Camp Style Dutch Oven Cooking

It was in 2013 that I ordered my first two camp style dutch ovens.

Dutch Ovens

I’ve added a few more dutch ovens since that picture was taken. The ones with the feet and the flat lids with the rim are the camp style dutch ovens. The charcoal briquettes or wood coals are placed under the pots and around the lid and that’s the source heat.

Dutch Oven

Dutch Oven

This was my peach cobbler cooking. There’s a formula to use for the number of coals but sometimes, the circumstances dictate that you break the rules! Saturday was pretty windy and our coals kept burning up faster than we would have liked so a few more coals were added.

The foil liners aren’t necessary but I knew there would be leftover peach cobbler and I didn’t want us to bring it home, plus it’s so much easier to clean up the pot when we’re out in the park.

Speaking of buying dutch ovens, Lodge no longer makes the 16″ so the only way to find one is at a flea market, estate or garage sale. My friend’s husband LOVES looking for things on Craig’s List or at flea markets so I asked him to be looking for one for me. Here’s our text conversation.

Text

Text

You would have to know this guy to appreciate the “holy bat poop” comment. I cracked up. He’ll probably manage to find me one.

There’s a local group that meets once a month and cooks . . kind of a pot luck type deal. Saturdays are so busy around here that we have to just say “we’re going . . no matter what!” and that’s what we did this past week. I kept telling myself that it’s June and it was going to be miserably hot messing with coals and the mosquitoes were horrible and we are on Weight Watchers so I almost talked us out of going but I had committed to making a peach cobbler for this get together and so we went. It actually wasn’t hot at all . . was quite nice. Maybe the amount of Avon Skin So Soft, along with the 2 cans of mosquito repellent I used kept the mosquitoes away (not really – didn’t use 2 full cans!) but the mosquitoes weren’t bad and I’m glad we went.

peach cobbler

Peach Cobbler

It was a mighty fine peach cobbler, if I do say so myself. The only thing missing was Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream and I’m telling you . . as soon as it’s back on the shelves, Weight Watchers or not, I’m making another peach cobbler, maybe half a recipe, and we’re having peach cobbler and ice cream.

Vince seems to be enjoying the dutch oven cooking and it’s something we enjoy doing together.

Dutch Oven Group

Dutch Oven Group

One guy that comes is 101 years old! What a neat guy he is. He and his wife drive themselves, bring all their supplies and make something yummy. This time they made Taco Soup which was surprisingly spicy and quite delicious.

In case you’re trying to figure it out .. it’s the guy in the apron that’s 101 . . not the old guy on the left!  :)

Dutch Oven Cooking

Dutch Oven Cooking

I like this guy! He’s funny and enjoys himself. And . . look at the park. Green! Amazing for this part of the country. What I really like about this guy is this:

Texas

Texas

I want one of these so badly and short of a miracle, I’ll probably never have one. A semi-local hardware store had them made several years ago and of course, they sold out quickly and there are no more. How cool is that thing?

Biscuits

Biscuits

Another couple makes the best biscuits! I would love to have grabbed a handful, along with some butter and jelly and gobbled them without regard to Weight Watchers points but I didn’t.

Vince and I controlled ourselves, ate just a little peach cobbler, a little of the chocolate Texas cake, one biscuit each and the other foods were pretty much Weight Watchers friendly.  For dinner, I had a bowl of strawberries, dragon fruit and blueberries and it looks like I didn’t gain any weight so it wasn’t a bad day.

 

 

Dragon Fruit

Our new United grocery store opened on the 17th and it was the 19th before I managed to get down there. Such restraint, huh?  :)  Seriously, being on Weight Watchers, I didn’t want to tempt myself with all the interesting stuff so I held off going til I needed some groceries. One thing about being on WW, so much of what we eat is fresh. Instead of going to the grocery store every 2 or 3 weeks, I have to go every 5 or 6 days.

