A stick with some dough wrapped on the end end roasting over a campfire.

Primitive Pleasures: Food on Sticks

Part of the joy of outdoor experiences is exploring opportunities to do everyday things simply and naturally, using often-overlooked resources found in abundance in a natural setting. Trees, of course, define the forest areas we love to visit, and the thin branches they shed are a wonderful resource for cooking differently.

 

Cooking with sticks can bring the whole family or group into the preparation process, with each person cooking their meal together at the same time. These are the moments that build community and enhance the experience of eating together.

 

The best part? No mess and probably no leftovers.

Selecting and preparing your roasting stick

When it comes to selecting a stick, pretty much any long, sturdy natural stick will do and there’s very little risk of germs or toxicity from sticks in Ontario, particularly as they will be used over fire. Of course, you can also purchase reusable metal or wood roasting sticks.
 

To clean a natural stick, remove all loose bark, whittle the roasting end to a point with a camp knife, then ‘cure’ the roasting end in the fire to sanitize.

What can you cook on a stick?

Most of us associate sticks with roasted marshmallows, but why stop there? Basically, if you can skewer an ingredient, it’s fair game for the flame. Meats, hard or grilling cheeses, vegetables, fruits, and breads take on new flavour when cooked over fire. The woodsmoke and slower cooking process, enhancing and transforming experience, texture and taste.

 

Bacon:

You haven’t truly lived until you’ve tried threaded strips of bacon (ribbon candy-style) on a roasting stick.

 

Eggs:

Cut an orange in half to make a bowl, scoop out the fruit and pith, then skewer it on a roasting stick on the diameter. Add an egg, sprinkle with shredded Ontario cheese, salt and pepper and cook in the ‘orange bowl’.

 

Watermelon or pineapple:

Skewer thick chunks of fruit on your roasting stick and add a cube of Ontario halloumi grilling cheese between each piece of fruit. You’re welcome.

 

Potatoes:

Make crispy garlic butter potato tornados! Skewer a large potato lengthwise on a stick. Using a sharp knife, cut an angled slit at the top of the potato and rotate the potato to create a spiral cut from top to bottom. Combine melted butter, crushed garlic and parsely in a bowl and generously brush the butter mixture on the potato. Sprinkle with Ontario Parmesan cheese and roast to perfection!

 

String Cheese:

Skewer Ontario string cheese lengthwise from top to bottom. Wrap tightly with sliced prosciutto, roast until meat is browned and cheese is beginning to melt. Add some local asparagus to make it a meal.

 

Ontario halloumi:

Season large pieces of Ontario halloumi cheese with a little olive oil, chili flakes and parsley, skewer on sticks and roast until browned and bubbling.

 

Bread:

There’s nothing simpler than wrapping a simple bread dough around a stick with Ontario cheese and fresh herbs tucked inside. You can make your own or pick up ready-made dough at a grocery store. Try it with Ontario Brie, Gouda, mozzarella or any local cheese – there are no rules and no limits.

 

Apple Pie & Cheese:

Coat large chunks of Ontario apples in a mixture of Ontario butter and cinnamon, skewer on sticks and roast over fire until soft. Load a separate skewer with cubes of aged Ontario Cheddar cheese and roast until just beginning to melt. Serve together on a platter.

People sitting around a campfire at night with the Savour Ontario Outdoors logo

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