Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Camp -- Anatomy of an Independence Day BBQ

Here's an anatomy of tonight's Independence Day barbecue and dinner. All time is based on the 24-hour clock.

1600 -- lit a 20-pound bag of charcoal for the Dutch ovens.
1620 -- placed 14-inch skillet over coals. I used a stack of three 14-inch Dutch ovens as the cooking platform the the skillet.
1625 -- added 1 pound chopped bacon to the skillet to brown for the beans. At the same time, I dumped 1-1/2 #10 cans of baked beans into two 14-inch deep Dutch ovens. Added a 17-ounce bottle of catsup, two large spoons of mustard and 6 ounces brown sugar to each bean pot as well and stirred.
1630 -- lit a 20-pound bag of charcoal for the barbecue grill.
1633 -- stacked the bean pots on top of a 12-inch Dutch oven. I used 9 coals under the bottom pot and a ring (about 25) coals on each lid. The 12-incher served as the base since I didn't want to place coals directly on the sidewalk.

1640 -- added 1 #10 can of drained apples to each of three 14-inch regular Dutch ovens. I then mixed a sugar-cinnamon mixture into each pot of apples. The filling mix was made of 2-3/4 pounds granulated sugar, 8 ounces cornstarch, 3 tablespoons cinnamon and 1 tablespoon salt. The filling was divided between all 3 pots.

1643 -- topped each apple pot with half of the crisp topping. The topping was made from 3 pounds brown sugar, 1-1/4 pounds rolled oats, 1-1/4 pounds all-purpose flour, 1-2/3 baking powder, 1-3/4 tablespoons baking soda and 2 pounds softened margarine. I stored the topping in the refrigerator between uses to keep the margarine from melting.
1646 -- stacked the apple crisp Dutch ovens. I placed a ring of charcoal on each lid. I didn't use bottom heat.
1658 -- stirred bacon and onions into the beans and rotated the bean pots.

1700 -- started grilling the hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken.
1715 -- rotated the apple crisp pots.
1731 -- rotated the bean pots.
1735 -- added the second layer of crisp topping to the apple pots. I add the crisp topping in two batches to make sure that it's crisp throughout.
1753 -- rotated the apple pots.
1805 -- started serving dinner to 155 campers and 5 guests. The first bean pot and first apple pot went to the serving line.
1815 -- the last of the hamburgers and hot dogs were removed from the grill. I also removed all heat from the apple pots.
1820 -- second apple pot went to the serving line. I started washing the Dutch ovens and lids inside the kitchen.
1822 -- second bean pot went to the serving line.
1832 -- third apple pot went to the serving line.
1844 -- the last camper went through the serving line. The cooks and servers (from Cabin 5) finally had a chance to eat.
1846 -- called seconds.
1848 -- I sat down with my wife to eat my own dinner.

1850 -- the meal is done. We served 97 hamburgers (3 fell into the fire!), 59 hot dogs 41 left over) and 34 pieces of chicken (6 leftover) for 155 campers. The meal also included two 14-inch deep pots of baked beans (about 10 quarts) and three 14-inch pots of apple crisp. Three-bean salad, potato salad, cole slaw and all the fixin's for hamburgers and hot dogs were included on the salad bar. The campers ate all of the apple crisp and most of the beans.
1903 -- I cleaned the last two Dutch ovens.
1905 -- all leftovers have been placed in the walk-in refrigerator.
1912 -- I ate my second piece of chicken.
1920 -- walked into the air conditioned office to relax and get off my feet. Now that the blog is written, it's time for a shower!

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