Ahh….there’s nothing like the smell of a wood burning fire. Unfortunately, with California’s environmental laws, wood fires are few and far between. You can hardly even find them in home fireplaces anymore as new homes are mandated to be built with gas–a shoddy substitute. After some research, I found that one of the only places in SF to create this elusive scent in public was at Ocean Beach. I few friends and I donned windbreakers, packed up the tiki torches and campfire forks, bought plenty of marshmallows (and other roast-friendly foods) and were on our way.
It was ridiculously hard to get the fire started. 100% of the attendees were engineers and more than 90% were EE/CS, so I guess you could say weren’t well versed in the material science/chemistry aspect of the exercise. After numerous attempts using a variety of methods, materials, and a dangerous (and probably not appetizing) amount of lighter fluid, we finally threw in the towel and “bartered” for a flame from some of our fellow fire lovers on the beach. In no time at all however, we had a cheery blaze going, and started on our way to quenching the flame of hunger.
A few notes about roasting things to eat on the beach: 1) it’s sandy 2) it’s windy too, so sand will likely get in your food no matter how hard you try to block what you’re eating with your body 3) foil is your friend 4) curry fish balls and pre-cooked sausages work well 5) potatoes and corn do not 6) no matter the sand, the cold, the wind, and the consumption of undercooked food–everyone is guaranteed to have a fabulous time.
Photo credits to t and jk–thanks guys!!