Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day Feast

It was four years ago that my Dutch Oven adventure started.  I even have a hard time remembering the scene, now.  I seem to remember that it was June of 2006, father's day.  We were living in the basement of my in-law's home at the time, waiting the many months for the completion of construction on our home.  My wife bought me a Lodge 12" dutch oven and gave it to me.  I don't remember how I seasoned it, but I got it done and started wondering what I was going to cook in it.

I had pleasant memories of boy scout campouts and making pizza.  So, I decided to try it.  It was simple, and it worked, and I was encouraged by my first bits of success.  My kids, of course, loved it, because it had pepperoni.  I remember, I used one of those boxed pizza crust mixes, and a jar of Prego for the sauce.

From there, I started cooking pretty much every sunday, and with few exceptions that has continued through today.  It was nearly 8 months later that I began blogging my recipes. I don't see any of that changing in the near future, either.  It's been wonderful.  I've met a lot of new friends, and learned a lot of new skills.  It's been a great ride.

So, yesterday, I cooked up a feast.  My wife was surprised.  Why should I want to cook on Father's Day?  See, she looks at cooking like a chore.  I look at it like a break from my crazy week.

I started out thinking I would do a turkey, and do it with that southwestern spicy rub that I really liked.  I thought, however, that this time I'd brine it first.  So, the night before, I cleaned out one of our coolers, opened up the turkey, and put it in.  Then I covered it up with cool water, and mixed in the salt and sugar.  Actually, I mixed the salt and sugar in a separate bowl first, to make sure it dissolved right.  I left that overnight to soak and to thaw.

I thought I would do another no-knead bread, too, so I got the dough ready and set it out to ferment through the day. 

The next afternoon, after church, I got things started.  After lighting up the coals and getting the turkey on to roast, I got the bread ready.  I didn't really do anything fancy.  I just followed the recipes as I wrote them!

I did change up the bread in a couple of ways, however.  Just after I put the dough into the hot dutch oven, I sprinkled the top with parmesan cheese.  Lightly, mind, nothing too oppressive.

Once those were cooking, I was just relaxing and keeping the coals on it.  It was a kind of windy day, so I had to keep on top of the coals and keep adding more to the pile in order to keep heat on.  But it wasn't a stressful cook at all.  The bread took about an hour, and the turkey about three.

The Bread, by the way, turned out phenomenal.  I finally got a soft crust, with big bubble holes in the crumb!  I was so thrilled with myself.

As the turkey was nearing done, I got to thinking about what to serve as a veggie.  I thought about Potatoes, and then I suddenly got this idea to do an oven full of steamed mixed veggies.  I Cut a bunch of veggies of various kinds and colors into bite-size bits.  I used snow peas, broccoli, red and yellow sweet peppers, and cauliflower.  I put them on one of those metal, fold-out steamer things, like I did with the corn a few weeks ago, and put in a few cups of water.  That went out on the coals.

When they were done, about 45 minutes later, I poured some italian dressing over them and sprinkled on some more parmesan cheese.  They were delicious and elegant.

At that point, I knew this was more than just a dinner, but a real treat, so I got out our nice dishes and we all sat down.  Turkey, veggies, and bread.  What a feast!  A great way to celebrate Father's Day, and a special Dutch Ovening Anniversary!


Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his MoBoy blog.

Mark's Other Blog Posts: Comfort and Affliction in LDS Music

1 comment:

  1. I cooked on Papa's day too. My wife thought the same thing, though I ran out of the house to take care of some stuff for Scouts and it burned. It looked really good too. Growed the pea pods for it and everything. Gonna have to wait at least a month before we have enough to do stir fry again. Look to the Back Porch Gourmet in a few days and read all about it...



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