My mother in law hosts an annual “cousins camp” at the farm on Memorial Day weekend. The event was conceived to bring all eight of the cousins together for a sleepover at grandma’s.
As the years have passed, it has become more than a campout to a time for the cousins to bond and have fun. As the kids' schedules have filled in with their activities, it’s hard to get them all together easily. And, it’s the one event they all talk about every year and look forward to the next.
My craftier sisters-in-law and aunt dream up crafts for the kids. Last year’s big hit was making “cars” out of boxes to have a drive-in movie in the backyard. It’s actually back on this weekend’s to-do list. My husband has collected the needed udder towel boxes, and the plate tires have been purchased. I am donating the needed paint for decorating, plus others are providing the markers.
A giant slip and slide make of tarps will be set up in the backyard, and the kids will have fun running, diving and sliding down the hill. It goes to show that, sometimes, the simplest things are the best.
Of course there will be a campfire with a hot dog roast and s’mores. And my one sister-in-law will put her campfire cooking skills to work for breakfast, making the meal over the campfire ring.
We will wrap up with a family cookout on the final day. The kids will be tired and messy, and “grandma” will be exhausted, but give them a few days and they will start plotting and planning for next year.
My parents, brother and I enjoyed camping and had a campsite on the farm to “get away” from things on the weekends. My brother and I also made our fair share of s’mores. But here’s another favorite campfire item we loved to make. We never had an official name for them, but looking on the Internet, the closest recipe is called a doughboy.
Here’s what you do: You’ll need a stick about 1½ inches in diameter and about 2 feet long (pick up an untreated wooden dowel at your local home improvement store and cut to length).
At the campfire, butter the doughboy end of the stick and, using refrigerated biscuit dough (I used croissant rolls), wrap the dough on the buttered end of the stick making sure the dough is sealed on the sides and end - creating a “tube.” Rotate to toast over the fire for about 5 minutes - until it’s brown and easily slips off the stick (careful - they’re hot). Fill and enjoy! We filled them with butter and jelly, but there are plenty of other options, chocolate syrup, pie filling, or puddings. Have fun and enjoy!
-- Charlene M Shupp Espenshade, Special Sections Editor