HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


What to bring to a hay ride/bon fire?

  • r

So every year my family rents a bon fire at a local haunted hay ride. I don't know what to bring. So far there will be chili, kielbasa and sauerkraut, hot dogs, hot apple cider, hot chocolate, fried chicken, invariable store bought junk like cookies and chips etc. There is no electricity and no heat source other than the fire. It'll be dark out and we'll be at picnic tables, so it needs to be something easy to keep and easy to eat. Any suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: c oliver

      Exactly! When I read the subject line I thought, "Graham crackers, Hershey bars and Marshmallows. And a whole bunch of wire coat hangers!" '-)

      Great minds.

      1. re: Caroline1

        We're of a certain age, you and I :) Old Camp Fire Girl here!

        1. re: c oliver

          Get some of the dark chocolate with chili and use instead of Hershey bars. Traditional style is now much too sweet for me to bear, and when I made the switch to the chili-chocolate last year, it brought back the S'mores joy for me.

    2. Sounds like you need some sides: potato salad, grilled veggies, cole slaw...

      1 Reply
      1. re: mojoeater

        Maybe prebaked potatos wrapped in foil...could bring some toppings like homemade bacon bits, cheese, sour cream, scallions, butter. Maybe people can reheat on some kind of skewer, carefully remove the foil and then top w/their choice...

      2. If there will be younger kids there, split a banana in the peel, fill w/ peanut butter, chocolate chips, marshmallows, pretzel pieces, etc. Put back together, wrap in foil and bake on the edge of the fire. It's like a sundae w/out the ice cream. Personally, I find it too sweet but the kids devoured them.

        1. maybe a flask with bourbon in it

          1. I was gonna say...at the old hayrides/bonfires/barn dances etc of my youth there was always a jug or two hidden under a wagon seat...just a little something to take the chill off the night air you understand... ;)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Uncle Bob

              Fond memories of hot buttered rum just wafted boozily through my thoughts.

            2. stab a wheel of brie with a knife/fork at several places. splash whatever that's in your flask (bourbon, scotch, etc). wrap in foil and keep it in a warm corner in the fire.

              eat with bread, crackers and additional booze =)

              1 Reply
              1. re: jeniyo

                i agree we call it boozy cheese

              2. I've had Scotch Eggs on the brain a lot lately...and they are perfect for something like this. Make ahead, serve cold or room temp.

                8 Replies
                1. re: scuzzo

                  I've never had Scotch Eggs but I was thinking of making some ahead for a camping trip as one more thing my kids could toast over the fire. Do you think reheating on a fork would work? Do you serve any kind of sauce/dip with them?

                  1. re: just_M

                    Scotch Eggs are picnic fare, and it's not common to serve them warm. They are usually served cold or at room temp, as you would a hard boiled egg. Sauces are a great idea! You can also precut them into wedges, which would facilitate the dips. I don't think dips are maybe traditional, but I've done blue cheese dip, and some other things. Go for it!

                    1. re: scuzzo

                      they are good with chutney or malt vinegar. I believe these are the traditional ways.

                      1. re: scuzzo

                        I did not know they were served room temp, honestly I had looked up a recipe after reading a novel that had mentioned them, but this sounds so much more intriguing to play with.

                        Actually I mentioned it to DH figuring I could make some up for his hiking trips as sausage and eggs are his favorite breakfast and he takes off with wouldn't that make an insane deviled egg or how about if you wrapped it in potato shreds for the hash browns, or biscuit dough for sausage & biscuits, and on and on to some very bizarre sounding sub thing, but I'm thinking about it all; we'll see what comes, maybe something to dip into sausage gravy that aught to send him over the moon.

                        1. re: just_M

                          I like the way you think! I'll bet a layer of potato could be very cool! I've thought about an outer crust of potato flakes instead of the usual bread crumbs. Shredded potatoes maybe on the outside. Maybe a layer of mashed potatoes between the egg and sausage?

                          1. re: scuzzo

                            Great idea! I've used potato flakes to coat fish, first a potato batter and then into dry potato flakes. It came out something like a tempura that had then been dipped in panko but with the taste of french fries. I'd leave off the batter for this though as I don't think the sausage would cook enough before the batter burned.

