Friday, July 25, 2008

My New Obsession!

Cast iron! In particular, DUTCH OVENS!

I've cooked with cast iron for years. I learned to cook in cast iron. I love my cast iron! I admit, I allowed myself to be lured away from it for a time....teflon was attractive to me! That whole "no stick, easy wipe LIGHTWEIGHT" allure... Then I discovered that while my cast iron sat unloved in the cabinet, I was spending lotsa dollars on that teflon crap! Had to replace it every year or so... and to top it off, I find out that it's not only not good for you health-wise (did you know that Americans have high levels of teflon in their blood? And it doesn't break down?) our landfills are FULL of the stuff! Microscopic particles of teflon floating around in your home will kill your pet birds if you have them. I have cast iron that is generations old. Would you want to cook in a teflon pan that is from the early 1900's? I wouldn't. And yet, some of the cast iron being used out there today is from the 1800's!

So I went back to my cast iron. I have a skillet that is so well seasoned that I think I could cook an egg in it with no oil...and it wouldn't stick! All of my skillets are now cast iron. No more teflon. Ever. Period. Wouldn't even consider arguing about it.

Then we bought...."The Man Cave". That's what we call the camper trailer. Gonna paint that on the side of it even. Along with "Remember the GUY CODE" on the back of it. But I digress. (And THE GUY CODE is a subject for another post)

Anyway....we bought the man cave. That meant camping. That meant that I was going to have to go out and experience nature. Nature Girl, I'm not. Don't like it. Bugs bug me. Cold is something I don't deal with in a likeable and cheerful manner. So we compromised. I would go camping if we could eat something other than hotdogs and hamburgers. We had a Dutch oven. Let's put it to use!

So out it comes from the back of the cabinet. Into the sink for a good scrubbing, onto the stovetop for a "flame-dry", and then a good coat of Crisco before making it's way to the outside grill for a high temp (500 degree) "bake". (Also known as "seasoning") Let the pot bake for an hour and then cool down again. Another coat of Crisco and back on the grill for another bake!

By the end of the second bake, the pot was black and shiny. It was also non-stick. We went camping and took the precious 12D pot with us. Looked for a recipe prior to going and found Byron's website ( ). From that website I found an easy recipe for Orange Peach Cobbler. It was YUMMY!!!! We stayed home the next week, but the week after that we were off and running again. This time, we went with not only the ever precious 12D....we also had a new 10 inch pot. Along with taking along the regular kitchen black pots....a legless 10 inch DO, a legless chicken fryer, and a skillet.

Oh my, did we have plans! We invited 3 couples to join us, and one of them brought 3 teenagers! In the afternoon, I started a large pork roast. Took two sets of coals to cook it til it shredded easily. It smelled sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good! After it cooled a bit, we shredded it, rolled it with some cheese in flour tortillas, and then smothered it in the green chili and more cheese...baked again for about 45 minutes. LOVED IT! Also baked a berry cobbler in one of the other ovens for desert...along with homemade vanilla icecream. YUM!

Last week, it was a Tex/Mex casserole with a Pina Colada cobbler for desert. was yummy!

I'm loving this Dutch oven stuff. There are tons of Dutch Oven websites out there...I have a few links...check them out, or Google "Dutch oven cooking". You don't have to camp to use `em! We've even cooked in the backyard with the black pots. Good stuff!


rachel whetzel said...

Well, I may never cook Dutch, but you have got me wanting to switch to cast iron for sure, lady!!

Leah C said...

Ok.. so I think I need some cast iron skillets. This seasoning thing.. you have to put it on the grill? How do you know it's up to 500°? Anywho, I love that you love what you're doing... my mouth is watering over dinner & homemade icecream!