"We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention."
- - Gordon B. Hinckley
June 14, 2013
Cooking Outdoors without Utensils
by Dian Thomas

One of my favorite outdoor methods is to cook food inside of food. It is a unique way of both cooking and flavoring foods.  The outer food shields the inner food against the extreme heat and gives additional flavor. 

Cooking Inside an Orange

Select an orange with a thick peel, because it is easier to remove the fruit inside.  Cut the orange in half.  Ease your finger between the flesh and the peel of the orange.  Slide your finger back and forth to detach the flesh from the peel, leaving an orange “cup.”  A spoon may also help in separating the fruit from the skin.

Eggs or muffins are foods that will cook nicely inside of the orange peel.  For an egg, line the orange peel with a piece of foil and then put a little oil in the foil.  Then break the egg into the foil-covered peel.  Wrap the outside in foil and place on hot coals until the egg is cooked.  For muffins I like to mix them in a zip-top bag and then squeeze the batter into the peel, leaving a little room for it to rise in the peel.  Wrap the outside in foil and place on a hot coal and cook until done.

Meat Loaf in an Onion

This is one of my signature recipes and is wonderful for a large group.  Each person makes his or her own, and a recipe serves four.

Meat loaf in an onion

1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg
One-fourth cup cracker crumbs
One-fourth cup tomato sauce
One-half teaspoon salt
One-eighth teaspoon pepper
One-half teaspoon dry mustard
4 large onions, peeled and halved
19-inch heavy-duty aluminum foil

Leave on the onion skin, but cut off the root at the bottom end of the onion so that removal of the center is easy.  The removed center of the onion can be diced and combined with meat loaf ingredients or used later.

In a 1-gallon plastic self-sealing bag, combine ground beef, egg, cracker crumbs, tomato sauce, salt, pepper and dry mustard. Mix ingredients by squeezing.  Set aside.

Cut onions in half horizontally and remove center part of onion, leaving a three-fourth-inch-thick shell.  If you want to dice the center of the onion and add to meat, do so.

Divide meat mixture into 4 portions and roll into balls.  Place in the center of the 4 onion halves.  Put onions back together.  Wrap each onion in foil by placing the onion with the meat mixture in the center in the middle of the foil.  Bring the side together cover the onion and mixture.  Fold the foil in small fold until if is cover.  Then flatten the foil on the side down and then roll them in sealing the onion inside the foil.  Cook over a bed of hot coals for 15 to 20 minutes per side.  Serves 4.

Outdoor Special: Enjoying the great outdoors is one of the nicest benefits of the summer. If you want some great ideas to do with your family, church group, or friends, check out the special Dian has on her website at www.DianThomas.com. Roughing it Easy, Recipes for Roughing it Easy and a DVD on Dutch Oven cooking is on special for 40% off.

Travel with Dian and see the world: Dian takes people to China, Peru, South Africa and Israel. If a cruise or other destination is on your agenda, drop her a note at info@dianthomas.com and share with her where you want to go. She will do her best to get you a great trip to that destination. Maybe she will take you there herself.

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About Dian Thomas

Dian Thomas was blessed with the good fortune to be born near and raised in the remote, breathtaking Manti-La Sal National Forest in southeastern Utah, where her father was the forest ranger. She took the skills she learned in the outdoors and turned them into a New York Times best-selling book, Roughing It Easy. Her appearance on the NBC's "Tonight" show with Johnny Carson boosted her into the national media scene, where she became a regular on NBC's "Today" show for eight years and then ABC's "Home Show" for six years. After more than 25 years of media exposure and 19 books, she now shares her practical insights and wisdom with audiences who want to savor life.

A former Relief Society president, Dian is currently serving as a visiting teacher. Visit her website at www.DianThomas.com

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