Cookout at a Dutch Oven Gathering. It’s a D.O.G., and if you have never been to one before, you’re in for a treat.
During the Fall of 2005, my husband and I visited a nearby sporting goods store, looking for some camping gear. It was a beautiful day and my window was down as we drove into the parking lot. My nose caught some wonderful aromas—somebody was cooking something, somewhere. I spied some ez-ups near the entrance of the store, and so we starting talking to the folks putting together this cooking demonstration.
What we discovered was a group of very dedicated Dutch oven cookers (I later found out that the store invited them over to demonstrate cooking on cast iron). At my home, the cast iron skillet never leaves the stove top! It’s always being used to cook something. But I’ve never cooked in a cast iron pot—a Dutch oven—inside, let alone outdoors. I was interested. After our shopping, we stopped by to talk to the cooks (there were 4 or 5 of them) and we tasted their fantastic creations.
As we chatted I learned that they had started a group and got together to cook and share food outdoors during each of the 4 seasons, come rain, snow, or too much sunshine. Even in the winter? Yup, even in the winter. Their love for the Dutch oven prevailed. I took a mini-flyer about their group, thinking this was something I’d like to do too.
Months later I started filming for Cooking Up a Story, and I remembered my Dutch oven experience. I found the flyer and I called about filming their next DOG. The next one was scheduled for the first weekend in March. It had been a beautiful early Spring day, but as the sun set, the temperature gave a quick reminder winter was still close by. Nothing deterred these folks. Most were old hands at it. Up went the tables, charcoal was lit, ingredients were put together, and into the pot they went, where the magic happened. As the ‘food table’ grew and people ate, one of the cooks said you’ve got to put that camera down and eat. As I hesitated he said, There’s always time for food. Y’know, he was right. I stopped and filled a plate and was amazed, again, at the variety and the taste.
Inside or out, it works.