Monday, April 2, 2012

A Dutch Oven Slice of Our Life

Bethany & Abigail at the book table.
Many of you readers know my family, and one of the original purposes of this blog was to share not just thoughts and things God has been showing me, but to share slices of our life as well. This last Saturday we got to have a table at a local Dutch Oven fundraiser for a regional museum and interpretive center that will hopefully be built soon. We weren't selling food, but rather displaying the history-cookbook Mary Ann and I wrote for our youth group (see sidebar).

I was amazed at what you can do in a Dutch Oven!
For our family it was a wonderful time. There is something about living where we do that brings out the "outdoor" cooking romance and allure (is that the right word?). To slow cook a Tri-Tip or chicken over crackling oak for hours, or to sit by a firepit under the stars as the food settles in, is something special. There is something about that type of cooking that says, "I can't be in a hurry. I have to build the fire, let it burn down to coals, and then slow cook the food, and it is going to take a few hours." It is an investment in more than a meal, it is a commitment of time, outdoors, slowing down, and savoring a full experience rather than a quick meal. (You can tell from the Tri-Tip over the fire in the picture at the top of my blog page that we "practice" what I "preach".)

Cowboy Coffee . . . Oh, Yeah!
Cooking outdoors is special. That is probably why we added the 96-page section to the history-cookbook and had the whole new section deal with outdoor cooking. There is something I can't explain about connecting with the ways our pioneer fathers cooked. It is like stepping back a bit in time, slowing down, and being more simple. Often it is around the fire while the meat or veggies are slow cooking, or while the fire is burning down, that I'll finally be still enough to notice the miracle of Creation in the animals and plants around me, or the stars above me. "Be still and know that I am God"—He commands it, and, for me, cooking outdoors helps me along that path.

Stacking the "ovens".
A local Chuck Wagon.
The Dutch Oven event was wonderful. There had to be about 50 cooks preparing amazing meals from full main dishes to tantalizing desserts. Then, when it was done, we all lined up with plates and went down the line getting a taste from each cook in our line. An emptied plate later (that was shortly before a heaping and steaming mound of food) and we could contentedly say, "Ahhhh." Then it was off to the oak fire with the pots of strong cowboy coffee steaming over it. It doesn't get much better than that . . .


  1. Hello Pastor Eric and family!

    Sounds like you had a great time at the Dutch Oven Cook Off! :)Hopefully we can go some time.
    Please tell everyone hello!

    ~ Kierstyn

  2. Thanks Kierstyn, it was a lot of fun. Sorry we won't see you this year at CHEA, we aren't going. Please give the family a big hug from us and let us know when you are this way again!

    1. Well, we will miss you. But we will look forward to seeing you and your wonderful family soon, Lord willing. I'll e-mail you when I know we are going to be in the area. :)

      ~ Kierstyn

    2. Please do keep us posted on your next trip this way! You guys are special people in our lives and we'd love to fellowship. Thanks for all your friendship and encouragement. Hugs to all!


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