_About the Author

Serves: 5



First of all, I bet you're wondering how someone came up with the moniker of Cee Dub. When I was born, it was quite common for the first son to be named after the father. In my case, I ended up the one and only son and so ended up with his name. Anyway...all I will tell you here is that my initials are C. W. and that from a very early age my Dad called me "Butch."

That pretty well got me through situations as far as family and friends went. But, my real name caused me grief around the play ground at school after a teacher would call me by my real name. By the time I got into college it was my standard procedure to tell my professors to either call me by Butch or by my initials, C. W.

During the 1980's I started doing a lot of white water rafting both in my job and with friends. Over time we gave each other "river handles" similar to truckers, CB radio "handles". One of my river pards, Jim Van Ark, of Challis, Idaho, some how turned C.W. into Cee Dub! So I hope that explains to your inquiring minds how this cookbook came to be named!

Now we've got that out of the way...let's talk about cookin' with cast iron and Dutch Ovens, recipes, and how to put them all together! It doesn't take a mom very long to figure out which recipes her kids like. My three sisters and I all had our favorites and some of those are still among my favorites.

Over the last twenty-five years since I left home, I will still call Mom, on occasion, and ask her how she did something in the kitchen or if she can recall a certain recipe. (Like me, most are just stored upstairs and not on a recipe card.)

Both of my parents were pretty fair cooks in their own right. Dad had spent some time in the service as a cook before they handed him a Garand rifle and sent him to a place called Guadacanal. Mom learned on an old wood cook stove and knows the hassle of keeping four growing kids happy at the kitchen table.

Anyone who's ever eaten my cookin' knows they'll have to listen to some stories before they get to eat. So...I'll tell the one story every newcomer asks to hear before we go any further. It always comes up. How did you become such a good cook?

To answer that, I have to go back to the early 60's. I was just thirteen when my maternal grandfather died back in Omaha, Nebraska, where Mom is from. While the folks went back to the funeral my paternal grandmother stayed with us kids. As a thirteen year old I was a pretty good judge of food and had some basic culinary skills of my own. I could fry an egg, make oatmeal, and boil a hot dog.

Come Sunday afternoon, that week the folks were gone, I convinced my grandmother I would cook Sunday dinner while she took my sisters to church. (To this day I'd still rather cook than go to church.) As was the custom around our house, Sunday dinner consisted of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a vegetable. I figured it would be a snap since I'd watched both my folks cook this meal many times! Like a lot of people I learn best, or never learn unless it hurts or costs me money! This ended up hurting my ego in the worst way! But, back to dinner.

Any good cook knows one of the real keys to cookin' is getting everything done at the right time. At this I was a failure. The first thing I did was peel and put the spuds on to boil before I started frying the chicken. As was the custom, the chicken went into a brown paper grocery sack with some flour, and salt and pepper before being put in the pan. Up to this point, all was going fairly well.

By the time everyone got home from church, things had started to deteriorate. The corn was scorched, the spuds were soupy from being boiled for double the length of time required, but the chicken would of made Colonel Sanders proud. Fried just right! Now comes the bad part, I'd never made gravy before, but I'd watched mom and dad make it often. All they did (I thought) was dump the flour out of the paper bag, stir it around, and then add some milk. Simple, I said to myself.

I was on the right track, but just didn't get the proportions right. I used approximately the same number of cups of flour when I should have used that number of tablespoons. It took nearly all the milk in the fridge just to thin the gravy enough so that we could mash our potatoes and spread them over the gravy! Not a good situation!

The teasing, which later became ridicule, started as soon as Mom and Dad returned. As is the nature of parents, the first questions they asked on their return were "How did things go? Did you have any problems". Quickly and with graphic detail the folks found out about my problems!

From that point forward every time we had company, and heaven forbid when in high school and one of my girlfriends came over, every one got a blow by blow account of my fried chicken dinner. I could almost take hearing the story over and over again, but the embellishments and exaggeration wore thin real quick.

Each of us has our breaking point, and I finally reached mine. After being teased for the umpteenth time I finally lost my cool. I lined all three of my sisters up and swore the day would come I would out cook them all ! Amazing the response a little ridicule is capable of generating. It took some time and a few more failures, but now years later they all agree I'm the best cook in the family. I knew I'd arrived when my two brothers-in-law both confided they preferred my cookin' over that of their wives.

Hunting and fishing with my dad was a big part of growing up. Dad had been raised in the southeast Idaho town of Arimo. I grew up in Chubbuck, Idaho, just north of Pocatello. Our hunting and fishing trips in those days ranged from hunting pheasants right out the back door to deer hunting in the Soda Springs-Georgetown area.

Whether we were fishing beaver dams on Toponce Creek or chasing mule deer in Skinner Canyon, we camped in an old army surplus squad tent and cooked over an open fire or a Coleman stove.

The first time I ever cooked an outdoor meal for myself was in the Boy Scouts. If memory serves me, it turned out worse than my chicken dinner. Burned on the outside and raw on the inside.

In time I got my drivers license and I started hunting and fishing with some of my buddies. For awhile, about all we had for camp fare came out of a can. Somewhere in there, I finally grew up to the point that I thought that steak tasted better than beanie-weenies, and my outdoor cooking skills began to improve. When I left home to attend college out of state, I was able to get by on my own cooking and I'm proud to say now, that I never stooped to a TV dinner.

My first experience cooking for a large group occurred while I was in college. Our Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society held an annual Wild Game Dinner. The dinner itself was being held in a hall seven or eight miles from town. Talk about a logistical nightmare. I had to oversee the cooking of twenty-four entrees ranging from bighorn sheep to porcupine stew. Most of these were being prepared in town and transported to the hall in time for dinner. Besides organizing the whole thing, I then baked fresh baking powder biscuits from scratch for 125 people in one small oven. Looking back now it seems like a blur, but it must have turned out OK because I ended up doing it again the next year.

