For me, the greatest joy of traveling for a living is meeting new people. We’ve been fortunate enough in our full-time RVing experience to make real relationships and what I hope will be lifelong friendships. It feels as though each camp we visit adds to a family that is forming around us, cheering us on and uniting behind the desire to bring camping ministry – and Jesus – to all new people.
It’s a special kind of opportunity to meet another person who shares your passions and endeavors. A few months ago in New Mexico, I got to meet Ashley. Ashley and her husband work in Christian camping, are raising two beautiful (and silly) children, and maintain a home that welcomes you in and says “you’re family.” Ashley and Ford were wonderful to just hang out with and get to know, and I have so much respect for people who open their home earnestly to others. Sam and Ford had a great time talking about woodworking (check out Ford’s insta) and Ashley and I bonded over things we love – blogging and food.
Ashley is the hospitality guru behind Food and Fellowship – a blog about preparing delicious, homemade food and serving people with grace and love. For Ashley and her family, a table is not a flat surface with legs – it is “ the heart of the home, where love is expressed through food… where the body, mind, and soul are nourished and sustained.”
First of all, Ashley’s cooking is divine. It’s the kind of food you put in your mouth and think, “Is this a sin?” Her blog is fun to read, easy to follow, and will have you cultivating fellowship around your kitchen table like. a. boss. Ashley loves cooking for people, making them smile and laugh, and having honest conversations. I talked with her about my desire to have an “open door policy” no matter what our living situation is (entertaining in 70 square feet is NEAT). Sam and I have hosted a few guests since moving into the camper, but I want people to know they are still, and always will be, welcome in our home. Providing a safe place for others to land is a core value Sam and I share. Our door and our arms will be open for you, no matter what. Our door is just a little smaller now…
Ashley inspired me to try my hand at food blogging. I wanted to try coming up with my own recipe and sharing it with others this way. However, I am NOT A COOK. I should not be trusted. I still can’t figure out why there are two utensils both called spatulas (WHY?). No one should take culinary advice from me. But I have a blog and a camera and no one stopped me, so here it is!
Sticking with the “camp” theme, I wanted to make a meal that fills you up with memories of cooking over a fire, starry nights, and summer. I have always loved “hobo meals,” tin foil pouches filled with hearty ingredients and cooked over coals. As a kid, ground beef and potatoes was my JAM. As an adult… potatoes make me feel a little guilty. After a little brainstorming, I think I actually found a way to combine traditional camp food, entertaining guests, and healthy choices all in one recipe. It’s was like magic, friends. May I present, The Healthy Hobo.
The heart of hobo dinners is basic ingredients that meld well together. For this rendition, we went with ground turkey, sweet potatoes, onions, and peppers. I mixed yellow bell and poblano (and a teeny bit of serrano) because I am a pepper enthusiast, but really any pepper will work. The ingredients can easily be prepped beforehand so you and your company can just make a foil pouch, scoop in the goods, and chuck it in the campfire. These foil pouch meals also work great in a toaster oven for rainy nights.
Pick your favorite picnic basket and some baggies, then get your veggies read for pouch-filling:
Sweet potatoes peeled and cubed.
Peppers sliced (or diced).
And there you have it! Fill that basket up with your baggies, meat, foil, silverware, and tongs, and you have a beautiful bounty that you can present to your guests like a cornucopia. Very impressive.
CRAP. DON’T FORGET THE MARSHMALLOWS. That fluff is important.
When the party gets going, everyone can pick and choose what to fill their pouch with and nestle it into the coals. Be prepared – these will take a while to cook, but the conversations around the fire are the fun part. It’s good to flip the pouches every few minutes and peek inside about 15 minutes in – base the “doneness” on the sweet potatoes. When the pouch is good to go, just pop it open at the top and dig in – no need for dishes! We like to sprinkle ours with a little salt and some shaved parmesan, but you do you.
Be sure to round out the meal with a roasted marshmallow (or 4) and a healthy portion of laughter around the fire.
The Healthy Hobo
A health(ish) spin on the traditional camp hobo dinner. Feeds 4-6.