Our little cabin here in Fairbanks is heated by a woodstove, that’s all. Joe and I spend a fair amount of time out cutting wood with handsaws, but it’s not so bad; we get to be outside, it’s free, and we get some exercise. Recently I’ve been hooking my husky, Sulrana, up to the sled full of wood so that he can haul it back to the cabin for us, making life a little easier. It’s impressive how much he can pull! And he loves it.
Now what does that have to do with potato foil packets? Well, back around Christmas, Joe and I had the lightening flash of inspiration to roast garlic in our woodstove. So we wrapped a couple heads of garlic in aluminum foil and stuck them in the stove. The first one burned. I learned my lesson quickly though, and learned to rotate them every 15 minutes, and not put them too close to the coals. The results were absolutely delicious!
After roasting garlic in the stove, I began to contemplate what other wondrous things could be done in the woodstove. Finally, last week we tried cooking our potatoes for dinner in the woodstove. The results were completely satisfying! Absolutely healthy, delicious, and cheap, since the potatoes came from a friend’s garden, and we didn’t even have to use our propane oven to cook them! We enjoyed the potatoes with some caribou meat we’d canned back in September, some sauerkraut we’d made the week before, and some steamed collards. YUM. So good that I ate wayyyyyy more than I intended to!
You could, of course, cook these in a regular oven, if you don’t have a woodstove. I doubt the results will be quite as exquisite, but I’m sure they will still be mouthwatering. If you’re doing this in an oven, actually, you could probably just put the whole mix on a baking sheet and skip the packets.
Potato Foil Packets
makes as much as you want!
garlic, peeled and left as whole cloves
onion, cut into chunks
salt & pepper
Combine the potatoes, garlic and onion. You can use as much of each of these as you like. We went heavy on the garlic, because it’s just incredible, but follow your instincts. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil, and place about 2 cups of the mix in the middle. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Wrap the aluminum foil securely around the mixture. You may want a double thickness, depending on how heavy-duty your foil is.
Place your completed packets in a woodstove with hot coals. You don’t want the packets to touch the coals, or they’ll burn. Every 15 minutes, rotate the packets so that they cook evenly. After about 45 minutes, check them. Ours were done at this point, but go longer if needed.