Traditional hobos are simple aluminum foil packets filled with meat, potatoes, and other veggies before being sealed, tossed on a grill over the flames, and roasted until cooked through. They are easy to make and easy to personalize so they're a great idea for a crowd. Snack hobos take this idea to a whole new level of fun and experimentation for you and your guests.
Setting Up Snack Time
Start by setting up a table (or a board on a couple of logs if you're out in the boonies) to arrange the ingredients for the hobo feast. Use plastic, sealable bags to display the ingredients so you don't have much clean-up afterwards.
Give everyone a square piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil so they can make a hobo in the style they want. Provide a black marker so they can put their name on the outside of the foil so their hobo doesn't get mixed up with anyone else’s.
Provide some inspiration with a few of the following ideas.
Loaded potato skins or nachos are great ideas for a savory snack hobo. Pre-bake potatoes and scoop out the insides (save these for fried potatoes for breakfast the next morning). Place them at the head of the table along with a big bowl of taco chips. Encourage your guests to top the potato skins and nachos from an array of ingredients such as cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, sour cream, salsa, olives, sliced green onion, butter, nacho cheese sauce, or crispy bacon pieces.
When their savory hobos are built to their satisfaction, fold and seal the packets with their names to the outside, and put them on a grill over the fire for about 5-10 minutes depending on the heat intensity. Remove one to check that the cheese is melted and other ingredients are warmed through, then distribute to your guests and encourage them to tuck in.
For a fire-roasted dessert snack hobo, provide fruit such as bananas, sliced apples, and halved pears, and scrumptious toppings such as toasted nuts, marshmallows, chopped chocolate, butter, shaved coconut, caramel sauce, and hot fudge sauce. You could even make them more decadent by toasting the nuts with herbs and salt ahead of time. There's something marvelous about salty flavors mingling with the sweet.
Wrap and seal the parcels, taking extra care to seal them well so the melted toppings and sauces don't leak out into the fire. Once the dessert hobos are complete, cook them the same way as the savory hobos but leave them over the flame longer so the fruit has time to cook through and caramelize a bit. Since they take longer to cook, you might encourage your guests to make them up and get them on the fire to roast while they eat their savory hobos.
Once the hobos are cooked, sit back, relax, and enjoy the conversation and story-telling that's always done best around a campfire!
Photos are courtesy of the author.