_Words Of Wisdom

Serves: 5



When using a dry rub on meats avoid those with lots of salt. It pulls moisture out of the meat and makes it tougher.

Before marinating meat pierce it with a fork several times. This allows the marinade to get into the meat.

When roasting meat place a wire cake rack in the bottom of your Dutch to set your meat on. This allows cooking liquid to circulate and prevents a scorched spot if you have too much heat on the bottom. If you don't have a wire rack lay your roast on a bed of sliced onions. They serve the same purpose and add flavor to the meat as well.

On mid-summer trips store your coolers in the shadiest possible site once you set up camp. Burlap sacks soaked in water and draped over coolers will provide some cooling with evaporation to help keep food cool.

Most folks know enough to put their food away where critters like squirrels, chipmunks, etc. can't get at it. Perspiration residue on back packs and horse tack contains salt. Put these items out of reach as well to prevent rodents from chewing straps, bridles, cinches, and latigos for the salt content. While on a horse patrol one time I met two back packers several miles from the end of the road perplexed and angry after a porcupine chewed the straps of their back packs in two. They'd left their packs leaned against a tree while they fished a nearby lake. It wasn't pretty or comfortable but they were able to make it back to their truck after we repaired the straps with baling twine and pieces from a spare latigo I had with me.

When setting up camp, especially for a large group, set out a hand wash pan with anti-bacterial soap. It may sound extravagant to set out a roll of paper towels with the hand wash pan but it doesn't make much sense to have everyone use the same hand towel.

If you're having trouble with flies in the camp kitchen, set out an aluminum pie pan with an inch of water in it. Add a couple to tablespoons of sugar and a few drops of dish liquid. The sugar attracts the flies. By adding soap to the water it changes the surface tension of the water and traps the flies.

Any ingredients or food items not packaged in their original packages should be labeled, especially look alike products. I.e. sugar/salt, flour/baking mixes, vinegar/bleach, cooking oil/dish soap etc.

To save a little money when packing for a trip I grab a few plastic and paper grocery sacks out of the recycle bin for use in camp. I hang the plastic ones around camp so folks have a place to put trash as well as a couple in the kitchen that allows me to separate wet and or unburnable garbage from dry garbage. Wet garbage goes into a container for transport home and the dry garbage I burn a bit at a time while sitting around the campfire in the evening.

If cooking bacon or fresh side pork I drain it on one of the brown paper grocery bags. The greased soaked paper bags are great for starting campfires or the woodstove in my wall tent!

Make a pot of coffee after dinner and put it in a thermos and place along with a cup next to the cooks bunk. He or she will start the next day in a much better mood.

To avoid food sticking to your cast iron skillet or Dutch oven when frying, make sure the pan and oil are hot before starting.

Keep a small bottle of vinegar, either regular or apple cider, in your camp box. It's great to add a few drops to many dishes for flavor and it can also be used as a disinfectant.

When filleting large fish keep a pair of needle nose pliers handy. If you miss a few bones they can be easily pulled out with the pliers.

Keep an indelible marker and a small roll of masking tape in the camp kitchen. Use them for labeling leftovers or items taken from their original packaging.

If you're kneading bread dough and it is a little moist, i.e. sticky, wipe a small amount of vegetable oil on your hands.

Before applying a dry rub to a piece of meat first wipe it with olive oil or vegetable oil. It helps seal in the juices and the rub will adhere better.

To avoid making them tough, don't add salt when cooking dried beans until just before serving.

When planning an extended trip, if possible pre-cook meats before freezing to extend how long they keep.

If your coolers are looking grungy after a couple of years, take them to a car wash and use the high pressure nozzle to get them looking as good as new.

When using dry soup mixes as the base for a sauce keep in mind they usually have a lot of salt in them. Adjust your seasoning accordingly

Sauces and cream soups for recipes can be put in heavy duty Zip-Loc's and frozen when packing for an extended trip. It saves weight and eliminates the cans from the garbage.

Before putting cans in the garbage sack, wash them out and open the other end to facilitate crushing them flat. This saves space and helps eliminate odors.

When camping on private property or undeveloped sites treat the site as you would your own property. Leave sites in better condition than you find them.

When making spaghetti sauce reserve about half of your chopped onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms and add them about fifteen minutes before serving. You will end up with a nice chunky sauce this way.

Make sure you have the best first aid kit you can afford. It's cheaper and takes less time to treat most minor injuries in camp than it is to make a special trip back to town.

When setting up camp, especially for a large group, set out a hand wash pan with anti-bacterial soap. It may sound extravagant to set out a roll of paper towels with the hand wash pan but it doesn't make much sense to have everyone use the same hand towel.

When roasting a prime rib or other large roast, allow it to set at room temperature for a couple of hours before cooking. It will cook much more evenly.

When packing your grub box try to avoid glass containers. Transferring the contents to a plastic container eliminates weight and the hassles and danger associated with breakage.

Some meat recipes call for making a small slit and inserting a sliver or clove of garlic. For a different flavor try wrapping the garlic clove in a small basil leaf and/or inserting a couple of rosemary leaves with the garlic.

When using metal utensils with your Dutch ovens or cast iron cookware, don't use them to scrape food residue or you will scratch the "cure" on the cast iron.

Be careful when cooking with plastic or plastic handled utensils, they will melt when left or leaned up against a hot Dutch oven.

Always pack some instant hot chocolate and instant soups for quick warm-ups on cold days. If the weather is bad when you get up in the morning heat some water and put it in a thermos to speed things up even more.

If you like to bake in camp consider packing a pastry cloth. They take up little space and you can use your cutting board for other slicing and dicing chores.

Use your camp stove to brown meat and sauté ingredients. When you finish the recipe and place the DO over the charcoal your DO being pre-heated will shorten cooking times.

Most developed campsites are inhabited by such critters as chipmunks and squirrels. Leaving food out on the table unattended for just a few minutes could easily result in a food shortage for the human campers.

This _Words Of Wisdom recipe is from the Cee Dub's Ethnic & Regional Dutch Oven Cookin' Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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