Printer Friendly

Summer baking, jam making for young cooks.

Summer baking, jam making for young cooks

Camp cooking at home? Making bread and jam outdoors keeps children busily occupied for several hours as they work toward payoff with a favorite activity--eating something good.

A reflector oven, organized for cooking in the garden, bakes the bread; sunshine gets put to work to make the sweet-smelling strawberry jam.

Gray day? Both recipes have kitchen options.

Depending on the weather, sunshine jam can be ready to eat in as little as 2 hours or up to 6, so let its production set your pace (if needed, finish the next day). Getting ready to bake bread outdoors fills a couple of those hours.

Reflector ovens are modestly priced and found in camping supply stores.

Strawberry Sunshine Jam

2 cups strawberries, hulled and rinsed 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cut strawberries in half. Put into a 10- to 12-inch frying pan and sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice. Let stand about 30 minutes for the fruit to get juicy. Cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Stir gently several times. Turn heat to high and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often; jam is very hot, so an adult should supervise. (On a gray day, boil until juices form fine, wispy strands when dripped from a lifted spoon, about 8 minutes.) Remove jam from heat. Let stand until pan is cool to touch (jam for a gray day is ready to eat).

Pour fruit and all the liquid into a 9- by 13-inch glass dish. Cover dish snugly with plastic wrap, leaving a gap about 1 inch wide at 1 end of the dish. Set jam in bright sunshine (make sure shade doesn't fall on the spot later). About every hour or so, uncover dish and turn over each piece of fruit, then replace plastic wrap.

After 2 to 6 hours, depending on how hot the day is (jam thickens faster with more heat), liquid around edges of dish should be as thick as corn syrup and fruit should be plump. The jam tastes best when warm and sweet from the sun. Spoon extra into a jar; cover and chill up to 2 weeks. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Per tablespoon: 52 cal.; 0.1 g protein; 0 g fat; 13 g carbo.; 0.4 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.


Place reflector oven outdoors in a draftfree location on hard-packed soil, gravel, tiles, or lawn (well away from flammable materials, like dry grass or bushes). For safety, have a big bucket of water nearby.

To protect garden from fire damage, line an old baking pan (at least 10 by 15 in.) with foil and set it on 4 bricks, making sure they're steady. Set directly in front of oven; build fire in pan. Let ashes cool completely before disposing of them.

You'll need about half a large grocery bag of small wood scraps (3 to 4 gal.).

Camp Bread

About 3 tablespoons salad oil 1 large egg 1 cup milk 3 tablespoons firm-packed brown sugar 1 cup whole-wheat flour 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt

Make a double layer of foil slightly larger than reflector oven shelf (at least 10 by 12 in.). Fold edges of foil under to make piece slightly smaller than oven shelf. Lay foil on a flat pan (rimless on at least 1 side). Rub foil lightly with oil.

In a bowl, beat to blend egg, milk, sugar, and 3 tablespoons oil. In another bowl, mix whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.

Bring both bowls, foil on pan, and a flexible spatula out to where oven is set up (preceding).

Crumple several newspapers in fire pan; arrange wood scraps on paper tepee fashion. Ignite paper. Set oven directly in front of fire.

Add dry ingredients to bowl with egg mixture. Stir with spatula to moisten evenly, then scrape batter into center of foil prepared for the oven. Spread dough into a round that is at least 1 1/2 inches away from foil edges.

With potholders, pull oven away from fire. Slide foil with dough onto oven shelf and move oven back to face fire (see below). For steady heat, add a handful of wood whenever flames start to die down.

Keep an eye on bread as it cooks (and watch fire to make sure sparks don't land on anything that might burn). The front bottom edge should begin to brown in 10 to 15 minutes. If it browns faster, use potholders to pull oven a few inches away from heat; if it browns too slowly, build up fire with a few pieces of wood.

As an edge starts to brown, rotate foil 1/4 turn. Bake until bread springs back when lightly pressed on top; after edges firm, slide a spatula under loaf about every 15 minutes to check bottom browning. If it starts to scorch, pull oven slightly away from fire. Because of heat variations, allow 50 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. Pull oven from heat (carefully, so oven doesn't collapse); slide bread onto a tray. Break into chunks. Serve warm or cool. Makes 1 loaf, about 1 1/2 pounds; serves 6.

Per serving: 267 cal.; 7.3 g protein; 9.6 g fat; 39 g carbo.; 368 mg sodium; 41 mg chol.

Gray-day bread. Mix batter, then spread in an oiled 8-inch-square pan. Bake in a 350 [degrees] oven just until bread begins to pull from pan sides and edges are a darker brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:The Good Foods of Summer; recipes
Date:Jun 1, 1991
Previous Article:Salads that stay fresh, keep their looks.
Next Article:Different basils, different flavors ... and none are shy.

Related Articles
Fresher, lighter jams.
Food & Drink: What's cooking: Punctual pastry perfection.
Time for tea.
taste: Cool cooks on a roll; Gillian Kenyon and Jane Lunec are on a mission to teach the region's children how to cook. But budding Jamies and...
Delicious stories fill Amish cookbook.
Youngsters get taste for creative cooking.
Youngsters given taste of cookery.
Rational approach to food.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters