A Thanksgiving Memory

Thanksgiving has come and went. We cancelled our holiday camping trip due to projected poor weather. It was really disappointing but we opted for safety over entertainment.

Instead of camping and hiking over the holiday weekend, we found ourselves at home with our extended family members. We cooked together, shared meals, watched hours and hours of Disney +, we even did a little bit of shopping and when the weather broke, we even raked a ton of leaves from the yard.

One of our most favorite camping memories has everything and yet nothing to do with Thanksgiving. We are guaranteed it will come up at least once during the long weekend. Many years ago, when I was planning our first family camp-out, I had encouraged everyone to bring hobo meals for dinner.

You experienced campers will know that a hobo meal is usually a mixture of potatoes, meat (typically ground beef) and veggies and maybe even some cheese wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked over a campfire.

I was so excited because that year I decided to treat my family to something “special”. I made them a thanksgiving dinner hobo meal. I used turkey cutlets, instant dressing, green beans, gravy, and even cranberries. I thought for sure they were going to love it.

At the campout, which was attended by a lot of first time campers, I was impressed with the creativity of the hobo meals: polish sausages, peppers, and potatoes, the traditional hamburger, cheese, and potatoes, even a leftover fried rice, chicken, and veggies!

I was even impressed with how my hobo meals turned out. All the goodness of  Thanksgiving dinner at a late fall camp-out. That is, until my son and husband spoke up. They hated it. They sat there watching everyone else eat their hobo meals, angry with me for making them a turkey dinner. Unfortunately, dissatisfied and hungry campers just turn around and snack more. A very valuable lesson learned from my first ever camping experience.

To this date, they scuff at hobo meals. And while they love eating a traditional Thanksgiving meal, I know they would rather have a good ole hot dog than anything creative at the campsite!

Here are some recipes for Hobo Packets. And yes, you can find the Thanksgiving Dinner!

The Classic: Hamburger and Vegg-All

½ lb ground hamburger meat

  • ½ can of Veg-all or other mixed vegetables
  • ½ can can of cream of mushroom soup
  • spices and seasonings

Mix together the above ingredients with spices and condiments to your heart’s content. Place the mixture on the center of a sheet of foil, wrap in a tent pack, and place on hot coals for 25 minutes.

Chicken Potato Packets
– 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
– 4 medium red potatoes, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
– 2 cups frozen green peas
– 1 jar (12 oz.) chicken gravy
– 1 teaspoon salt
– ½ teaspoon dried thyme
– 1/8 teaspoon pepper

  • Thanksgiving Dinner
  • 1 turkey cutlet
  • 1 cup of prepared stuffing
  • ½ cup of turkey gravy
  • ½ cup of green beans
  • ¼ dried cranberries
  • salt, pepper, thyme, marjoram

Place turkey cutlet on sheet of foil. Put the stuffing on top and the green beans around the cutlet. Pour gravy over everything and sprinkle with the dried cranberries and seasonings. Wrap in a tent pack and place on hot coals for 20 minutes.

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