                      2. re: just_M

                        My camping expertise is old and limited but I wouldn't heat anything on a fork. Wouldn't it transmit the heat really quickly?

                        1. re: c oliver

                          Mea culpa, I should have said roasting fork or maybe campfire fork as these are about 4ft long and only two prongs. However your thought process reminded me of an incidence when I was 8 or 9, toasted a marshmallow on a dinning fork over the stove and burned the living world out of my mouth, ye ouch!

                    2. Campfire Sandwiches

                      8 potato flour or "egg" buns or other soft buns which are not big and bready (hey, a small bun!)
                      Very thinly sliced ham, preferably a bit salty and smokey
                      Very thinly sliced white onion or Vidalia onion
                      Smoked provolone cheese, thinly sliced (okay, cheddar will do, but won't melt as well)
                      Thinly sliced sweet pickle rounds
                      Yellow ballpark mustard (French's) or spicy brown mustard, depending on your taste

                      It is important that the buns be of a type that are absorbent, become a bit chewy when moist, and don't turn into a big blob of dry, bland wheat. In other words, don't use cheap buns. Get something petite in size and not thick, but with some flavor and texture.

                      Load all of the above ingredients onto the bun with two slices of onion on the top and bottom of the sandwich, so that you have: bun, onion slice, all other ingredients, onion slice, bun. The onion slices need to be next to the bun to moisten the bun and impart their flavor to the bun.

                      Wrap in three layers of aluminum foil. Toss into the fire or its embers for ten minutes and then pull the aluminum ball out of the fire. Let cool until you can handle the aluminum and peel open. The sandwich will be very moist and aromatic. You'll need napkins!

                      1. Twice Baked Potatoes: find the recipe on epicurious that includes mushrooms, make the twice baked potatoes, wrap in foil, heat in fire. (they will already be cooked, so no ugly delays)

                        Pesto Bread: Buy a nice batard of soft white or wheat bread ...doesn't have to be the greatest artisinal bread ever, because you are going to slice it ALMOST all the way through, then spread pesto (or just garlic butter) in between the slices. Wrap in tin foil, warm NEAR the fire (not in it)

                        Chocolate Layer Cake: Yeah, I know ...but really it's not a fussy thing, and a cake iced w/ ganache will hold up even when the weather is warm if you don't leave it in the sun. People LOVE chocolate cake. I recommend Martha's Devils Food w/ Mrs. Millman's frosting. (ignore the drunk in this picture, it's included to show how lovely it is to have chocolate cake at the campsite)

                        1. A nice pasta salad with vegetables would be great with the dishes you're having. I like to do an orzo salad with halved cherry tomatoes, chopped red onion, yellow or orange bell pepper, blanched broccoli, fresh basil, celery leaves & parsley and some small diced smoked gouda tossed with a basil or Vidalia onion vinaigrette. Sometimes I'll leave out the broccoli & add diced roasted butternut squash. With a pasta salad, you won't have to worry about keeping anything hot; this dish keeps well in a cooler, can be kept at room temp and is colorful. Look to your produce department for inspiration on the veggies. Sometimes, I just pick up whatever looks great at the salad bar to add to the pasta.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Cherylptw

                            salad bar items in pasta salad = brilliant idea, especially in a pinch. leads me to consider that items from the olive bar in a store like whole foods where they also have roasted peppers and marinated mushrooms and the like would also be great additions and many are already sitting in a flavored oil...your dressing is made as well!

                            1. re: danna

                              We ended up doing a pasta salad, everyone was glad to have it and nearly all of it went!

                              1. re: danna

                                Well, my thought was, if I only need say, half a pepper, why pay for a whole one or just buy a cup of shredded carrots, etc. You get the idea; also most of the items are ready to go (unless you need to say, chop them a little smaller, etc). I'm not an olive lover, but the antipasti bar at my grocers carry pepperdew, marinated peppers, marinated garlic etc, also, which is great. I never thought about the oils, I'll have to use some of those! Great idea!