Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Second Annual Cook’en in the Park Dutch Oven Cookoff

Second Annual "Cook’en in the Park" Dutch Oven Cook-off
By Don Mason, Red Bluff, California

RED BLUFF, CALIFORNIA--The Second Annual Dutch Oven Cook-off "Cook’en in the Park" was held at the Red Bluff Park and Marina to benefit the City of Red Bluff summer swimming pool program. Dutch Oven teams arrived early Saturday morning to set up their kitchens and start their cooking fire. Teams came from Red Bluff, Stirling City, Colusa, Glenn, Corning Cottonwood, California and Reno, Nevada, for a total of 10 teams.

Judging started at 1:00 p.m. The Judges were Miss Tehama County Velma Goodwater, Frank Carlisi and Fred Webb all of Red Bluff. Upon completion of judging the spectators were invited to purchase sampling tickets to taste the Dutch Oven dishes and vote for the one they liked best.

Some of the dishes tasted were: Lip Smacken Port Butt, Eggplant American, Sicilian Lemon Chicken, Sourdough French Bread, Beer Bread with a Garlic Dipping Sauce, Fresh Apple and Carrot Cake, Savannah Cool Cake, Pineapple Pecan Upside-Down Cake and many more great dishes.

Winners for the 2nd Annual Dutch Oven Cook-off are:

Don Mason with Miss Tehama County (California). Don was the first place winner for main dish and dessert categories. Posted by Hello

Main Dish
First Place: Don Mason, Pork Tenderloin with a Dried Fruit Medley in a Mango Ginger and Habanera Sauce.
Second Place: Ron Judson and Ruben Cortez (from Venezuela), Roast Beef with Vegetables in a Bordelaise Sauce.
Third Place: Jim and Caroline Geiger, Sicilian Lemon Chicken.

Joe Kittle with Miss Tehama County. Joe was the bread category. He also won the main dish category in the People's Choice awards. Posted by Hello

First Place: Joe Kittle, Yeast Bread with Asiago Cheese.
Second Place: Nancy Enos, Beer Bread with a Garlic Dipping Sauce.
Third Place: Penney Baclowski, Soda Bread with Raisins.

First Place: Don Mason, 4 Fruit (Blackberry, Blueberries Strawberries and Marionberries with a Whole Wheat Honey Pecan crust.
Second Place: Carly, Susan Hodges and Grandmother Joan Waver, Fresh Apple and Carrot Cake.
Third Place: Joe Kittle, Three Fruit Cobbler.

Liz Dawley (left) and Vicky Stegal with Miss Tehema County. These ladies won the bread and desert categories in the Peoples Choice. Posted by Hello

Peoples Choice Award
Main Dish: Joe Kittle, Joe Mamma’s Ribs
Bread: Liz Dawley and Vicky Stegall,Dinner Rolls in a Bag
Dessert: Liz Dawley and Vicky Stegall,Savannah Cool Cake

After judging, spectators were able to taste the dishes and vote on their best. Interestingly, the judges and spectators had different opinions! Posted by Hello

Monday, May 30, 2005

Cheddar-Broccoli Soup with Croutons

Friday night my son and I camped at Silver Fork Campground (link is a PDF file) on the Silver Fork of the American River. Dinner had to be quick since we didn’t leave home until after 8 p.m.
I really didn’t have a plan until arrived at camp after 9 p.m. My original menu included marinated pork chops, broccoli, grilled bread and salad. On a fluke at the market, I purchased a package of instant cheddar-broccoli soup, a soup that my son loves.

The soup, sold by Bear Creek Country Kitchens, was sold in an 11.20-ounce package, enough to feed 8 (8-ounce) portions. The directions say to boil 8 cups water, whisk in soup mix and simmer 10 minutes. Though the directions advise to add salt and pepper “to taste,” my soup didn’t need any.

Cheddar-broccoli soup with croutons illuminated by a Coleman lantern. Posted by Hello


To prepare two servings, I boiled 1-1/2 cups water in a 5-inch Dutch oven over the fire and whisked in 5 heaping spoons of soup mix. The soup thickened as it simmered for about 15 minutes.

After it was ready to eat, I realized that I had overestimated the amount of soup mix to add. It was thick! Bear Creek’s instructions advise 1/2-cup soup mix for 2 cups of water.

