My Dad had a Griswold 14 inch cast iron dutch oven he always cooked biscuits in when we were camping. Lucky for me, I found it in an old 4-H show box. My cattle showing career only lasted about three months, so it had become a storage unit. I can't tell you how happy I was to find that oven!! That makes two, since I purchased a small 10" Lodge cast iron oven in Ferndale. Just so you know, Lodge can't hold a candle compared to Griswold!! If you have any Griswold cast iron, either hang on to it or sell it to me. Seriously, I'm always in the market.
Having purchased Kent Rollins' A Taste of Cowboy cookbook, I finally got up enough nerve to try cooking on the campfire. Kinda sorta. Nowadays, charcoal fits the bill nicely. I joined a Dutch Oven Cooking group on Facebook and was inundated with ideas and pictures to get me started. Pretty nice group of people to share all their secrets!!
First up, buy a couple of those metal pans you drain your car oil into. They said not to use a "used" one, something about a fire hazard. I purchased a new charcoal can to get my coals going, just before finding one in my garage. Where did THAT come from?? I even found this little folding aluminum table to set it on. Yes, my fire extinguisher is just out of sight on the table.
I remember my dad melting lots of crisco (ugh) in the bottom for his biscuits, so I did the same, but with butter instead. You can't go wrong with melted butter!! I dumped in the batter, quickly spread it around and dropped a little cheddar cheese on top for good measure. My dad smiled when I did that.
I put the lid on with my handy dandy lid lifter and dumped the rest of the charcoals on top. Pretty much dutch ovens cook from the top down, so you always put more on the top than the bottom. This many coals on the bottom would result in a back yard burial. It's a good thing I read that part of the recipe first.
I moved the lid a couple of times for even cooking and VOILA!!! Beautiful fluffy high-in-the-sky cornbread!! WOW!! I couldn't believe it came out so good on my first try!! After letting it sit a couple of minutes, I sliced it up, slathered it with more butter and wolfed it down. YUMMY!! The even more amazing part, it wasn't burned on the bottom!!
This is going to be fun. Next time I'll try my Dad's big oven for something like chicken fried steak and gravy. Maybe I can invite half the town to dinner. That old Griswold pot is worth a fortune by the way. On today's market, I could get in excess of $1,000 due to it's age and condition.
In the late afternoon, I finished up the bag Miss Patty got for me. There was a little hiccup when the pattern called for interfacing, which I purchased ... then later on it called for FLEECE interfacing. It took another trip to the store, but it was worth it. I can get lots of market stuff in THIS bag!!!
I spent the rest of the evening going through every Dutch Oven cookbook I have, trying to decide on my next conquest, and planning my Halloween Trick or Treat decorations. While in the garage looking through my camp boxes, I discovered my FOG machine. THIS is going to be FUN!!!