Tin Foil Dinners

I have a little video that somewhat ties into a camp-dinner like Tin Foil Dinners. The video, called Flecks of Gold, is a parable about a guy who went to look for gold in California. He wanted to find nuggets of gold, until a prospector taught him to save up the small flecks of gold. The story is then tied into the principle that “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass”. I appreciate this because sometimes I feel like my small efforts to be a kind friend and neighbor and to serve others, aren’t worth anything. Though it is easy to get discouraged, it is often the small things that can make the most difference. 

My son and I went on a walk the other night and on our way home we saw a woman outside letting her dog run around a bit. We normally don’t say much other than “Hello” or “good evening” when we see people on our walks, but I felt impressed to stop and chat. We started talking about her dog, and letting my son feel it’s fur. The conversation continued and we got to know each other a bit. I found out that she is in my ward, but hasn’t been able to come to church because of poor health. I also learned that her husband passed away many years ago and her fiance had a mental breakdown, which caused them to break off their engagement. All her kids are grown and living across the world. It is just her and her dog now. I was so grateful that we were able to stop and chat, and form a friendship. Even though it seemed like a little thing, we have both benefited from that gesture to stop and chat.

In church today the first counselor of the bishopric brought up a Calvin and Hobbs comic, when Calvin was questioning the idea that he needed to be good to get presents from Santa. He asked Hobbes “Do I need to actually BE good, or can I just ACT good?” and then he thought, if he just needed to ACT good, just HOW good did he need to act? This was then tied into Matthew 5:48, which says “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”. We cannot ACT perfect, we must BE perfect. Obviously perfection isn’t going to happen right away, but as we do the small and simple things, every day, we should mean it. We can’t just go through the motions. As we do our best to genuinely be kind and serve others, great things will be brought to pass.

On to the Tin Foil Dinners – this is definitely one of the staple meals at our house. If I am out of new ideas, or just want something familiar, I make Tin Foil Dinners. They are hard to goof-up and you can add a variety of ingredients to each pack – perfect for personalizing meals for picky eaters or just various family preferences. 
My Tin Foil Dinners usually have hamburger patties, onions, potatoes, carrots and A1 sauce inside. This time I just happened to be out of carrots, and had a giant zucchini left-over in my fridge. I chopped it up and used it in the packets instead. When we sat down to eat, Limi asked if it was the left-over zucchini, and then requested that we always use zucchini in our Tin Foil Dinners! Sure thing, honey!
If you are trying to travel, or prepare meals ahead of time, these are a great thing to make! You can use pre-frozen potatoes (such as steak fries or hash brown cubes – uncooked fresh potatoes don’t freeze well) instead of fresh potatoes, and pre-frozen veggies or your own fresh veggies (as long as they freeze well). The hamburger patties are sold frozen, so that is no biggie! Just put everything together in a packet, top with sauce, wrap it up and throw it in the freezer until you are ready for it! You may need to extend the baking time by about 20 minutes.
I am making the directions according to what you would need for 1 packet, so that you can easily do the math for as many packets as you need.


2 hamburger patties
1 medium potato, thinly sliced
1/2 cup zucchini slices, carrots, or other vegetables you prefer
1/2 cup onion slices
1 tsp garlic powder
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup A1 or Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce
About 3 feet of tin foil


Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Divide the tinfoil into two pieces, each about 1 1/2 feet long. Place one perpendicularly on top of the other (like a +). Put the hamburger patties in the center of the tin foil, and top with potatoes, zucchini (or other vegetables), onion, garlic powder, Worcestershire, salt and pepper and A1 (or BBQ sauce).
Wrap the foil tightly around the hamburger and vegetables, beginning with the top layer, making sure that there are no holes open. Place in the oven on the center rack.
Bake for 1 hour, or until the potatoes are soft.
Unwrap and serve in the foil or on a plate.

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