Spring is a wonderful time to hit the road and make memories with the family. It’s also a great time to try fresh vegetables that are plentiful this time of year. Hit your local farmers market and grab local asparagus and ham, then enjoy around the campfire.
- 2 ⅛ lbs fat asparagus (green or purple), tough ends removed
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- About 1/2 tsp. each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- ¾ lb thinly sliced Swiss country ham* or prosciutto, pieces about 7 in. long
Toss asparagus with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and divide into portions of 2 or 3 spears. Cut ham in half lengthwise if needed to make 20 to 24 pieces. Wrap each portion of asparagus around the middle with ham. Seal in a plastic bag and pack in a cooler.
Build a fire and let it burn to medium. Set a charcoal grill grate on the firepit cooking grate. Grill asparagus bundles, turning often, until ham is browned and asparagus is tender-crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
Building a Fire
Check that your campground allows fires and you can bring in wood or buy it there. You’ll want large logs, twigs for tinder, medium sticks for kindling, a butane lighter, newspaper, grilling tongs and gloves, home char- coal grill grate, and paper towels and oil for cleaning grates.
The perfect fire for cooking has low flames plus plenty of embers. It takes 1 to 11⁄2 hours to burn down to this stage. As such, be sure to start your fire at least an hour and a half ahead of time.
Make a log cabin with 6 large logs: 2 parallel to each other, 2 crisscrossed on top, and a third set like the first. Crumple newspaper into the center and add a handful of twigs. Make a tipi over the twigs with some medium sticks. Ignite paper. Gently fan fire until flames emerge.
Ignite a second, smaller one with just a few logs off to the side to start a feeder fire.
Use tongs, spread a bed of embers with low flames under the cooking grate and in area needed for dutch oven cooking. As you cook, add fuel from feeder fire.
Never walk away from a fire that’s still burning. When it’s down to cinders, spread the remains in the fire ring and douse with water.
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