The weather in Texas has been wild and unpredictable with the worst heat wave ever last summer and now a milder-than usual winter. We have been wearing our flip-flops all winter and loving the spring-like temperatures! All that ended when the Prairie Dog Chapter of the Lone Star Dutch Oven Society met in Dallas at White Rock Lake for the February Dutch Oven Gathering. The night before our gathering, the temperature dropped suddenly to below freezing with strong winds out of the north. Only seven members of the groups showed up, each saying that it was crazy for us to be cooking in the bone-chilling cold. We put up some tarps to break the wind a little. They helped, a little!
Here are some highlights of the DOG.
#1 Dale’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Three things I learned from Dale. First, he lined the bottom of his dutch oven with parchment paper in addition to Pam and flour. This made the process of getting the yummy-sticky-sweet bottom of the cake out of the black pot go OH so smoothly! Second, he lined the lid of the dutch oven with aluminum foil and used it as a serving platter. Brilliant. Finally, he let the cake and pan cool a while before quickly flipping it out of the pot. The presentation factor was breath-taking! Here are some photos of Dale and his delicious pineapple upside down cake, prepared in sub-zero conditions on a wickedly windy day. It was *perfect*!
#2 Resiliency and resourcefulness of Dutch Oven Chefs. Our small group adapted to reduce the wind and continued on with the plan to cook, despite the wind and cold weather conditions. Everyone pulled out tools, tarps, and tie-downs and configured a wind block that helped most of the time.
#3 Good Eats. Without any preplanning, our six pots on the table were perfectly balanced with vegetables, main, and desserts. Everything was delicious!