How to cook some goofy grub

Star Scout Jeff Cumonow eyes his plate with suspicion. He has seen all of these ingredients before but never in this combination. He takes a bite. He searches for familiar flavors. He searches for a way to describe the unusual textures.

Then he searches for someplace to spit it out.

The offending food? Jiffy Pop Salad—a crunchy combo in which popcorn, bacon and celery mingle with mayonnaise. This goofy grub is from a batch of recipes recently tested by the Scouts of Troop 221 of Plano, Tex.

We scoured cookbooks, the Internet and our memories for strange recipes and oddball cooking methods. We kept the recipes under wraps until the Scouts arrived at the campsite at Erwin Park in McKinney, Tex.

Then we wasted no time in splitting the Scouts into teams and giving them recipes, ingredients and instructions. If all went well, we’d have a feast in a few hours.

The result? Lots of laughs—and some surprisingly good chow.

orange.jpgThe Recipe: Orange Peel Cakes

The Challenge: Bake cakes in the coals

The Scouts stirred up some batter. Then they cut a small “lid” in the top of each of six big navel oranges and scooped out the insides, just like carving a pumpkin.

Cooking a cake on coals is a snap when you use a hollowed-out orange peel instead of a pan. The Scouts ate the orange pulp, then poured the cake batter into the gutted oranges, each about two-thirds full.

They popped the “lids” back on the oranges, wrapped them in heavy foil, and set them on the coals for about 20 minutes, turning them often.

fudge.jpgThe Recipe: Pinto Bean Fudge

The Challenge: Don’t think about it—just keep stirring

“Pinto Bean Fudge?” questioned Tenderfoot Scout Chase Hairston, 12. “Did you make this up, or is this for real?”

It’s for real, thanks to a long-ago camper who discovered that a can of pinto beans can be substituted for a pound of butter when making fudge.

Chase maintained a perfect boil (without scorching) after reluctantly dumping a can of beans into the melted chocolate.

The Scouts poured the finished fudge into a shallow pan, then tucked it in the cooler.

fan.jpgThe Recipe: Dingle Fan Chicken

The Challenge: Can something called a “dingle fan” cook chicken at all?

Dingle fan roasting is for campers who have better things to do than fuss over their food. Rather than endlessly basting and turning a piece of meat over a fire, campers can let this fan-powered rotisserie do the work.

Life Scout Andrew Motter, 16, and Star Scout Alan Hairston, 14, wedged a long wooden pole between two rocks so that it angled very near—but not directly over—the flames. Next, they attached a short length of chain to the end of the pole.

The next step was to make the dingle fan by sticking a paper plate on the end of a metal skewer. The fan would be attached to the chain, from which a raw chicken would hang. (Be sure to leave enough space between the fan and the flames, since that plate could catch fire if it’s left too close.)

The heat from the fire should hit the fan, causing the chicken to slowly rotate throughout the cooking process.

All we needed now was a chicken, innards removed, buttered and bound in string. That duty fell to Tenderfoot Scout Matthew Motter, 12.

“This is like something out of ‘Survivor,’” Matthew says, referring to the reality TV show.

Once dangling from the chain, the chicken wouldn’t need tending over the next two hours, when it would be safely fully cooked, but there was no time to sit back and relax. On to the next challenge!

bread.jpgThe Recipe: Solar Oven Bread

The Challenge: Bake a loaf of bread … without fire or electricity

Cooking with the power of the sun is ideal for campers who want to try something fun and different.

Our solar oven called for bending a 2-foot-by- 4-foot sheet of cardboard into the shape of a funnel and covering the inside with aluminum foil. When the funnel is angled toward the sun, heat builds up in the base of the funnel.

Star Scout William Weiner, 15, made dough and kneaded it for about five minutes before putting it into a two-quart jar, spray-painted black to make it absorb more heat.

Before putting the jar into the funnel, the Scouts slipped it into a clear plastic bag, then blew air into the bag and closed it with a twisttie. This extra step created a “greenhouse effect” around the jar, allowing for additional heat build-up.

