Cooking over an open fire is more art than it is science. You can have all the right ingredients — fresh mullet and gator tail, anyone? — but without the proper tender loving care, you might as well eat canned pork and beans.
"Campfire cooking requires constant attention," says Tom Pritchard, known in culinary circles as Chef Tom and the creative force behind several bay area restaurants. "Lose your concentration for even a few minutes and you are going to end up with a big, burnt mess."
So after Santa delivers that cast-iron cookware you wanted, take your hungry crew and your favorite ingredients somewhere outdoors where you can build a campfire.
Then put that new skillet and Dutch oven to work.
Never done it?
No worries. Tampa Bay Times outdoors editor Terry Tomalin and Pritchard provide more than a few basics to cowboy cooking to get you started. However, you and your crew must provide the mealtime entertainment.