horseback rides interrupted those thoughts in May.  Eager to enjoy a day exploring on my favorite horse, I called my best friend to plan an adventure in the outdoors.

Our destination was a few miles ride outside Bigfork, Montana along the Swan River.  The trail old and steep and brushy, not really a trail at all. I can’t remember how we found this spot in the first place, but memories were made at this particular spot. After a hour ride our “spot” was found and we tied our horses, loosen cinches and stretched early spring limbs on our young body‘s.

Jer and I always packed a package of hamburger, some carrots and a couple potatoes; a roll of tin foil, some matches and we were all set to feast on our May picnic.

Montana Mitzi Montana MitziAfter gathering some not so dry sticks, (it was early May), false attempts were made to get this not so dry wood to ignite, we would look for some dry black moss, then say a small prayer, and finally get a small feeble fire started.  By now we were hungry, so waiting for the necessary “hot coals” was not in our plan.  Each of us would attempt to out-do the other, we were very competitive with campfire cooking; the end result showed that time and time again!  Tearing off some tinfoil, making our hamburger patty, cutting up a couple carrots, slicing our potatoes and then carefully wrapping this all together in the foil, finally we were ready to place our meal in the fire.

Picture a blazing fire. We had the damp wood burning; the heat did dry the wood over time.  Placing our little package in the fire, the wait began.  Small talk, checking the horses, gathering more wood, turning our by now charred foil packages, adding more wood, listening to our grumbling stomachs and we decided to heck with it, let’s eat!

We did bring some catsup and maybe a pickle to eat with our meal.  Carefully we would remove the charred “meal”, our greatest accomplishment was to not drop the package, this was never ever done, and we always dropped the packages at least twice.  After burning our fingers, we never thought to wait till they cooled, we would open our meal and then sigh, oh no, the potatoes are burned!  Maybe the carrots are ok, crunch, crunch nope they are not cooked.  Timidly we would take a bite of the hamburger, ugh, it is raw!  Let’s add catsup that will fix it.  After a few “tries” at eating the raw meat, charred potatoes, and crunchy carrots we would throw the mess into the fire and get our desert out.  Marshmallows!  No one can ruin a marshmallow, we usually did, but at least they were eatable!

Pouring water on our fire, which by now was blazing and warm, we would check our cinches and climb aboard for the ride home.  Dusk, cool temperatures, but wonderful memory’s.  So ends our May cookout, a time of friendship, a time of memory making.

Campfire Delight (correct way to make)

1 pound thawed hamburger
1 potato
2 carrots
Salt and pepper to taste
Fire coals

Tear off a piece of tinfoil, carefully salt and pepper the meat.  Make a medium size patty.  Cut the potato into chunks, not slices!  Slice the carrots thin, arrange on top of the hamburger and seal the foil.  Best to use foil that is intended for high heat.  Place package in the COALS of the low flame, high heat fire.  Place hot coals on top of the package.  Cook approximately 10 minutes then uncover and turn with tongs.  Cover with hot coals and wait another 10 minutes.  Carefully take package out of fire with tings and let cool 5 minutes.  Open, careful to stand away from the hot steam.  Enjoy.  This is time tested and will be one of the best campfire meals you have tasted!

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