By Clayton Silcox

Ice melts; permafrost recedes. The sun shines brighter and longer. Leaves bud then grow bigger and greener. The weather warms and spring begins. We as a species start to head outside more (although this should be the case all year-round!) and spend nights outdoors as well. While you don’t have to camp to get outside and experience nature’s splendor, many of us might go once to experience nature overnight. For the rest of the warm season, most people will experience the outdoors whilst kicked back in a lawn chair, cold beverage in hand. You take your pick from the endless array of outdoor camping festivals and concerts in the grass to insert here. There is one thing all of the places that could come to mind have in common, or at least most of them, is the ubiquitous fire pit and the sharing of fireside delicacies. I will point out some sure-fire ways to delight your friends and family this year.

-Tools of the Trade

Since the time when humans dwelled in caves and grunted at each other, our species has depended upon the combustion of organic materials to heat our meals. However without his stone skillet and skewer, Mr. Caveman and his family are going hungry. We cannot always rely upon the ordinary metal skewer to primarily feed us around the fire, as there are more creative ways to make delicious treats. Skewers don’t have to be labeled as boring though, I will show you some interesting ideas that they are perfectly capable of.

Pie Irons

A pie iron (round or square) is the unequivocal hero for fireside impulses of edible creativity. You can conjure up a pizza, you can master a breakfast sandwich, and you can satisfy your sweet tooth all with the same device. Pie irons are beautifully simple, but don’t forget to butter the outsides of your creation or you risk it sticking to the insides of your pie iron. Epic fail. Don’t be that person. Try one of my favorites; a peanut-butter and Hershey’s chocolate with marshmallow and raspberry jamwich. Best thing ever. Add bananas for a special not-so-guilty delicacy.


Advances in modern blacksmithing have given us great, useful things like pie irons, knives, cars, and fire grates. All you need is a spatula, a skillet, and a fire with one of these to make a great meal. The possibilities are literally endless. Any kind or cut of meat, sliced veggies, and other sides cook very well on a grate. The flavor is intense! While I have eaten many a time from aluminum foil over a fire, I do not recommend doing so. There are some people in the post-secondary educational community that warn of aluminum’s seepage into food when cooked or heated with the foil. I can’t say one way or the other if I think it’s harmless, but I can say that if it wasn’t harmful no one would say anything negative about it.

-Neat Things to Do with a Skewer


These are hot dogs that are sliced at each end with an “X” pattern. When put into the fire, they open up. By that I mean the four separate pieces of meat will cook in such a way that they bend and protrude from the unsliced portion of the hot dog. You will see when they’re fully cooked just why they’re called spiders.




Double Duh!!

-Fire-Pit Pizza

A delicious and warming meal when cold and tired, the fire-pit pizza is one of my personal faves. Choose your topping, add some sauce and cheese, and throw it on the stone! You can use a thin stone, shale is a good hardness at this thickness, and you can keep yourself from going hungry in about twenty minutes. Nothing beats a homemade meal such as this. You can choose to use a grate if you feel it necessary.

Remember to have a good time this summer, although I don’t believe I should have to tell you that. Some things are better left unsaid. There are many ways to cook by the fire, and you can be as creative as necessary. Be unnecessarily creative if you feel like it too, why not? Variety is the spice of life. Be good to each other, love one another, and love mother Earth. Peace.