For garnish, I diced two slices of sourdough bread and tossed them into melted butter in a skillet. I then placed 4 or 5 broccoli flowerets into my portion of the soup. (My son doesn’t eat broccoli right now!)

I simmered the soup for a few minutes with the broccoli and added the croutons in just before sitting down to a pork chop (minus the salad this night).

This soup is an example of what you can do when you're pressed for time in camp. A nice meal with a salad and sandwich can be had in 30 minutes or so.

Pork chops sizzle over a hot campfire. Extra croutons sit in front. Posted by Hello

Serving idea from the Bear Creek website: "Prepared according to package directions, our Cheddar Broccoli Soup Mix is delicious served in a bread bowl or add 1 cup cooked broccoli and served over baked potato with crumbled bacon and cheese."

Friday, May 27, 2005

Great Plains Bison-Tennial Dutch Oven Cookoff On Food Network

Here's a message from Camp Chef:

The Food Network will soon air the Lewis & Clark commemorative cook off. What a good time we had in Yankton! I was the head judge at the event, complete with a massive Bison hat. Be sure to tune in. Many of the teams cooked in Camp Chef Lewis & Clark Dutch ovens. It was really an amazing event. Ed Quinlan
May 20, 2005


The Food Network has announced the premier showing of the Great Plains Bison-tennial Dutch Oven Cook-off on the All-American Festivals show. The premier is scheduled for Monday, July 25, 2005. The Food Network/Food TV is broadcast on cable and satellite stations throughout the world. Check your local cable company listing for the Food Network's channel listing.

John Pauly, Coordinating Producer for All-American Festivals stated "The Cook-off will also have the distinction of being the last premier of the All-American Festivals series."

The Great Plains Bison-tennial Dutch Oven Cook-off features historic cooking and recipes prepared in Dutch ovens that could have been enjoyed by travelers visiting the Great Plains over 200 hundred years ago. Bison is the featured entree because the buffalo was the primary source of food for our ancestors. Today’s Bison rancher raises the same high quality product that was enjoyed so many years ago.

Festival Chair Heidi Henson stated "It's really exciting to think that the Dutch Oven Cook-off is about to be featured by the Food Network all over the world!" "We look forward to welcoming visitors and Cook-off participants to this years sanctioned International Dutch
Oven Society
event on August 27th and 28th."

July is National Bison Month and this is a perfect opportunity for you to enjoy the unique way of preparing bison and the great recipes by our Cook-off contestants. We hope the Yankton, South Dakota community and the entire state are as excited as we are and tune in to watch the premier showing on July 25th.

For more information about 2005’s Great Plains Bison-tennial Dutch Oven Cook-off log on to: http://www.dutchovencookoff.com/

Diane Norton
"Re-live the Adventure"
605-260-6792 - DIRECT
605-260-1060 - FAX
605-664-5920 - OFFICE

Thursday, May 26, 2005

San Jose Dutch Oven Gathering

This information is from the International Dutch Oven Society web forum yesterday:

On Saturday, June 11, 2005, a new chapter of IDOS will be forming in California Bay Area. It will be known as the Bay Area Dutch Oven Gypsies (BADOGs).

It's first DOG will be a Dinner DOG at Houge Park (White Oaks Avenue & Twilight Drive) in San Jose, California. Bring your Dutch Oven. Richard Smith will be there all day because it is a city park to hold tables.

Come over, bring an interested friend, hang out, do some cooking, make new friends, learn new ideas and eat. You don't have to have a Dutch Oven to come. But you my have to go out and get one or two after.

E-mail Richard at http://us.f813.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=thecleanersstore@sbcglobal.net&YY=64555&order=down&sort=date&pos=0&view=a&head=b so that hewill know how many tables to hold.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Recipe Use Suggestions

Chefs use cookbooks for a variety of reasons. Most of my professional acquaintances use cookbooks to garner fresh ideas for their kitchens. They don’t view the recipe as a hard-fast formula. Instead, chefs use them as a starting point for their next creation.

These recipes are written to my tastes. They’re here to give you an idea of how I cook in camp. It’s up to you to try the recipes and to adapt them to your likes and dislikes. There’s plenty of room for change.

