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Monday, June 18, 2012

New simple pleasure: Dutch oven cooking

Way back B.K. (before kid), BT and were able to do lazy like nobody's business. We could easily waste a day -- a weekend -- and not care one iota. One weekend back probably 8 years ago, we watched a back to back marathon showing of Frontier House. We couldn't pull ourselves away, and were totally entrenched in the stories of 3 families who were sent to live in Montana 1880s style.


We loved the family from Malibu, the Clunes. They were not from the slums of Malibu -- this family temporarily gave up living in a multi-million dollar mansion to try their hand at frontier life. Reading forums about the show now, I guess folks found them to be annoying. Yeah, the dad complained for a time that they were starving, but other than that, they rocked the show, in our opinion. Perhaps in answer to the food woes, the family got creative. The dad had his company build him a still, and he started making moonshine for sale. The mom made pies and bartered them to "real time" neighbors and eventually bartered for a spring mattress to replace the period authentic straw ticking versions the families were forced to use. Of course these activities were frowned upon by other participants of the show, but we admired their ingenuity. Above is a video of the preparations for a wedding that took place on the show. Adrienne (the one who made the 3 tier cake) is my hero.


These days we perhaps dream of being lazy, but rarely find a day we can express a B.K. level of idleness without feeling massively guilty afterwards. After last summer's successful reintroduction to camping, we felt we needed to take things up a notch. Don't want to be accused of being ne'er do wells, lounging around the camp site swatting flies, after all. So, we bought a Dutch oven. This was actually BT's Father's Day present, so a little extra pressure that things we cooked -- I mean baked -- in the thing this past weekend during our Father's Day camping trip would come out right. No need to worry -- our two experiments came out like a dream. One, refrigerated cinnamon rolls


shown perfectly done -- no scorching, raw spots, etc.

The second, pineapple upside down cake*


I took two pictures -- one, as we were turning the cake onto our makeshift foil serving platter (you can also use the lid, but this was easier for clean up and sharing with our neighboring campers), in case this was as far as we got in the process, and the second


a beautiful cake done exactly right and which came out entirely intact. Score one for the frontier family from Long Beach! And, channeling my inner Adrienne, I figured we couldn't just serve a kickass cake for dessert, we also made ice cream in a Ziploc bag.


Bring on the zombie apocalypse -- this family from the 'hood has the survival thing DOWN!

* This is just one of dozens of blogs out there devoted to cast iron/Dutch oven cooking. Prepare to be sucked down the rabbit hole if you take up this hobby. Next up we have plans to make pizza and berry cobbler. Perhaps a pie? Cookies? Don't dare me -- I just might do it. The possibilities are endless!

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Favorite of the day: Still getting caught up after a disconnected weekend

Working on: Unpacking and properly storing my new BFF, the Dutch oven

1 comment:

Mimi said...

I have a dutch oven and love it, too. As for Frontier House, I have mixed feelings. I liked the Clunes but they weren't "fair" to the others who played by the rules. I did like their ingenuity. The final decision of who won the judging wasn't fair in my mind. The couple who won didn't have all those mouths to feed and had some advantage in that. I liked all the families, but didn't like some of the critical comments made by the one family about the Clunes. Yes, Mr. Clune was a pill. In the end, both couples got a divorce after the show and only the young couple survived unscathed. But, I enjoyed the show and would like to see it done again.