Going Dutch


“Impromtu Dutch oven cooking.” It’s an oxymoron. But in our household, it’s a reality.

Sunday afternoons are as good of time as any to flip through Andy’s cub scout manual and see what else needs to be checked off. Paul takes Andy’s cub scout training very seriously, and if there is a patch, bead, belt loop or a certificate to be earned, Andy will earn it.

Today Paul noticed our cub’s “outdoor cooking” achievement was still blank. It’s not anymore.

After I had already spent a laborious hour in the kitchen over lunch, Paul decided to lug out the dutch oven and haul out the 25lb. bag of briquettes and ask, “what do you have that we can make in this thing?” Then he tossed a dutch oven cook book onto the table and said, “this should give you some ideas.” (Recipe number one was something called “Charlie Bread.”)

“Hmmmm….no, I don’t have 2lbs of bacon at the ready….nope, no whole chickens or spare ribs in the fridge…and no cake mixes either.” (Did anyone read my post about mixes?) What’s a cub scout mom to do? Well, how does anyone feed hungry boys? Meat and Potatoes. The key? Don’t worry about defrosting. It’s overrated.

So, Paul created fire in the backyard, Andy and Kate got stuck with potato peeling duty, and I got to chopping and concocting a sauce for it all. It’s all about the sauce, ya know. Here’s my little secret: brown sugar. You add about 1/2 cup of brown sugar to anything you got and they’ll be lining up for seconds.

Soon we had butter, onions, potatoes, seasoning, frozen chicken breasts and corn all smothered by my secret brown sugar laced sauce, getting cozy with 27 hot coals. We discovered last year’s left-over petrified marshmallows in the deep recesses of the pantry and made banana boats while we waited. Mmmmm….

For a day of rest, it was a lot of work. (“Sabbath cooking” is another one of my favorite oxymorons.)

But “family memories” is never a contradiction in terms.


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