Hobbies: The Adventures of a Dutch Oven Cooking Class

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Who knew one of my hobbies would be cooking with a Dutch Oven? I've always been fascinated by Dutch Ovens. After all, my Great Grandmother had one on the back of her covered wagon and cooked in it daily on her journey west. For my own adventure, I really got interested in Dutch Ovens in the twenty-first century as an enthusiast in Emergency Preparedness. It sounded like a good idea to add to my skills of being self reliant and being able to cook a real meal in case of a power outage.

A good friend of ours, Roger, took a dutch oven class through our local community college. The instructor was a former International Dutch Oven cooking champion. We got weekly updates from Roger on exciting new things he was learning to cook in his dutch oven. I became a student of dutch oven cooking and began researching ovens and collecting  recipes and finally convinced my husband that we needed to purchase not only one dutch oven, but three, in three sizes and with protective zippered covers!

And, then we needed tools. Of course! We even asked for various items like gloves, lid lifters, and pronges, for Christmas. Having never cooked a meal yet in our Dutch Ovens, I found a great bag in which to carry all the equipment. Someone mentioned a Volcano 2 stove, and I had to have one of those also. Over Labor Day I stocked up on two for the price of one charcoal! I was ready.

Probably the best part of all this preparation was the interest of my husband. He is not a cook by nature and readily admits it. However, the dutch oven idea came across as "manly" and macho. He began to pay attention and go with me on all my shopping endeavors.

 Then friend Roger invited us and several couples over to his yard for a Dutch Oven exhibition by none other than his international champion teacher! We were there! I was completely sold as I watched with awe this type of cooking demonstrated. We watched as an incredible meal was prepared in seven different ovens. The menu consisted of rubbed pork roast with mushrooms and asparagus, hot rolls, and a dessert of pineapple upside down cake.

We were told, "Anything you can cook in your oven at home, you can cook in a Dutch Oven!" The stories this teacher told of his cooking adventures were almost as tantalizing as his food entrées.

I decided that we had to take this man's class. We waited until the Fall classes were posted, and were the first ones to sign for the class! Adventures in learning as a couple how to do Dutch Oven cooking to follow. Great Grandma would be proud!

Image by flickr

What do you love most about Dutch Oven cooking? What recipes do you prepare in your Dutch Oven?

Carol Ann Shepherd is a wife; mother of 6; grandma of 17; loves to cook, travel, teach, emergency preparedness, scrapbooking, sew, and anything creative. You can find her blog at and on twitter.

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