Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Dutch Oven Christmas Party

Today was a big dutch oven day, in many ways. I was up cooking from 8:00 in the morning, until 4:00 in the afternoon, then cleaning and conditioning afterward.

Jodi's annual family Christmas party was today, and many of them asked her if I would do that citrus turkey that I'd done for Thanksgiving. I was cool to do it. Then her stepdad said he would buy the turkey and got a 22 pounder. That's OK, but it was too big for my 14" dutch oven. I wasn't sure how I was going to do it. I'd looked into buying one of those Maca big deep oval ovens. They look so cool. Since they're oval, they're perfect for turkeys.

Like I said before, we can't afford it, at least not this year.

So, I got on the IDOS message board, and asked if anyone had one they would loan. Within a day, I got a response. We communicated, and made the connection to pick it up. Now, not only did I get to use a dutch oven, but I've a new friend.

Jodi's family was not only impressed with the food, but also impressed that someone would loan that out to someone they'd met online. Dutch oven people are such cool people.

So, I made three recipes I'd done before today. One was the Dutch Oven Citrus Turkey. I started that one on the coals at 8:00. It was pretty tricky keeping the right amount of heat on it, but I kept replenishing and it worked. I went through almost two big bags of kingsford in the whole day. I started out with just the stuffed turkey and the baste. The veggies I added after about three hours of cooking.

Right after I got the turkey on the coals, I started mixing the bread. I used the same recipe I've used so many times. And I used the glaze from this day. I'm not so specific with the amounts, especially the brown sugar. I just mixed it to make a thick syrup, almost a paste.

My stepdad-in-law had also bought a couple of spiral-cut hams, so I put those in the 14" dutch ovens, and did my best ham evarr soy sauce/mustard/honey glaze recipe. And it turned out even better than that time.

The family raved about them all. Well, the turkey and the ham mostly. I only heard a few comments on the bread, but I loved it a lot. It had this sweet citrusy taste, and with butter it was heavenly.

When it was all done, I got the dutch ovens cleaned and put away. Tomorrow, my friend said he'd be out in this area and will pick up his oven. It was just a wonderful day. My muscles are all sore from hefting around big iron dutch ovens full of food, but it was pretty wonderful.

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