A roll of aluminum foil can be a time and energy saver when cooking over an open fire – or even at home with the barbeque. The first step to minimizing problems is to buy wider and better quality foil.

To cook on an open fire, make your fire in the shape of a key-hole so that you can maintain heat in the cooking area by raking a continual supply of hot coals from the main fire into the narrow part of the keyhole area. This allows better control of the heat and with a little practice you’ll be able to judge the time required for your dish.

Tin foil packages that are very large can result in food burning on the outside while remaining uncooked in the middle. A number of smaller packages is better than one huge one. They are also easier to turn over as needed.

Cut up your carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, zucchini, onions. Remember that carrots take longer. Put the veggies in the middle of the foil with enough left to fold and seal the package and pour on some olive oil, vegetable oil or butter. Add garlic powder or other spices and a couple of tablespoons of water if experience says you need it. Seal the package. The seal should be tight because it often needs to be turned over to complete the cooking. A poor closure may results in leakage and burning.

Here are some suggested dishes:

-Sliced carrots with brown sugar and cinnamon.

-Sliced potatoes alone or with onion or pepper slices. Put a tablespoon of oyster sauce on each.

-Quartered potatoes with olive oil and oyster sauce.

-Chunked cabbage with olive oil and oyster sauce.

-A whole sliced onion with olive oil and oyster sauce.

Fresh fish, steaks or even a roast can easily be done in foil. Lay the package right on the camp-fire coals.

Lemon slices, peppers and teriyaki are great on fish and there is a long rack of bottled sauces at the grocery store — use according to your personal taste.

Dinner can be served right out of the foil package, thus minimizing the clean-up efforts.

Please remember that the tin-foil does not burn when thrown back into the fire, so you should scrunch it up and take it with you for proper disposal.