If all went well, the dough would rise inside the jar and, perhaps, bake.

football.jpgThe Recipe: Ice Cream Football

The Challenge: Make ice cream without a freezer

You need milk, cream and sugar to make ice cream, plus rock salt and lots of ice. As long as the ingredients keep moving and stay cold enough, the mixture will turn into ice cream.

Now for the football part.

Andrew measured ingredients into a quart-size zip-top bag, sealed the top, then placed it inside a larger, gallon-size bag. He filled the outer bag with crushed ice, packing it around the inner bag of ingredients, then sprinkled rock salt over the ice.

The Scouts wrapped the bags in layers of newspaper and secured the bundle with duct tape. The resulting “football” was ready for about 20 minutes of passing — to keep the mixture moving — before being spiked into the ice chest.


Even after falling into the dirt a couple of times, the Dingle Fan Chicken was a thing of beauty.

The Scouts scrambled for plates as Jeff ripped off a bite. He sampled it, then gave it the ultimate compliment: “Tastes like chicken!”

The fan had worked. The chicken was golden and crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside.

And the bread?

The Scouts had kept their eyes on the solar oven all afternoon and had given it an occasional nudge to keep it in the path of the sun’s rays. Its temperature had peaked at 310 degrees.

Not only had the dough risen, it had baked to perfection, filling the jar.

Even the Jiffy Pop Salad was getting good reviews from some of the tasters (but still not from Jeff Cumonow).

For dessert, the Scouts retrieved the fudge and ice cream from the cooler. Both were delicious — no hint of an aftertaste from the pinto beans. The orange-peel cakes were a hit, too. Spongy and moist, with a hint of, well, orange.

Bellies full, the Scouts declared their meal a success. Good food, good times — and no pans to wash.

Comments about “How to cook some goofy grub”

  1. foodie man says:

    I’m thinking about making a cooking show with these recipes

  2. timmy says says:


  3. Lizardman says:

    This one is sure to amaze. I call it “Paper Cup Cocoa”. Take a paper cup (it must be paper) and fill it 3/4 full of water. Make a hole in the coals big enough for the cup to sit in without touching the cup. Place the cup in the hole and wait. In a few minutes the water will simmer and then boil. Lift the cup out (I use a leather glove) and mix your cocoa. Try other things as well. If you can cook it in a pan or a Dutch you can cook it in a paper cup. Your friends will think your nuts until they see the results.

  4. Ranger Danger says:

    I’v used the same recipe for the chicken but mine used 2 poles and a length of rope that was soaked in water over night

  5. that native guy says:

    never would have thought of that with chicken.

  6. wolfy says:

    i made a sticky note cookbook with these resipese

  7. Patrol Cook's Assistant 853 says:

    Here is the recipe for a chocolate glazed crepe':
    1. Prepare a pancake using “Just Add Water” Pancake mix. Pour the pancake mix in a cooking skillet. Cook the pancake mix until the batter begins stiff enough to flip the pancake. Flip the pancake and continue cooking until the pancake is fully cooked.
    2. Place the created pancake on a paper plate.
    3. Spread grape jelly or apple jelly on the top of the pancake.
    4. Begin folding the pancake over into a jelly roll so that there are spirals of jelly inside of the blanket roll or jelly roll pancake.
    5. Put a tooth pick in the middle of the blanket roll or jelly roll pancake. A blanket roll or jelly roll pancake is called a cre’pe.
    6. Drizzle chocolate syrup over the blanket roll or jelly roll pancake. Enjoy the Chocolate glazed cre’pe.

  8. Pancake Creations 777 says:

    For the recipe of “Tootsie Roll Pancakes”, do the following:
    1. In a mixing bowl, add some “Just add water” pancake mix and add the correct amount of water according to the directions on the package labeling. Mix until all of the powder has made the pancake batter.
    2. Open a package of tootsie roll chocolate candy and remove all of the individual paper wrappers from the tootsie roll candy. Add the tootsie roll candy to the pancake batter.
    3. On a griddle, cook pancakes using the tootsie roll pancake batter as with normal pancakes by creating about four inch round pancakes.
    4. Flip the pancakes as normal pancakes making sure that the batter is stiff enough to hold the tootsie rolls in the pancake.
    5. Serve the created pancakes with butter, maple syrup or wildflower honey. Enjoy the “Tootsie Roll Candy” pancakes.

