Friday, September 28 2001

manda beach thumb: Kenya

Thursday, September 28, 1995: Gone fishing!


Today I went squash hunting. (See image below.) Squash are not as common in Germany as they are in the USA, and especially butternut squash are pretty rare. However, they’re also quite tame, so I was able to catch this one with my bare hands. I didn’t need a squash cat and a rifle like John does.

Tomorrow, we will use the squash for Pork Stew with Corn Bread Topping. The recipe says the stew has to be cooked in a Dutch oven. Since we don’t own one, do you think we can just cook it in a pot? Dutch ovens are not known in Germany, or at least I’ve never heard of one before.

Update: Al says that a Dutch oven is a pot with a lid. Yeah, we actually have one. Thanks Al!

butternut squash:

7 thoughts on “Friday, September 28 2001

  1. Andrea Frick

    Huh? If it is a pot with a lid, why isn’t it called that?

    I searched for dutch oven on Google and found the site of the International Dutch Oven Society. I read something about putting the Dutch oven on coals there and that it was great for outdoor cooking or something like that. Confusing!

    We don’t have a pot that looks like the ones you pointed to, but I guess a big heavy stainless steel pot will do.

    Thanks for your help, Al!

  2. Jeff Cheney

    Dutch ovens are definitely for outdoor cooking. They’re big heavy cast iron things meant to sit on top of hot coals and even have hot coals put on top of their lids. They were very popular in the days of the wild west, wagon trains, cattle drives, that sort of thing.

    My Mom and brother worked a couple of summers at the Flying W Ranch where they serve bisquits baked in Dutch Ovens.

    Here in San Francisco there’s a PBS program where a former park ranger does nothing but cook in Dutch Ovens. Here it is — Discover dutch oven and camp cooking! And here are the program descriptions

  3. Andrea Frick

    You are confusing me, Jeff! trippy:

    The Dutch ovens Al pointed to look like pretty normal pots to me, but the ones I saw on IDOS seem more outdoorish.

    I doubt you can find the latter kind in Germany at all, and I also doubt we will go outside to cook some stew over the fire tomorrow, so I’ll just hope the stew will turn out okay even if we use an ordinary pot.

    I’ll let you know about the results on my weblog… stay tuned for this weekend’s Southwest cooking adventure!

  4. Alwin Hawkins

    Andrea, Jeff is right- and wrong. Technically, a dutch oven is any large pot with a lid heavy enough to keep the steam from escaping too rapidly. The reason outdoor dutch ovens are designed with flat lids (unlike the ones you use in the kitchen) is that there are no ovens to put them into in the outdoors.

    The coals on the top help weigh down the lid (keeping the steam in) and surround the food that is cooking with heat, with energy radiating into the cooking vessel from both the top and bottom of the pot (like an oven).

    In other words, there is an indoor and an outdoor variation to the dutch oven, but the function is the same: to slowly cook the food while conserving moisture, keeping the food from drying out and the sauce from reducing overmuch.

    To see how they resemble (and differ) take a look at this.

  5. Jeff Cheney

    I absolutely defer to Mr. Hawkins on all culinary matters.

    Except that I don’t think the cast iron lid needs coals to weigh it down — those things are heavy!

    Are Dutch ovens really from Holland?

  6. Andrea Frick

    Thanks for your info, you two. I guess I can now safely claim to be one of the few experts on Dutch ovens in Germany.

    I have no idea if Dutch ovens are really from the Netherlands. I got an email yesterday from a Dutch living in New Zealand. He wrote something about Dutch ovens, but I didn’t understand a word because he wrote in Dutch! I asked him for a translation, but haven’t received it yet.

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