Before I get into my grocery store story . . here’s another story. Our local talk radio has Brian and Leland on in the mornings from 6 to 9 a.m. I love listening to them.  When we first moved here, it was Brian and J.R. and J.R. left and I was sad. At first, I wasn’t so sure about Leland but now I like him too. I have my radio out in the garden so I don’t miss The Morning Show with Brian and Leland. Vince listens to them on the way to work but he doesn’t *really* like them like I do.

On the Friday that Chad, Nicole and Addie left, I was pretty emotional all day. That evening, Vince said . . let’s go to Zephyr and get fish. The Friday before, we had all gone so I kept thinking . . the last time we were here, Chad, Nicole and Addie were with us . . and that made me kinda sad but I still was able to enjoy our dinner our. Then .. this couple walked in and sat at the table next to us. Vince knew the lady and began talking to us. She was telling Vince that she had left her job at the radio station and was now working . . I forget where. Vince was going to introduce me to her and he didn’t know her husband so she said “This is my husband, Brian.” I looked at Vince . . the connection . . the had worked at the radio station . . Brian . . the guy sounded like Brian on The Morning Show! I said “Are you Brian from The Morning Show?”  Yes!  Brian . . at the table next to us. Vince had just been telling me something he’d heard them say that morning and we were talking about it so we discussed that and a few more things with Brian. That really made my evening!

Yesterday Vince wanted to see the new United so we went. The local radio station was broadcasting from there and Vince said “I believe that’s Leland!” I wasn’t sure but Vince said it looked like his pictures but I didn’t stop and ask. We went on in the store and started shopping and Brian and his wife were in there shopping. We ran into them on several aisles and stopped and chatted. It was pretty funny . . we see them everywhere we go now.

Back to the dragon fruit. The new store had them. They were so pretty and so unique! I had to get one.

Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit

I had no idea what was inside or what to do with it so I googled it and last night, we ate it. I would say it reminded me of a kiwi but with more seeds.

Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit

 

Beings how it is kind of a weird fruit for this area, it was pretty pricey so it isn’t something I would buy often but I’m glad we tried it.

And, I’m glad we met Brian and his lovely wife and it makes like them even more on the radio now.

Making Pickles

Even though my garden is pretty much of a failure this year, I grew lots of artichokes, lots of asparagus, the yacon looks great, although it’s a root crop and it may all be rotted underground. The best news is . . I have never been able to successfully grow cucumbers and this year. Last year a friend from home sent me cucumber seeds and said “you CAN grow cucumbers from these”. They are National Pickling Cucumbers and sure enough . . I’m growing cukes!

Cucumber Seeds

Cucumber Seeds

I didn’t plant many seeds . . I don’t know why . . I guess because I only had one trellis but now that the peas are done, I planted a few more cucumbers. It may be too late, the grasshoppers may be too hungry, it may be too hot but I have plenty of seeds so . . what do I have to lose?

I’m trying out a bunch of different pickle recipes to see which ones I like the best and I’m keeping a chart so I’ll know which ones were from which recipe and which ones had grape leaves and which ones had Pickle Crisp added. Grape leaves are supposed to keep them crunchy. It will be a summer of pickle making trials! Hopefully some of them will be delicious . . and crunchy!

The first recipe I tried was Easy Dill Pickles.

Pickles

Pickles

I used just the one recipe and made it exactly as shown but you can see that the jar lids are labeled. Here’s what I did:

  • 1a – These were two small cucumbers I picked this morning and didn’t soak for 12 hours in salt water . . just to see what happens. I did add a grape leaf and Pickle Crisp to the jar.
  • 1b – A grape leaf and Pickle Crisp were added.
  • 1c – A grape leaf was added but Pickle Crisp.
  • 1d – Only Pickle Crisp was added – no grape leaf.

We’ll see if we can tell any difference in the variations.

Speaking of pickles, our new United grocery store opened this week and I went yesterday. What a grocery store! They were sampling these — their store brand pickles with horseradish. Oh, my! These pickles are amazing and I’m going to go put them in the shop fridge so I don’t blow my diet on pickles!

Pickles

Pickles

Once I get a pickle recipe that I like, maybe I can experiment a bit and come close to this. They’re a little pricey . . especially considering that I can now grow my own cucumbers thanks to my friend, Bruce!