  9. Backyard Camper 524 says:

    For the recipe of a “Mountain Fog” drink, do the following:
    Add equal parts of Coca Cola Classic Soft drink with equal parts of homogenized whole milk:
    To an eight (8) fluid ounce drinking cup, add:
    1. four (4) fluid ounces of Coca Cola Classic soft drink.
    2. four (4) fluid ounces of homogenized whole milk.
    Mix the combination together. Enjoy a “Mountain Fog” camping refreshment. Goes great with Jiffy Pop Popcorn cooked over a campfire.

  10. flyboyy says:

    i like the ice cream idea

  11. ffffffffffffffffffffffff. says:


  12. Cooking Merit Badge Wonder 335 says:

    If you find the brown flower of a bulrush (cat tail) plant or a dandelion, follow the directions for preparation in an older edition of the Boy Scout Fieldbook or an older edition of the Wilderness Survival Merit Badge pamphlet and create a campsite salad from edible wild plants. Prepare a salad dressing from adding ketchup, vinegar, salt, pepper, vegetable oil and some worcester sauce and add the campsite salad dressing to the dandelion or cat tail salad. Makes for a fairly good meal from edible wild native plants at a campsite.

  13. ricto300 says:


  14. Yogi Bear 772 says:

    In quart size ziplock bags, add the following ingredients: Wheat Chex, Corn Chex, Rice Chex (dry breakfast cereal), raisins, cashews, small pretzels, M and M chocolate candy (multiple colors), and small sweet chocolate morsels (used for baking). Eat one quart size ziplock bag for each meal. Great for a no heat camping meal. Drink water from canteen. No dishwashing is necessary.

  15. wondering says:

    So how do we get the recipe for the sun-cooked bread?

  16. ferret says:

    that sounds good

  17. scout358 says:

    These are great ideas. Another idea is to harvest some fresh water clams from a fresh water lake near the campsite (always have your resident fishing license up to date) and then coat the freshwater clams with whatever bread coating mix that you may have (McCormick’s Golden Dip, Washington Cornbread mix or dry pancake mix) and then fry the freshwater clams in a cast iron camping skillet for a great fried clams dinner at a campout. Even better, make Trailbread Twists for a great campsite clambake dinner.

  18. unicorn says:

    Sounds ike these scouts have some imaginative and fun leaders! Article was well written, I enjoyed it immenselty! Thank you!

  19. Cubbing mom says:

    Great ideas we will have to give them a try

  20. Old Scout 1960 era says:

    Breakfast Joke Dish: Early Bird Special

    Chocolate Malt O Meal topped with gummey worms.

    (The Early Bird gets the worm.)

    Great for April first- April Fools Day.

  21. Pack760scout says:

    sweet recipes!

  22. wishin i were campin says:


  23. Gothmog says:

    This is good food though it is a tad bit grotesque in some areas

    can’t wait to try it!!!!

  24. t pain says:

    fun stuff

  25. indutch says:

    i got in trouble for throwing a rocket engine in the fire

  26. Mr. potato man says:

    Sounds good☺☻☻

  27. old crappy fisherman says:

    that is crazy man!!! try this, wrap a fire cracker in 3 orange peels and duct tape it all and throw it into the bonfire

  28. dhappjr says:


  29. drscience7 says:

    That sound’s great! Here’s another strange recipee: Wrap a seasoned ham-burber padey, onions slices, carot slices, & potato slices in aluminum foil. Then, bake it in the coals like the orange peel cake. When it comes out, the vegetables will have seasoned the burger.

  30. ray ray says:


  31. dude says:


  32. Nathaniel says:


  33. cookmastersays says:

    neat-o :)

  34. pattmann says:

    weird way to cook food

  35. Trevty1995 says:

    Cool I’ll have to try that sometime!

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