One of my interests I’ve taken up is cast iron dutch oven cooking. Several years ago, my equine specialist, Carl Rathz, and I were attending a Equine Assisted Psychotherapy training as part of our needed continuing education for doing Horse Therapy as we call it for shorthand. For lunch one day, up pulled two guys in a truck with a trailer. They proceeded to unload and commence cooking lunch using a charcoal campfire and a variety of Dutch Oven Cast Iron pots. I was fascinated. It was like watching a cook on the cattle drives in the many Western I had watched growing up; or, more recently, Dances with Wolves movie. I had all kinds of questions for them. As they worked, they did a lot of explaining to me.
A couple of years later, I was coming back from one of my many trips from Big Bend, Texas area, where my latest book, The Guru on the Mountain: Chiggers, Lizards and Desert Heat: My Vision Quest to Discover the Source of Spirit, takes place, and stopped at the Lodge Cast Iron Cook outlet store in Commerce, Ga.
I bought several items, one of them being one of their 10″ Dutch Ovens. I had a couple of Lodge’s cast iron skillets, which are my favorite skillets. I use them all the time. Even cook biscuits in them. Anyway, that first Dutch Oven got me started.
Above is my “camp” Dutch Oven cooking station. In the smaller pot on top is peach cobbler cooking. In the larger, bottom pot, is a whole chicken with rice and herbs.
What I found is there is a lot of skill in cooking this way. It is the kind of cooking that once its cooking as you see set up here, you need to stay there and drink beer and watch it. It’s a tough life at that point. The hard work though is getting everything set up so that you can things started cooking when you need them. I love cooking this way, but it is a major production.
My latest addition is a cooking platform (below). Haven’t tried it out yet as its been so hot here in SC in July, it is all I can do to keep up the garden and canning/freezing.
Outdoor campfire Dutch Oven cooking station platform on which I set my cooking table (so I don’t have to bend over to cook.)