Scouting, Volume 67, Number 5, October 1979 Page: 51

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Tailgate Cookery
Photos by Ken Rogers
When the family needs a fast
meal after the champion-
ship ball game, make it as
much fun as the game itself. Or if your
Cubs are on a one-day jaunt, or your Boy
Scouts or Explorers are motor-touring,
turn your van or station wagon into a
chuck wagon. Whether you're eating on
the run or on the road, you'll welcome the
following suggestions for quick, tasty,
successful outdoor meals.
Carefree Cooking. The key to good cook-
ing is careful preparation. A few simple
hints will speed your preparation, as well
as make your cooking more fun.
Break your meal preparation into
separate tasks (that is, shopping, gathering
equipment, packing, fuel collecting, cook-
ing, and cleanup). This method organizes
your group's involvement, and troop, post,
or family members may then choose the
tasks they enjoy most. As leader, you can
insure that tasks are fairly divided and that
each person shares the fun, working on a
task suited to him or her.
It's a good idea to avoid the temptation
of assigning a task to yourself. Your job is
to supervise, not do the work. Cooking
isn't very efficient if you're answering a
question about a recipe, locating a mis-
placed utensil for someone, and at the
same time trying to build a fire.
Once you've organized, delegated, and
clarified, your meal preparation should
move smoothly and quickly. Your plan-
ning should bring an extra dividend: a
mealtime atmosphere of cooperation and
teamwork rather than chaos and con-
(Far left) Tailgate chef grills burgers on
newspaper stove. (Left, from top) Hot dog
surfaces from Thermos. No need to wash
dishes if you pour taco mix into bag of chips
or onto soft bun.
Creative Equipment. Time-consuming
preparation and cleanup can be cut by
using this creative equipment:
• Hanging equipment bag. To organize
your eating and cooking utensils, store
them all together in a woman's hanging,
see-through, compartmental shoe bag. To
adapt the bag, sew one side of each pocket
closed, then sew two inches up on the
opposite side of pockets you'll be using for
smaller items to keep the utensils from
sliding through. Slip paper cups, plates,
napkins, and plastic tableware into one
side of the bag and utensils, hot pads,
first-aid kits, and other items into the
other. Hang the bag in your closet, well
stocked with supplies and utensils, always
packed for picnics, camping, or eating on
the road.
• Plastic bag "bowls." Those handy,
heavy, self-sealing plastic bags will save
you dishwashing in many cooking situa-
tions. Use them as substitutes for mixing
bowls when you make cake, biscuits, or
instant pudding. Carry mixed dry in-
gredients in these bags. When you're ready
to mix, add liquids and depress the bag to
rid it of excess air. Reseal the bag and
"mix" by squeezing the sealed bag firmly
but not violently.
You may also use the bags as pitchers.
Carry powdered drinks in the bags. When
you're ready to drink, add water, close,
shake, and pour.
These bags make time-saving eating
bowls, too. Carry already-prepared salads
or other dishes in the self-sealing bags,
then when you're ready to serve, place in
an appropriately sized empty can. Open
the bag, pulling the top over the outside
edges of the can, then serve from your
"bowl." For an added decorative touch,
cover the can with colorful contact paper.
When you're finished, leftovers are ready
to pack up in their own handy, self-sealing
storage bag.
• Frisbee plate. A flimsy paper plate can
spill your delicious meal. You can either
nestle together five paper plates for extra
strength, or use a Frisbee. A paper plate
fits right inside a Frisbee and is great for
"fast-food" service. When you're finished
eating, have a game of Frisbee.
• Soap bottle. Before leaving home, fill a
plastic squeeze bottle with water and a few
drops of liquid detergent. Clean hands are
no problem before, during, or after food
preparation with this handy container.
Another alternative for clean hands:
Carry a plastic, self-sealing bag with a
damp cloth or damp paper towels inside.
You'll never have a problem with sticky
• Grooming apron. To keep all your
cleaning accessories at your fingertips,
make a grooming apron. All it takes is a
bath towel and a strip of cotton rope.
Begin by folding up one end of the terry
bath towel six to eight inches. Select the
grooming supplies you want to use: brush,
comb, mirror, toothbrush, toothpaste,
soap container, washcloth, and perhaps a
Then lay the items in a row under the
folded up area of the towel, and mark
where you need to stitch between each
item to form pockets. After stitching each
pocket, sew along the bottom at just the
right depth so that it holds the object right
at the top of the pocket.
Six inches above the top of the pockets,
make a tuck in the towel and sew a casing.
Thread cotton rope, long enough to tie
around your waist, through the casing. The
remainder of the towel hangs over the
supplies, covering them and keeping them
When you tie the apron around your
waist, all your supplies are at your finger-
tips, including a towel to wipe your face!
Packing Tips. One challenge for quick
meals away from home is keeping hot food
hot and cold food cold until you reach

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Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 67, Number 5, October 1979, periodical, October 1979; New Brunswick, New Jersey. ( accessed May 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.

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