Use the recipes as a guide. Experiment and try different approaches. Alter a few ingredients if some are not to your liking. For example: I can’t stand celery. The stuff gags me. I can’t get past its stringiness and rough texture. But there are recipes that benefit from its nutty flavor. Unless I can strain it out of the dish out of the dish, I add whole stalks and fish them out later.

Here are a few tips to get you started:
  • Before your camping trip, select several recipes and test them at home first. Unless you’re already an experienced camp cook, it’s wise to try each recipe in a familiar kitchen. Once you’ve figured out each recipe’s idiosyncrasies, you’ll be better equipped to prepare it in camp.
  • Read each recipe twice. With a little practice, you’ll soon visualize the finished product in your mind. This is valuable to see if it’s the dish that you want. It’ll also aid in preparing your grub list and set the instructions in your mind so you don’t have to keep referring back to cookbook while you’re cooking.
  • Gather all ingredients and cookware before starting. A bowl full of flour, salt and spices is useless when an empty can reminds you that you used the last of the baking powder last week. Sometimes, you can make a quick substitution. You can, for example, substitute baking soda with an acid for baking powder in most recipes. But you’re stuck if you discover that you didn’t pack the baking soda.
  • Take notes. I keep a camping journal. And since food has been my professional life, you might expect to find more notes about our camp meals than other topics. Even if you just use the journal to chronicle you cooking adventures, it’s a valuable tool. Use a journal to record: what works and what doesn’t; what you liked and didn’t like about a dish; ideas to improve a dish’s flavor; and creative menus for future meals. And, if you decide to write a cookbook, you’ll already have a notebook (I’m on number 14) bristling with recipes and stories of your culinary adventures.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Recipes from 'Round the Chuckbox

Here's an index of recipes on 'Round the Chuckbox:

Updated 6/29/05


Deb's iced tea


Brown sugar syrup
Buttermilk hot cakes
Cinnamon rolls for 100
Corned beef hash
Dutch oven layered breakfast
Mountain man breakfast
Mountain man breakfast from leftovers
Quick cinnamon buns with buttermilk icing
Scotch woodcock
Southwestern egg bake


Dutch oven bread


Cinnamon apple caffee cake

Meat dishes

Beef tacos for 100
Grilled baby back ribs with Thai sweet chili-mustard sauce
Grilled pork chops with apricot-garlic sauce
London broil with lemon-garlic marinade
Oven-baked baby back ribs
Taco seasoning
Tortilla chip tacos in a bag
Sweet and sour Dutch oven pork spareribs
Wisconsin Brie and chicken quesadilla

Non-meat dishes

Spinach and mushroom lasagna roll-ups with marinara sauce

Poultry dishes

Chicken breast with raspberry-balsamin reduction
Dutch oven turkey dressing casserole
Lemony chicken and rice


Steve's barbecue sauce

Side dishes and salads

Campfire roasted corn-on-the-cob
Chuckwagon beans
Dutch oven potatoes with dried cranberries
Farm fresh tomatoes with basil
Red bean salad

Soups and stews

Cheddar-broccoli soup with croutons
Chuckwagon chili
Quick chili beans

Didn't Take Part in the Cookoff

My son and I had planned on traveling up to the Cook'en in the Park Dutch Oven Cookoff to day to cook. Thursday evening we learned of a family matter that needed attention in the Bay Area. So we're in San Jose today instead.

I've asked Don Mason to give me news of the cookoff when he can. I'll post photographs and a short article on the winners as soon as he passes the information on to me. I know that Dave Herzog was going to the cookoff also. I might be able to get his perspective as well.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Interesting Post at IDOS Forum

Hi all:

I'm busy working on the summer issue of the International Dutch Oven Society newsletter, the Dutch Oven News. For membership information, check http://www.idos.org.

In the meantime, I'll try to post a interesting material as I find it. I'll save meatier content for this weekend (the Cook'en in the Park Dutch Oven Cookoff) and for later next week after I send the newsletter to Utah for printing and distribution.

Interesting Post at IDOS Forum

Scott from Salt Lake City started a post titled, "30 pounds of BBQ ribs," this morning. He said he had $2.50 a person to feed 100 persons for his church. He fed ribs, beans, potatoes and cobbler exclusively out of Dutch ovens.

See how he did it and read the responses.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Cookoff Plans for Next Weekend, Part 3

The only thing I haven't talked about yet is my choice for the yeast-risen bread for the cookoff this coming Saturday in Red Bluff, California.

