I am fairly excited, as I have a new shiny cookbook with a lot of ideas.
I found this in a set of books celebrating the 100th anniversary of our National Parks. If you know me, I am all about the outdoors, hiking, camping, etc... so this has been a big year, given all the celebrations and events around the NPS anniversary!
This cookbook was published in 2004 by the National Museum of Forest Service History.
National Museum of Forest Service History. Camp Cooking: 100 Years
(Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith, 2004). [ISBN 9781586857615]
Camp Cooking: 100 Years The National Museum of Forest Service History by National Museum Of Forest Service History, The National Museum of Forest Service Hi |, Other Format | Barnes & Noble
So this is obviously a camping cookbook, but it also really hearkens back to days of yore camping, before everything was a pack stove and boiling water. This is the old dutch oven over a roaring fire school of camp cooking. While all of these recipes are designed about a campfire, if you have a dutch oven and a griddle they are, I think, also really suitable for home cooking.
Amidst the recipes, there are all kinds of lovely little anecdotes about lives spent in the woods, by four or so generations of Forest Service workers. Those alone are worth the price of the book. (It costs about ten bucks if you were wondering).
The recipes are utilitarian and awesome. Lots of hearty one pot meals, and baked casseroles, kind of stuff you want to eat after a long day in the woods. So I'm gonna give you an example from page 123:
Potato Chicken Cassarole
1/2 lb bacon, cut into chunks
8-10 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 medium onions, chopped
1 can mushrooms, drained
1-1/2 tsp poultry seasoning, divided
12-14 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10 oz) can cream of celery soup
1 cup sour cream
1 - 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Hate a 12 inch Dutch oven until hot. Fry bacon until brown. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Add Chicken, onions, mushrooms, and 1/2 tsp of the seasoning salt. Stir, cover and cook until onions are translucent and chicken is tender. Add Potatoes. Stir in soups, sour cream, and remaining seasonings. Salt and pepper here to taste. Cover and cook 45-60 minutes. Stir every 10-15 minutes. When done cover with cheese and replace lid, let stand until cheese is melted.
So this recipe has everything I love in camp cooking, a good protein, all in one pot, and cheese. I would if I made this add more spices, but as it stands it is a perfect camp meal, and is a great exemplar of the cookbook.
Anyway, if you are planing a trip outdoors, or looking to bring the forest into your kitchen, you could do much worse than this book. I learned to cook when I was in the Boy Scouts, so for me, these recipes feel like coming home.
I think sometimes I've been too distracted by learning new techniques, fancy ingredients, etc... and need to remind myself of some awesome recipes that can be made in a dutch oven, on a grill, or in a cast iron skillet over a fire.
This one is gonna hang out in my kitchen and go in my backpack.