While going to college I started working as a summer temporary on various research projects for graduate students and for the Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG). Field work meant camping out for extended periods all over southern Idaho. It was during this period that I learned what it was like to control my own destiny. If I wanted to eat good, then I had control by being the cook. Since those early years I've either shared cooking duties, (there are several good cooks in the outfit) or been elected camp cook by acclamation. In l978 I hired on permanent with IDFG and was assigned to the Challis patrol area.

To digress a minute, during the years between college graduation and being hired permanent, I had several jobs which in different ways contributed to my culinary education. For one summer I worked on a dude ranch in central Idaho, there I was able to observe a couple of pretty fair back country cooks. During the period 1975-1977, I worked six months a year for the Inter-Agency Grizzly Bear Study, (IGBS). We were doing field work in the Yellowstone Ecosystem.

The first two years our field rations consisted of freeze dried food. After all these years, I still consider it a very loose use of the term "food" when applied to freeze dried food. When we would report to work for our ten day shift, we would be met by the secretary with ten days rations in a plastic garbage sack. At this point I began to pay more attention to spices. It became standard equipment to have garlic powder, garlic salt, and various other spices in my back pack.

It seemed that by day two of a ten day hitch, all you and your partner could talk about was what you were going to eat on your days off. We could have written a book about food binging on a couple of occasions. For most of my time with IGBS I was on a trapping team.

During my three seasons, we used a variety of baits, some of which were fit for human consumption. I remember one occasion when the boss told us to go to the store and buy some rotten turkey for bait. Just try and go to any store and buy rotten turkey. It can't be done! So we got the next best thing--a dozen hindquarter frozen turkey roasts!

Off we went to trap near the Hilgaard Mountains in Montana. We were staying in an old Forest Service cabin. The snow was so deep that if any bears had come out of their dens, they had headed for lower elevations where snow pack was less. We sat and looked at those turkey roasts for several days while religiously eating our freeze dried meals three times a day. Finally, we couldn't take it any longer. We took the last of our freeze dried rice pilaf and made what looked like dressing and a turkey roast and popped it in the wood stove. To this day, that is probably the best meal I have ever eaten of which freeze dried food was a part.

Anyway...I really began to appreciate good camp food after that experience. Needless to say, when using such things as sardines, honey, slab bacon, cantaloupes etc., enough was diverted from its original purpose to keep the bear trappers in a better frame of mind.

During these formative years I had one other job which would indirectly change how I thought about restaurant food. Between jobs with the IDFG and IGBS, I drove truck cross-country for my uncle out of Omaha.

Someone once said that truck stops must have good food cause that's where all the truckers stop. Wrong! The reason that truckers stop there is because they have big parking lots. Of course this was before "lite" foods came into vogue, and when we as a society didn't pay enough attention to what we were eating. It has changed for the better a little over the years. A steady diet of fried foods eaten at truck stops reinforced my feelings that I could cook better chow than one could find on the road.

Back to being a game warden. The Challis patrol area is now split into two areas with one area having responsibility for patrol of the back country, including a large part of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. It was the eight and a half years I spent there patrolling the back country by horseback, river raft, and foot that I "came of age" as a camp cook. Much of the learning was trial and error, and a whole lot was from spending time in outfitter camps-both big game outfitters and river outfitters. So now, thirty-two years after that fateful fried chicken dinner, I'm writing this cookbook!

Especially if you're a beginning camp cook, hopefully this book will save you at least part of the trials, tribulations, and the ridicule it took me to get this far. So now we're getting close to doin' some cookin'.

A Back Country Guide to Outdoor Cooking Spiced with Tall Tales

This _About the Author recipe is from the Cee Dub's Dutch Oven and Other Camp Cookin' Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

More Recipes from the Cee Dub's Dutch Oven and Other Camp Cookin' Cookbook:
_A Lasting Gift
_About The Cooks!
_About the Author
_As Close To Heaven As One Can Get
_Barbeque Texas Style
_Bread And Horse Wrecks
_Brother-In-Law Duck
_Camp Creations
_Camp Crock Pot
_Camp Kitchens
_Camp Robbers
_Campfire Cash
_Chicken ala S*#T
_Chili, The Controversy And The Recipes
_Common Sense And Cards
_Cookin' With Kraut
_Cooking From Cans - Menu For Day 16
_Culinary Bombs
_Don't Critize The Cook...
_Dry Camps
_Fanny Pack Snacks
_Game Meat
_Game Warden Dog
_Game Warden Scramble
_Garlic & Her Poor Cousin "Onion"
_Getting Bread In Camp
_Good Cooks / Bad Cooks!
_Good Humored Cook
_Hank's Spaghetti Sauce
_Hank, Jack And Me
_How To Cook A Coot
_Hungry Ridge Chicken
_Jerky And Smoked Fish
_Las Piedras
_Making Do
_Middle Fork Spareribs
_Modern Day Pilgrims
_No Name Creek Baked Beans
_Pitch In And Pitch Out
_Potatoes aka Taters, Spuds
_Redhot Rhubarb Upside Down Cake - The Story
_Religious Bedroll
_Roast Coot
_Rubs For Meat, Not Backs
_Shoestring Bull
_Something Soft For Dinner
_Sugar And Spice And Other Things Nice
_The Adventures of 'Two-Story Tom'
_Things I Don't Care To Eat
_Twas The Week Before Elk Season
_Two Reluctant Cooks
_Veggies For Camp
_Warden Stew
_Where Do You Buy Scratch

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