We welcome a guest blogger to Arkansas Outside, Lisa. For full disclosure, Lisa is my wife but nepotism is not how she got this gig. Lisa is a great writer and an even better cook. So basically, she bribed me with some cobbler. I love cobbler! – Joe
A few weeks ago we made a trip up to Northeast Arkansas for a bit of camping and cooking fundamonium. Over the past few years I think my home kitchen cooking has progressed significantly. I wish I could say the same for my camp cooking. It’s not as if I’ve ever made a camp meal that is inedible, my family of iron guts doesn’t work that way. But every now and then I wish I had the same inventiveness around a campfire as I do in my kitchen. Which led us to….bumpahbah … A Dutch Oven cooking class. You see, my spouse has partaken in many a Dutch Oven meal in conjunction with his job. I know what you’re thinking. “Lucky *%#*ard “. But his days are not all wine & peach cobbler. That’s what he keeps telling me anyway. That, and how much he loves dutch oven cobbler. Loves it. I was willing to go take a class in part to get him to stop telling me how much he loves cobbler. Dutch Oven classes are a fairly regular part of many program schedules in our beautiful Arkansas State Park system. We chose to visit Davidsonville Historic State Park near Black Rock. Reason A: we hadn’t been there as a family before and B: we’re those odd folks who try to fit education into vacations and with Powhatan Historic State Park close by, we were sure to get a good lesson in Arkansas history along with a belly full of cobbler. Need I mention that all conversation in our house revolved around that darned cobbler for about a week leading up to the trip? Davidsonville is a great place to visit, I highly recommend it along with Powhatan but I can’t digress, cause we have to talk about that cobbler.
When we arrived at the pavilion for the lesson there were at least 12 other people in addition to our party. Park interpreter Krystal had the coals going and ingredients laid out for 3 different dishes. That’s right, we weren’t just whistling cobbler here. We were making chili, sweet cornbread and apple cobbler to boot. The spouse would think he’d died and gone to camper heaven if I made this meal for him.
The recipe was a simple one, look for it at the end of this meandering opera. It includes Sprite. That’s right Sprite, sister. We soon had our ingredients mixed and our oven ready to hit the coals. The boys had attempted to tackle the cornbread and were doing good, but they were slow. Grammie got her hands in it after making sure they had learned enough to at the very least, appreciate her cooking efforts, and oh my ever loving gravy, that was some of the best cornbread I have ever eaten. Sorry Momma. We got a math lesson while the magic happened inside the ovens. Learning how many coals to place where is apparently a science that I will have to learn. Wait, no I won’t cause people have been doing this long enough that I have a handy dandy chart that tells me exactly how many briquettes to place where to get the right temperature in the oven. Okay so there’s obviously gonna be fiddling but I’ll worry about that when/IF I decide to cook anything other than cobbler. The food was done, we lined up for grub and we ate like starving Huns. God Bless Krystal, she even had fritos, cheese and sour cream for the chili, and a cooler with ICE CREAM to go with the cobbler. We made such good little piggies of ourselves I might have been embarrassed if I thought we’d run into sister& her family ever again. That was about the time I found out they were camping 3 spots down.
1 12oz can of Sprite or 7-Up
2 cans of pie filling
And the Arkansas Dutch Oven Society http://www.arkdos.org/dnn/