[Sca-cooks] Pennsic Camp Cooking
Bronwynmgn at aol.com
Bronwynmgn at aol.com
Tue Aug 12 12:12:29 PDT 2008
<<Anyone else have Pennsic cooking experiences to share?>>
Two, in fact.
I did indeed use the (VERY) sour cherries from my friend's medieval species
of cherry tree to make Another Crust of Tame Creatures at Pennsic. This was
my first time baking in my Dutch oven, and due to a combination of
circumstances, I found myself not only having to go through the myriad steps of the
recipe including making pie dough from scratch on a very hot day, I also had to
tend my three year old and the fire while doing so.
The three year old was easily occupied for most of the prep and cooking time
by filling a big bowl with water and letting him lounge/play in it where I
could see him from the kitchen. His white braies will never be the same, alas
If I remember how I did it correctly, I started the fire so I could start
getting coals. Then parboiled the chicken and put it in a colander to cool,
reserved the necessary broth and got rid of the rest. Got a bright idea and
put my ceramic pie dish in the top of the ice chest to cool, so the dough
wouldn't immediately melt to mush in it. Made the pie dough, resisting the urge
to use my hands to get the butter in and sticking with the pastry cutter,
which annoys me, and using ice water and cold butter. Still could barely roll it
and get it off the board because it was so soft. Popped the pie dish with
the dough back into the cooler. All the while adding wood to the fire and
watching the three year old trying to find a way to fit his entire body into a
bowl smaller than he was. Boned and cut up the chicken and fried it in butter
because I didn't have any lard. Put chicken and cherries into pie dough and
popped it back into the cooler. Made the egg portion of the dish, and had a
bit of trouble with this because I've never thickened something like this
over the heat before and got it too thick, so it sort of sat on top of the
chicken instead of seeping down between the meat and cherries. Put a rack in the
bottom of the Dutch oven, put the completed pie in, covered it, got the
coals into the Dutch oven hole in the fire pit, put the oven in, and put coals
around sides and top, at which point camp mates came home and took over the
three year old. About half an hour later we had a lovely pie, with only the top
edges of the crust burnt and the custard nicely browned. Very tasty.
The second campfire cooking event was the Drye Stewe for Beef, which was
pretty darned easy. Two chunks of pot roast into the Dutch oven on a rack,
pour red wine over it, cover with chopped onions and sprinkle with blade mace,
whole peppercorns, and whole cloves, and cover it an bake it. I had help for
the fire, the child , and the onion chopping (and getting me blade mace from
Auntie Arwen's) on this one. It came out quite yummy, and even our camp
"confirmed sceptic about medieval meat dishes" (pronounced dislike of
meat/fruit/dessert spice combos) raved abut it and wants me to make it again next year.
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