A variation of this blog and recipes were originally published at emmafrisch.com when Firelight Camps opened in 2014.
When Firelight Camps sprung to life in early September, I found myself playing with fire more often than my computer keys. My blog suffered, but my belly did not, nor did those of our glamorous campers (more affectionately called “glampers”). Working with fire as a primary source of heat for cooking required more preparation and attention than the snappy stovetop recipes I’d become accustomed to making in my home kitchen. I discovered that fire needs time to grow and collapse into steady-burning embers, creating a scalding haystack to bury foil-wrapped potatoes or crown with a grill grate for roasting peppers. There was a primal romanticism in tending to a bubbling stew suspended in a cast iron pot over flames, with little concern for time, but the ample company of new and old friends around the fire ring. The sing-song-snap-crackle-pop of morning eggs and bacon was elevated with the smoky flavor that lingered on my tongue and in the fibers of my sweater until dinnertime. I had no qualms admitting that Campfire was my new perfume.
But I’ll confess that when my friend Will put me in touch with his pal Jonathan Cedar at BioLite, a camping stove company I’d admired from afar, I began to daydream about quicker outdoor culinary possibilities that wouldn’t sacrifice the very ingredient I’d grown to love: wood-burning fire. As a former outdoor guide, and long-time backpacker and rock climber, I had used my fair share of comping stoves. Nearly all of them relied on gas.
Biolite is unique in its approach. The founders set out to create a stove that made cooking with wood and other natural resources, like leaves and twigs, clean and safe. In rural areas of other countries, ingesting smoke from wood-burning stoves was found to be a main source of illness and death. BioLite took their model one step further by finding a way to harness their stove’s latent heat – energy that is lost to the ether – for charing phones, batteries and other technology.
In a flurry of emails with BioLite’s team, we got excited about creating new recipes with a BioLite stove. The CampStove Bundle arrived at my house within days, and I quickly set up my outdoor kitchen on the grounds of Firelight Camps. At home, I had packed the ingredients I needed so that it would require little effort to whip up a meal once I got the stove burning. I’d learned that outdoor cooking always requires preparation so that you can look forward to a gorgeous, nourishing and hearty food that can be made before the sun goes down.
I set out to make the following menu with my BioLite stove, and hope you’ll try making these recipes on your next outdoor adventure.
Get the recipe: Grilled Pumpkin with Goat Cheese & Lemon Zest
Get the recipe: Mushroom & Leek Quinoa Risotto
Get the recipe: Aztec Hot Chocolate with Mini Marshmallows