With my choice of the spinach and mushroom lasagna roll-ups at the main dish, it makes sense to produce a bread with Italian flavors. I don't plan on getting overly complex here. My aim is to take a recipe that I'm familiar with and make a few modifications.

I figure that I can easily modify the basic Dutch oven bread recipe that I baked at the Winter Camp Cookoff in Colusa, California last January. Instead of baking the bread as a loaf, I'll form individual rolls and season the rolls with melted butter, Parmesan cheese, garlic granules and Italian herbs.

After I form each roll, I'll flattened the dough, brush half with melted butter and then season with the Parmesan, garlic and herbs. I'll fold the rolls and repeat the process for the top of each rolls. This'll produce and nice Italian-style roll that'll compliment the lasagna.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna Roll-ups

Here's the recipe that I'm going to use for the Cookin' in the Park Dutch Oven Cookoff next Saturday, May 21, 2005, at River Park, Red Bluff, California.

I learned that it's best to leave the last inch or so of lasagna noodle free of filling. The starch in the pasta will bond so the roll-ups don't fall apart as two did for me during the test run. I'll lay them on their side next time I bake the lasagna roll-ups in the Dutch oven.


16 cremini caps, cleaned and finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
Salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups part skim ricotta
8 curly edge lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente (12 to 14 minutes)
2 cups prepared marinara sauce
8 slices mozzarella cheese

In a 10-inch Dutch oven over moderate heat, saute mushrooms, chopped onions, and garlic in oil until mushrooms give off their juices and darken and onions are tender, about 7 or 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; the salt will help draw water out of the vegetables as they cook.

Add dry chopped spinach to the pan and heat through for 1 minute. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg. Add ricotta and stir into mixture to heat cheese through, 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat but leave in the warm skillet. Place lid on Dutch oven and place about 5 hot coals on lid to keep warm.

Heat marinara sauce in a small pan over moderate heat. Place cooked lasagna noodles on a large work surface or cutting board. Spread lasagna noodles with a layer of spinach-mushroom filling. Leave the last inch of surface free of filling. Roll up pasta and arrange the 8 bundles in a 12-inch Dutch oven. Pour warm sauce over roll-ups and top with mozzarella.

Place lid on Dutch oven and bake at 350-degrees (17 coals on lid and 8 under oven) for 15 minutes or until heated through. At the last minute place about 10 extra coals on lid. Watch closely and remove from heat when cheese starts to brown.

Cookoff Plans for Next Weekend, Part 2

I enjoyed the pot roast with the red wine and sun-dried tomato sauce. Roasted carrots, potatoes and crimini mushrooms complimented the tender meat.

At this point I saw several options for the sauce. Since electric or battery-powered appliances are banned from the cookoff, a hand-powered food mill seemed to be the most efficient way to puree the vegetables for the sauce. I dropped this idea because I didn't want to purchase another kitchen gadget for the chuckbox.

My other option for the sauce was to thicken the broth with cornstarch or a roux. Flour would add about 30 minutes to the process, making the total time for the recipe from 3-1/2 to 4 hours. This is impractical because contestants only have four hours from the cook's meeting to judging time. Cornstarch is simple, but it doesn't appeal to me.

With pot roast off of my short list of main dish recipes for the cookoff, I turned to my original two selections -- a layered Mexican casserole or a lasagna. The Mexican casserole was quickly ruled out because it's the dish that propelled Bill and DeAnn Johnson into Dutch oven cookoffs some 10 to 12 years ago.

(Their enchilada pie supreme is can be found in IDOS's 5 Year Taste of Dutch IDOS Convention Recipes, 2000 to 2004 on page 79. See http://www.idos.org for purchase details. The unmodified recipe is available at DiscussCooking.com.)

Thursday afternoon I switched the TV to Rachel Ray's 30-Minute Meals on the Food Network halfway through the episode (Family & Company Frendly). Rachel had rolled a ricotta cheese filling with spinach and crimini mushrooms in wide lasagna noodles. She topped the roll-ups with a Garganzolla sauce and mozzarella cheese and zapped the lasagna under the broiler to give color.

Rachel's spinach and mushroom lasagna roll-ups with Garganzolla sauce gave me an idea. Since I favor a rich tomato sauce over the Garganzolla sauce, I'll roll the ricotta cheese mixture in par-cooked lasagna noodles to form the roll-ups.

