OLD MORMON FORT DUTCH OVEN COOK-OFF FIRST PLACE

What wonderful weather for mid-March today (March 18, 2017).  Temps hit 90°F with clear blue skies in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I was happy to come away with a first place win in the “Main Dish” category.  Serving up BBQ Pulled Pork, to take home a trophy Plaque and a free annual pass to Nevada State Parks for the year.  That pass will certainly have some mileage put on it.

 

A group of us have competed in this annual cook-off for 3 or 4 years now.  We saw attendance go way up this year.  I came with 144 sandwich buns to serve the pulled pork on.  (12lbs of Pulled Pork).  I remember buying the buns and thinking I was practicing “over kill”.  When I saw the eating line start to form I started cutting buns in half.  Right before show time I started changing to 1/4 bun per serving.  I as well as many of the other cooks were wiped out.

The unofficial report I got this evening from someone connected with the fort put the headcount at 300.  A far cry from the 25-50 we had seen in previous years.

I had about 10lbs of coleslaw that never made it to the end.  It was just a bonus side dish to go with the BBQ.  Gone before the line finished passing the first time.

I also entered the dessert category with a double batch Cherry Chocolate Cake.  It didn’t even place with all the competition and great cooks.  Though it too was wiped out and only crumbs left.

I am hoping others that attended email me their photos for use on this site.  Also the winners for each category and the dish they served up.  Its tough when you cook, to find the time to take some photos or even sample all the great food.

I didn’t even have the time to enjoy the live music and fiddle players that were just out of ear shot.  Below is a portion of the cook set-ups.

Thanks goes out to Kathleen & Dave LeBlanc for serving up a Mountain Man breakfast for us early birds that were setting up at 7:30am.

Also thanks to those at the Fort that put this all together, then their task to get their park back to normal for the next business day.    There is lots of behind the scenes work and effort going into this event people never see.

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FINDING WILD CAST IRON

I refer to “Finding Wild Cast Iron” as something the is not store bought.   At least not bought in a store by me.  Those precious finds at a Garage Sale, Estate Sale, Flea Market, etc.  Just like stumbling into wild succulent mushrooms while out hiking in the woods.

People that are new to using cast iron often ask “Where do I buy”, and What should I buy?  That is a difficult question to answer with no other input provided.

I collect cast iron and have way too many stacked away here and there.  But I really enjoy vintage cookware.   Much of the vintage pieces are far superior to modern day cast iron.  Modern day foundries tend to produce “rougher” finishes.  I assume it is to reduce production costs to remain competitive?  Lodge is one of the leaders of USA made, and currently a cookware producing modern day foundry.

If you are patient and look in the right places you can save lots of money.  If you are new to cooking with cast iron you may find the “In the Wild” option a better way to go in case you decide using cast iron is not for you.   Someone will always buy a used piece for what you paid for it…..if you find the bargains out there.

Today’s image in this article, is a garage sale find this morning.  I paid $15.  This is a Lodge 12 inch “Camp” or “Outdoor” Style Dutch Oven.  I say “Outdoor” because it has feet and the raised ridge lid for containing coals.   On the low cost end this would retail around $60 when new.  This Dutch Oven came in the original box, never used, never seasoned, even had the original paperwork.  It looks brand new.

Dutch Ovens made for use in your regular kitchen oven normally have no legs,  just a smooth bottom.  The kitchen version lid is more domed shaped with no raise ridge since retaining coals is not a requirement.

While you may not find “wild cast iron” with the original box, and in this condition, finding some of the older vintage cookware is an even more gratifying score.  Cast Iron Fever (Collecting) can develop into something hard to control.

For someone starting out I generally first recommend starting with a 10 inch “camp” style Dutch Oven.  My second recommendation would be for the same in the 12 inch size.  Most recipes work equally well in either of these two without adjustments to ingredients or temperature.  They are both great for Casseroles,  Meats, Chili, Cakes, Cobblers, Mountain Man Breakfasts, and so much more.

 

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Wow! Its been less than a week.

We are slowly getting there.  Learning the new software (to us) and getting the shell of our site up and running.

Our short term goal is to get our recipe index built to provide some usable content.  Then move on from there with cast iron care and seasoning/re-seasoning aids, heat charts, and cooking techniques.

We could sure use a few articles from followers to take some of that work away from us in the interim.  Find our email info in the Contact Us menu tab.

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Hello world!

Welcome to our new Website.   Over a couple of years we have accumulated a large following on our associated Facebook group.  We decided to create this site to better serve our needs.

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