One Year Later

This was me a year ago. I camped out the weekend before Christmas. (12/22 – 12/23). The temps were high 40s low 20s. I am camped on my property.

This year on December 23 I had cataracts removed from my right eye. I went in at 8:30 and was out by 11. The marvels of modern medicine. Everything went fine. High that day in the 50s and low 30s. Christmas Day high is supposed to be near 70. We have a saying here in Missouri, “If you don’t like the weather just wait a few minutes.”

I wanted to camp out on the property the weekend before Christmas but the surgery put a damper on that. The worse news I got was that I couldn’t fish for a week or kayak for two weeks. Now enter temps of near 70 for Christmas Day.

I always carry with me a number 10 Lodge Dutch Oven. I think that is the most versatile size for camping for one. I can prepare a complete breakfast in it all at once. Sorry I digress.

Back to cataract surgery. I was amazed it only took a little over 15 minutes for the procedure. The people involved in my surgery at the Farmington Surgical Center were wonderful. I can’t say enough good things about them.

There was a little girl, I would say around 4 or 5 across from me. I watched as she entertained herself opening and closing the blinds surrounding the areas we were in. She suddenly stopped and was staring at me. I was probably quite a site lying there in the bed hooked up to an IV and all the other gadgets. She then says in this concerned little voice, “Mister are you all right.” I assured her I was fine and she smiled and went about her business.

Beside me there was a young boy around 11 that was having his tonsils removed and as they were wheeling me into the OR he said, “Mister, it will be okay. ” God love ’em.

What a difference a year can make. Hopefully I will be able to camp on the property the weekend before Christmas. One can only wonder what the weather will be like. We will just have to see.

Cowboy Cooking

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I decided to change course tonight.  I want to share what I think is a treasure for all of you cowboy cooks and Dutch Oven cooks out there.  It is a cookbook called Trail Boss’s Cowboy Cookbook that was made possible by The Society For Range Management.  The proceeds from this cookbook will be used to support and promote the art and science of good range management.

The cookbook contains 458 recipes from 24 states and 8 countries.  There are recipes from the 6666 Ranch, the LBJ Ranch, W9 Ranch and JL Bar Ranch to name a few.  It contains recipes for foods in 31 categories.

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Chuck wagon chow was the main staple of the cowboy and even though they took their orders from the trail boss the real keeper of the crew was Camp Cookie.  The cowboy’s dining room was pretty rough.  His table was usually the ground, bedroll or the his lap.  Cowboys were on their best behavior around the chuck wagon.  They never rode their horse into camp and tied it to the chuck wagon.  The great era of cattle driving only lasted from 1865 to 1885.

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Following are a couple of the recipes I found amusing:

Camel Stew

3 medium sized camels                                                                                   1 ton salt

500 bushels potatoes                                                                                        1 ton pepper

200 bushels carrots                                                                                           3000 sprigs parsley

Cut camels into bite size pieces.  This should take about 2 months.  Cut vegetables into cubes (another 2 months).  Place meat in pan and cover with 1000 gallons of brown gravy.  Simmer for 4 weeks.  Shovel in pepper and salt to taste.  When meat is tender, add vegetables.  Simmer slowly for 4 weeks.  Garnish with parsley.  Will serve 3800 people.  If more expected, add two rabbits.  (I have the two rabbits but having problems finding camels.)

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Recipe For Happiness

2 heaping cups of patience

2 handfuls of generosity

1 heart full of love

Dash of laughter

1 head full of understanding

Sprinkle generously with kindness.  Add plenty of faith.  Mix well.  Spread over a period of a lifetime and serve everybody you meet.

There are some really good recipes along with some history about range management. It also has some great illustrations of old brands used by various ranches.

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I hope you enjoyed my blog.  Thank you for taking the time to read it.  If you are a Dutch Oven junkie I highly recommend that you add this cook book to your collection.  Remember to spread the love.

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast Bake

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Breakfast Bake

Breakfast Bake

1 can of biscuits

6 eggs

one half cup milk

1 pound sausage

1 cup cheese

Gravy

4 tbsp flour

2 cups milk

4 tbsp butter

salt

pepper

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Biscuits

Cook sausage until done then drain and put aside.  Cut the biscuits into pieces.  Place into a baking pan.  I am using a 12 inch dutch oven.  Mix eggs and mix real well then pour over biscuits.  Spread cheese and sausage over the eggs, milk and biscuits.

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Baked Breakfast

Gravy

Melt butter in a sauce pan then  stir in flour then add milk.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil.  Then pour over mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes.

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Breakfast Bake ready to bake.

I made mine with half vegetarian sausage and pork sausage.  I baked mine in a dutch oven. I used a 12 inch dutch oven.  I used charcoal briquettes.  Since it was a 12 inch and I needed 350 degrees I used 30 briquettes.  I used 8 under the oven and 22 on top.

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Placement of briquettes on bottom.

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Briquette placement on top

I rotate the lid a quarter turn clockwise and the bottom counter clockwise every 15 minutes.

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My outdoor kitchen.

I hope  my blog was helpful.  It was quite delicious.  I should have put some aluminum foil on top the last 15 minutes but it turned out ok.

Thanks for reading.  Be kind to one another, share the love and God Bless you one and all.

Cast Iron Cooking

When I am not cooking in a Dutch oven I am usually using a cast iron skillet to get the job done. Just like the DOs I will use the skillets outside on the open fire. A couple of years ago I decided to make something to make the skillets a little more user friendly and still be able to cook on wood. I took two golf cart rims, modified them some and welded them together and made me a miniature stove.


Not much writing this morning.  I am going to post some pics of food being prepared in cast iron.

Leg of lamb

Pork sausage and taters

Chili fixings.


Cornish Hens


Sorry but I had some issues with posting the pics and captions. Hope you enjoyed the pics and thanks for reading.

Be safe, be kind to one another, share the love and God Bless !

                               

Intro to Dutch Oven Cooking

“Cast iron is so superior for cooking utensils to our modern aluminum that I not only cannot grieve for the pioneer hardship of cooking in iron over the hearth, but shall retire if necessary to the back yard with my two Dutch ovens, turning over all my aluminum cookers for airplanes with a secret delight.”  – Majorie Kinnan Rawlings, “Cross Creek”

I am an avid Dutch oven cook and have been doing it for many years. So many, I have seemed to lost count. Anything you can cook in your oven, I can cook in a Dutch oven ( DO ). There are DO cooking contests and the International Dutch Oven Society dedicated to DO cooking enthusiasts. Recipes are abundant. There are tons of information out there for beginners.

The picture of the three DOs at the beginning of this article, are mine. You don’t need a setup like this. Some people will pull the grill off their BBQ grill and set their DO inside of it or you can place it directly on the ground. I built my cook station like this to help keep the wind from blowing across my ovens and cooling them.


This Thanksgiving I cooked a 13 pound turkey in my largest DO.  It was my first and it was the best turkey I ever ate.  For the most part I use charcoal briquettes to heat my ovens. One method is the 3 rule. If I want my oven at 325 degrees and it is a 12 inch oven, I would subtract 3 from 12 and get 9. So I would put 9 coals under the bottom.  For the top I would add 3 and get 15 so I would put 15 on top.  Another method would be to double the 12 and get 24.  I would take a third of that, which would be 8 (bottom) and leave me with 16 on top.


I hope you have found this article interesting and helpful.  I have ruined many a dish trying to master the art of DO cooking and so will you probably.  Don’t give up.  I will try to do some more in depth articles in the future.

Thanks for reading.  Be kind to one another, share the love and God Bless you one and all.