A couple spoons of marinara sauce and a slab of mozzarella cheese will top the roll-ups. I'll then bake them under intense heat from a pile of charcoal briquettes to melt the cheese and give it some color. Steamed asparagus will make a simple garnish for the dish.

I'll discuss my choice for the bread dish tomorrow ...

Friday, May 13, 2005

Cookoff Plans for Next Weekend

I've been debating with myself as to the dishes that I'm going to cook at next week's Dutch oven cookoff in Red Bluff, California. Normally I'd have mailed the application a few weeks ago. But for some reason, this one stumped me.

For the dessert dish, I settled on baking the cinnamon apple coffee cake. With a layer of sweetened Granny Smith apples in the center, this'll make the perfect Dutch oven dessert for the cookoff. I though I'd bake a basic Dutch oven bread for the yeast-risen bread dish.

The main dish stumped me until early last week. Then I saw two recipes on Words to Eat By, both for braised brisket (one beef, the other buffalo). These recipes hit the spot because I always looked forward to pot roast days as a young Navy cook. Debbie posted inviting photographs that said, "That's the dish for me."

Instead of braising a brisket, I thought of cooking a nice piece of chuck roast in a large camp oven for the cookoff. I'd modify one of her recipes -- a sweet buffalo brisket with dried cherries and crimini mushrooms and a savory brisket with red wine and sun-dried tomatoes.

Of the two, I favored the savory recipe. Though I like sweet sauces on meat, I feel that savory wine-based sauce compliments the beef much better that the dried cherries. Personally, I reserve fruit-based sauces for pork and poultry.

I braised a 2-1/2-pound chuck roast last Monday following Debbie's savory recipe with few modifications. I enjoyed the sauce with its nice herbal quality.

But I saw one problem for the cookoff. After the roast was fork tender, I emptied the broth and vegetables into a blender and pureed everything into a smooth sauce. This is fine for the kitchen.

If you read the rules for the Red Bluff cookoff, you'll remember the phrase, "The use of battery or electric appliances is not allowed." This is common in outdoor cookoffs. The idea is that you're supposed to be using more primitive cooking methods, including reliance on cast iron Dutch ovens.

I could use a food mill. But I really don't need another cooking tool in my chuckbox at this point. So, after some debate, I've switched to a lasagna, something I initially considered over a month ago.

More tomorrow ...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Dutch Wagon Website

I learned yesterday from Lynn Benson's daughter that the Dutch Wagon now has a website at http://www.dutchwagon.net.

Like the chuckwagon of cattle drive days, the Dutch Wagon includes a roomy chuckbox at the rear of the trailer.
The website currently features a series of pictures of the Dutch Wagon. Heidi said that they plan to expand soon with prices, available options and contact information. They plan to market the modern-day chuckwagon by visiting Dutch oven gatherings and talking to outfitters.

In the interim, they've posted 11 points of chuckwagon etiquette on the website. I like these two:
  • "It's okay to eat with your fingers. The food is clean."
  • "If you're refilling the coffee cup and someone yells 'Man at the pot.' You're obliged to serve refills."
"We love to camp and hunt; it will be interesting to see the reactions of people when we are in the mtns," said Heidi.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Dutch Oven Trailer at IDOS Convention

Two weeks ago at the International Dutch Oven Convention in Farmington, Utah, I saw a nice Dutch oven trailer. Owner and manufacturer Lynn Benson said he originally made the trailer for himself. I got tired of loading and unloading the pickup. A trailer dedicated to cooking made sense to him.

Lynn manufacturers trailers in Sandy, Utah under the company name First Resort Mfg. The Dutch oven trailer is called the Dutch Wagon. The large model is Lynn's personal trailer and the prototype. He was still in the process of finishing the smaller trailer during the convention.

The larger of the two Dutch Wagons at the convention. The right side is set up for Dutch oven cooking. A two-burner Camp Chef propane stove and a grill (gas or charcoal) is on the left side. Propane is stored under the igloo jug. A traditional chuckbox is situated at the rear of the trailer.

The right side of the larger trailer. The trailer is designed so you can drop your own two-burger stove in place -- no need to purchase a new stove. The gas or charcoal grill is located under the silver and green cover.
Unfortunately, I didn't take measurements of the trailers. Lynn did say that a pickup truck with a V8 engine should be able to tow either trailer. As I remember, he used a larger diesel pick up to tow the larger trailer to the fairgrounds.

