Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chuckwagon and Dutch ovens at the IDOS Region II DOG

I took my family to the 3rd annual International Dutch Oven Society Dutch Oven Gathering for Region II on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The event was held Saturday at the Stockton Delta KOA campground in Terminous, California, between Rio Vista and Lodi.

According to organizer Gary House, about 100 Dutch oven enthusiasts registered for the three-day event. Many camped in RVs and tents in a section of the campground reserved for the event. Others, like myself, came for the day and cooked for the Dutch oven gathering (known as a DOG) at 6 p.m.

The high point of the day for me was the opportunity to walk around Randy Brown's nineteenth century chuckwagon. The chuckwagon is the original American mobile kitchen.

I didn't get many details from Randy, so you'll have to settle for photos of the chuckwagon.

Randy Brown stands behind Colleen Sloan as she teaches a class. The long canopy could stretch from the chuckbox to the fire pit if necessary. It shaded the cook on long, hot cattle drives on the mid-western prairie and protected the grub from the elements.

The kitchen was located in the back-end of the wagon, where the wagon cook worked. Basic staples, like dried beans, flour and dried apples were stored in the chuckbox in its shelves and drawers. Utensils and some pots and pans were stored in other cubbies. The cook transported larger pots in the boot below the chuckbox.

Every mobile kitchen needs a supply of fresh water. Each time the wagon crossed a creek or river, the cook ladled water into the barrel. I would imagine it helped to scoop water out of the creek long before the cattle crossed.

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