Wednesday, November 10, 2010

BOW Ourdoor Cooking Class

As I promised here is a little more about my experiences this weekend with BOW (Becoming and Outdoors Woman). One of the many highlights of my weekend was my outdoor cooking class. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot about all the new equipment that is out there but I also learned tips on using some of the old fashioned technology like Dutch Ovens.Here is an assortment of cooking gear for the back packer: A pouch to carry utensils and spices, a small propane stove with an extra light cooking pot, and a fold up fire pit (it is the item that looks like a vegetable steamer).

This on the other hand is a fully stocked outdoor kitchen for the luxury camper or tailgater. It even has a small sink for washing dishes and plenty of room to store all those gadgets that some of us don't like to live without.

Here our instructor is whipping up some cowboy coffee. He put the grounds inside a bandanna. Along with the grounds he placed an egg that he lightly cracked in order to keep the grounds from escaping into the boiling brew. He then dropped the coffee into a pot of boiling water and cooked it until it reached the desired strength. I plan on doing some experimentation and research about the egg method. I've read about it but this was the first time I'd seen it demonstrated and I must say my interest is peaked.

For our starter we made Salmon on a cedar plank. Our instructor seasoned it lightly and then topped it with lemon slices and a sprig of rosemary. The cedar plank must be soaked for several hours prior to cooking (preferably overnight). He then placed the plank on a propane grill and lowered the lid until the fish flaked easily.

Here is the finished product. We ate it on crackers for some truly gourmet camping fare.

Next we made tin turtles. To make these you simply wrap meats and veggies up in a small sheet of foil and place the packages directly on the coals. I've made these before... but this time I learned a new trick. Simply line the foil with cabbage leaves to prevent the veggies from burning. The cabbage leaves will burn (and frankly they smell pretty awful)... but once you get past that you'll enjoy nicely cooked vegetables and meat without the typical overcooked bottom layer.

We each labeled our tin packages with fingernail polish so that we could eat our own custom made creation. The fingernail polish will weather the fire better than most other methods.

Here is my finished creation. The burned mess on the bottom is the cabbage leaves... but once I poured my meal into a bowl it was cooked to perfection.

The next dish was Cornish hens cooked in a Dutch Oven. First he rubbed butter under the skin and seasoned them with rosemary, parsley and chives. Then he simply placed them in a Dutch oven with some baby carrots and broccoli. He placed the coal under the oven and then cover the lid with more coals and baked these babies for about 45 minutes-1 hour. Mmmmmm.

Here are the birds cooked to perfection. I was really impressed with how easy and yet elegant this dish was.

Before we even arrived our instructor whipped up a batch of sour dough biscuits and set them to rise. He keeps a batch of sourdough starter on hand for just such occasions and he showed us how to prepare the Dutch oven for cooking. He said that any sour dough biscuit recipe would do... I found this one on line... and I plan on trying this once I get around to buying myself a Dutch oven.

Here is the finished product. We ate these delicious treats with lots of butter and honey. They were fantastic!

Last, but not least, we made some peach cobbler. First we melted a whole stick of butter in an insert pan and added two large cans of peaches in heavy syrup and a tablespoon of cinnamon. I was responsible for adding the cinnamon... and oops... a slip of the wrist and half the jar went in... but no worries it was wonderful anyway. After the peaches came to a boil we sprinkled a box of yellow cake mix on the top (to make the crust ).

Once the ingredients were all added to the mix we simply arranged the coals around the Dutch Oven and waited.

And here is the finished product. I found a similar recipe online for anyone who is interested. You can find it here.

After this meal fit for a king class it was time to head to dinner. Yikes! I ate a big salad and then waddled back to my room.


  1. I've been wanting a dutch oven for a while. I know it will be the gateway to lots of other purchases, so I've put it off.

  2. Holy cow!! You are a fancy outdoor cook! I'm all about hotdogs and Mac and cheese whenever we camp. Your meals look delicious and fancier than some of the meals I make *inside*! :)

  3. OMG. I can smell that peach cobbler. Looks like Grandmas. Alas, I am not a camper or a cook.

  4. I'm not usually THIS high concept when I cook outdoors... The class just covered a lot of material and we learned a lot of neat tricks.

  5. I never learned to cook with a dutch oven, but my sister has mastered it. She loves it so much she cooks at home with it.

  6. Jenn.... adopt me.... please.... I'll bring lots of foil & nail polish...promise...

    I used to camp out for weeks at a time with a boyfriend during the 70's in Camp Verde, AZ. But we didn't have a lot of frills to work with. I totally loved the simplicity of camping and living in the outdoors. I am checking out the site to see if they have a BOW near me. Otherwise, you can expect a large package in the mail. (hehehehe)

    PS foil and nail polish will arrive separately... nuff said. =]

  7. Can I just say that this seems like the coolest thing ever? I know you already posted the active stuff, but actually learning to be functionally cooking outdoors? Not just hot dogs over the fire? Way impressive.

  8. How cool is that!? Thanks for sharing!

    I am stopping by from the Hump Day Blog Hop and following your blog! Would love if you returned the follow to our blog!

    Just Married with Coupons

    Happy Hump Day!

  9. Lille Diane- don't send yourself in the mail... just send me an air plane ticket to AZ and I'll be your personal camp chef...

    Gina- I've always loved to cook outdoors... and this class offered so much new information. Now all I need to learn is how to forage and hunt (both skills you can learn through BOW) and I'll be ready to kick it survival style!

  10. That kitchen is better stocked then my indoor one! Pretty impressive.

  11. I cook in cast iron all the time, in and out of the house. I like your idea of the little foil packs. I remember doing them when I was a child and had forgotten about them. I think I will try them soon. Nice blog!

  12. I use a small Dutch oven at home to bake and cook.:)

    Did you use dill with the salmon? That's the Swedish way (I learned it from my mother). It's really good. Swedes love dill. They also really love fish.

    I'm surprised the Cornish hens needed such a short time to cook. They must have been delicious!

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  13. Hi! I'm really not an outdoor camping person....when you live in the (Y)UK you get used to it raining all the time so outdoors is where you run to reach your car but I drooled at the sight of the salmon dish. Thank you for visiting my blog and your great comment. I shall be back to sample more of yours now that I have met you.

  14. Hey Jenn . . . thanks for visiting my blog . . . I'm following you back! Love your blog :-)

    WOW!! You brought back some awesome memories of camping and cooking!

    Have an awesome weekend . . . Gina



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