The smaller of the trailers.
Would I purchase one of these trailers? Probably not. One of his trailers certainly would be a novelty. But I'd look in to it if you're looking for something for outdoor catering. Lynn sounded like he would work with you on specifications from our short discussion.

Monday, May 09, 2005

CowboyCooking.Com Fire Iron Set

Gary Smith recommended this web site the other day over at the International Dutch Oven Society discussion forum for fire iron sets.

The website is operated by The Bar E Ranch, P.O. Box 5, Clinton, Arkansas, 72031. Phone: (501) 745-8885. The owners are Tom Bob and Cheryle Elliott.

The Chuckwagon Fire Place set sells for $85. It measures: The bar is 64" long and the stakes are 48" long. The set is made from 3/4" diameter stock. Add $1.50 per foot for additional length.

The blacksmith page says the Chuckwagon Fire Place set was "patterned after a set in use around 1900 on the Holt Cattle Ranch near Hugo, Co. The ranch covered 100 sq. miles and ran 8,000 head of cattle."

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Fire Iron Set

I purchased this fire iron set in November 1998. The set was manufactured by Campmaster, 28 East 5th Avenue, Mesa, Arizona, 85210. (Amazingly, I still have the instructions!)

Two 12-inch Lodge Dutch ovens and a U.S. Navy coffee boiler hang from the fire iron set
The iron set is designed to set up in tri-pod or bi-pod configuration. It consists of three poles, or legs, each made of 1/2-inch steel stock. The two shortest legs are 53-1/2 inches long. The longest leg is 55-1/2 inches long.

To set up, I drive the two identical legs into the ground until they're firm and secure. I place them about 40 inches apart. The third leg is inserted in the two "D" rings. It forms the cross-piece from which you suspend the hooks.

Fire Iron Question from Forums.IDOS.Org

Yesterday, someone posted this question on the International Dutch Oven Society discussion forums:

I'm looking for some help in setting up my posts and crossbar for my Dutch oven. The questions I hope anyone can help me with are.... How far from the coals should the cross bar be? How big (length) is a small, medium, and log hook that the Dutch oven hangs from?

A fire pit with irons that I built in 1999-2000.

My response: This is one of those areas where you have to experiment. I've had a set of irons for many years now, but mainly use them for show at cookoffs. I hang my coffee pot with boiling water over a charcoal fire.

My set came with hooks of varying lengths. I'd say buy hooks with short, medium and long lengths. If you're going to set the irons up as a two poles with the cross-piece, get sufficient hooks to hang two or three pots (Dutch or coffee pots).

You need to be able to adjust the distance the Dutch oven hangs from the fire. I can't give you a set distance, however, because fires vary in intensity. As I said, you have to use your culinary judgment. A few burned dishes has a way of sharpening that judgment.

Tonight, I'll measure my set and take some photos. I should have it all ready by evening, California time. I'll also post a few pictures of WagonCook's giant fire iron set as Dave Herzog suggested.

Northern California Dutch Oven Events

Here's an updated list of Dutch oven events that I'm aware of in Northern California:

May 14, 2005 -- Dutch oven gathering (also known as a DOG) at Sportrent, 1807 Oregon Street, Redding, California. Call the store at (530) 246-0530 for information. (Note that this is a change in location from my March 9 blog.) Sponsored by the Cast Iron Cooks of the West. Contact: Dave Herzog (530) 227-8015. Meet at 9:30 a.m.

May 21, 2005 -- Cook'en in the Park Dutch Oven Cookoff at Red Bluff Marina and Park, Red Bluff, California. Contact: Red Bluff Parks and Recreation Department (530) 527-8177 or Don Mason (530) 527-1027 / iron_kettle@hotmail.com. This is a three pot cookoff (bread, main dish and dessert). Cook's meeting is at 9 a.m. and judging begins at 1 p.m.

June 11 and 12, 2005 -- DOG at 6:30 p.m. Saturday (11th) and a three-pot Dutch oven cookoff on Sunday (12th) at 22nd Annual Carson City Rendezvous, Mills Park, Carson City, Nevada. Sponsored by the Cast Iron Cooks of the West. Contact: Dave Herzog (530) 227-8015. Meet at 9:30 a.m. Cookoff is a qualifying event for the IDOS 2006 World Championship Dutch Oven Cookoff.

June 26, 2005 -- Junior Rodeo and Trinity Dutch Oven Cookoff at Trinity County Fairgrounds, State Highway 3, Hayfork, California. Call Pam Swanson, Trinity County Fair business assistant, at (530) 628-5223 for information during business hours.

Dave Herzog is moving to Anchorage, Alaska to complete his degree in nursing. The contact names for the below listed events may change after mid-June. Dave said in his newsletter that he'll be at the Carson City event for a farewell party.

July 9, 2005 -- DOG at Safe Haven Horse Rescue, 3950 West Anderson Drive, Cottonwood, California. Sponsored by the Cast Iron Cooks of the West. Contact: Dave Herzog (530) 227-8015. Meet at 9:30 a.m. See March 16 and March 21 blogs for more information on the last DOG at Safe Haven.

August 13, 2005 -- DOG at Kid's Kingdom, Redding, California. Sponsored by the Cast Iron Cooks of the West. Contact: Dave Herzog (530) 227-8015. Meet at 9:30 a.m.

Please contact me at steve@seabeecook.com if you have additional information. I expect to attend Cook'en in the Park and Carson City Rendezvous.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Windshield and Firepan Idea from the Army

One of the nice things about attending a Dutch oven convention or Dutch oven pot luck is the ideas that you get. This series of photographs is an example of such an idea.

One of my goals for Saturday was to walk the Taste of Dutch booths and gathering names, recipes and other information for the summer issue of the Dutch Oven News. It took me about 90 minutes to walk 19 booths and talk to the principal cook of each booth.

I ran into Kent and Nancy Rappleye of Layton, Utah about two-thirds into my marathon taste and fact gathering mission. Kent had found the bottom to an old Army-surplus wood-burning pot-bellied stove for sale at Smith and Edwards surplus store in Ogden, Utah.

This is the bottom half of an old Army-surplus stove. It makes a perfect windshield and firepan for a single 12-inch Dutch oven. Kent set the stove bottom on four bricks to elevate it off the floor.

Detail of the door to the old stove. The stove was Windshield and Firepan Idea from the Armyby Heeling in 1952. I have several Army surplus stainless steel cooking spoons in my chuckbox from the 1950s that work as well as the day the were sold to the Army.

A second, rusted stove bottom with a 12-inch Dutch oven.

A note: I took over 150 photographs at the spring convention. I'm only going to post a few on 'Round the Chuckbox in the coming month. I'm reserving most of my photographs and comments about the convention and Taste of Dutch for the summer issue of the Dutch Oven News, the official newsletter of the International Dutch Oven Society. The newsletter is a benefit of membership in IDOS. The website has membership information.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Convention Article in Davis County, Utah Newspaper

I've found one article about the International Dutch Oven Society convention that was held last Saturday, April 30, 2005 at the Davis County Fair Park in Farmington, Utah.

You can read the article here from the Davis County Clipper. I'm not sure how long the link will be active.

The short article (only four paragraphs) isn't entirely accurate. The photograph uses the term Taste of Dutch to refer to the Dutch oven gathering, or Dutch oven pot luck, that was held Friday evening. The photograph is from the DOG on Friday evening.

I counted 31 pots of good food at the International Dutch Oven Society Dutch oven gathering that was held Friday evening, April 29, 2005. This shot is taken from the dessert end of the line -- the best place to be! Posted by Hello

The Taste of Dutch was held during the convention on Saturday. Dutch oven cooks prepare their favorite dishes, answer questions from the public and serve samples.

C.W. "Butch" Welch of Grangeville, Idaho serves his twice-baked potatoes at the Dutch oven gathering. Cee Dub and his wife Penny used a 14-inch aluminum Dutch oven to bake the potatoes. I didn't get in line in time to get any of the cheesy potatoes because I was too busy taking photographs. Posted by Hello

Trip Home on Amtrak

The return trip to Sacramento was much more pleasant. We arrived at the Sacramento depot yesterday at 4 p.m. after a 16-hour trek across the Utah and Nevada desserts.

Amtrak's train no. 5 departed Salt Lake City at midnight -- Sunday night, Monday morning -- after a 30-minute stop to taker on passengers, fuel and supplies. Dave, our sleeper car attendant, had our beds ready for occupancy as we boarded the train. The nice thing about this trip was that we could go right to bed upon boarding.

I awoke around 6:30 to find the train approaching Winnamucca, our usual halfway destination for when we drive. Deb and I ate breakfast around 7:15 a.m. in the dining car. Train no. 5 had a very pleasant crew. Under the leadership of dining car steward Susan, this crew acted like they loved their jobs. It showed.

My French toast and Deb's pancakes were good -- I really can't say any more about the food. As one writer put it, the food was better than Denny's. They could've served slop and I would've enjoyed the meal on this train. A steward and servers who act like humans covers any imperfections in the food.

The dining car crew acted as they enjoyed their jobs. Our servers -- Carleen and Joyce -- joked with passengers. They engaged you in conversation and asked how the trip was going. A quick "Bye, bye" as passengers passed through the dining car made them feel more like valued guests instead of stowaways.

My son slept in Monday morning. When he came into the dining car, Carleen graciously changed the Tuscan omelet to a plain cheese omelet. Twenty minutes later, Joyce brought him plate set it in front of him with a cheerful, "Alrighty! Enjoy!"

I've been away from a computer with an Internet connection for a few days now. I'll have more about the International Dutch Oven Convention tonight. I should be able to post photographs tonight as well.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Cal Ranch & Camp Chef Cookoff in American Fork, Utah

Cal Ranch & Camp Chef
The 2005 Great American Fork
Chili Cook Off

Entry Fee: $20.00

Each team to receive a Camp Chef CP-12 cast iron pot ($29.99 value) with payment of entry fees.

Prepare yourself for
America’s Chili Cook Off
Featuring Your Favorite Red Chili Recipe

Questions or Concerns? Call 800-650-2433 x 141

June 18th, 2005
Cal Ranch of American Fork
675 South 500 East
American Fork, UT 84003
(801) 763-7777

Cook’s Bell – Start Your Fires Noon (all teams must set up by this time)
Judging – 3:00 p.m.
Samples for public tasting – 3:00 p.m. (once judging dish is served)
Awards – 4:00 p.m.

Clinics - classes to be taught near contest area at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The International Dutch Oven Society and Greater Wasatch Dutch Oven Society will be hosting educational booths and displays. The cookoff is sponsored by Camp Chef.
Prizes: Each team will receive a cookbook and goodie bag for participating.
  • First Place: $150
  • Second Place: $100
  • Third Place: $50
  • Additional Prizes for: Best Booth Display and People’s Choice Chili

Prepare your favorite chili!


1. Teams may consist of one or two members.
2. All chili must be cooked in a Camp Chef cast iron pot. Contestants may cook over an open pit flame (must be contained), over a Camp Chef stove/burner, or using charcoal or wood coals.
3. All chili must be prepared onsite.
4. Contestants must provide all their own ingredients and cooking equipment.
5. Each team must prepare at least 3 quarts of chili.
6. Teams must provide 6 copies of their recipe, due at beginning of event.
7. Teams must be set up for cooking by 11 a.m.
8. Chili (1/2 quart) must be delivered to judging table in a container provided by organizers at the event.
9. Friends and family are encouraged to attend the event. For health safety, family and friends may not be in the chef’s immediate cooking areas during the competition.
10. Attendees will purchase tickets to sample your remaining chili; public serving may begin as early as Noon. Proceeds go to a local charity. Attendees vote to select their favorite team, which receives a people’s choice award.
11. Prize for best booth theme – centered on name of event: Great American Fork Chili Cook Off – will be awarded.
12. Conduct: all teams are expected to maintain appropriate conduct in language, dress, interaction and presentation.
13. Judges will base their rankings on taste, flavor, execution of recipe and appeal. By participating in this event, participants authorize event organizers to use their representation and recipes.

A Hoot & A Holler Contest

The best "Wild West" yell wins a great prize. Open to all contestants and public guests.


Nearby Dutch Oven Gathering hosted by Greater Wasatch Dutch Oven Society.

Entrants are accepted upon receipt of signed entry form. For entry form and additional information:

Edward Quinlan at edwardq@campchef.com
Cal Ranch Chili Cook Off
P.O. Box 4057
Logan, UT 84323
800-650-2433 ext. 141