My goal for today, since the weather was nice, was to try a new dutch oven recipe, specifically, pizza monkey bread. I had a recipe that was designed for a regular oven, but I thought I'd try it in the DO and see if it would work for camping....then we got invited to our friend's cottage and I thought, "heck, why don't I take it up there and make it for everyone!"
I ended up finding a different recipe, since the original called for making bread dough from scratch and letting it rise...a lot of work when we wouldn't have a whole lot of time. So I found a recipe on Matt and Erin's Dutch Oven Experiments blog that used refrigerated biscuits instead.
So we hauled the 10" DO, the charcoal, charcoal chimney, recipe ingredients, oil, paper towel, parchment paper and some juice all the way there, and contributed to lunch. Of course I forgot tongs for the coals, the lid lifter...a lighter...but we made do, and the monkey bread turned out pretty good. My kids loved it and since I lined the DO with parchment paper, there was no real clean up.
It did make me realize that while there is a lot of accessories people use when cooking with a dutch oven, a lot of the time, you don't need them. Would I have liked to have my oven mitts? Yeah. And using a stick to lift the lid was a touchy prospect, but we managed. It also made me realize that we were lucky they had a fire pit. A lot of people don't have an area where you can put a dutch oven without burning their grass, or ruining a patio with soot and ash...at home, I have a dollar store cookie sheet I put on the ground then put the coals onto it, and the dutch oven's legs fit perfectly on it...even the 14" one. For the smaller one, I have a dollar store pie plate that it will sit perfectly in, and then there's no burning grass, or charing the patio stones. (the pie plate also works perfectly for setting the charcoal chimney on when lighting it up.)
Also, traveling in a motor boat with a dutch oven on my lap was awkward...and I was constantly paranoid about water spraying on it...I think I might have to invest in a bag/cover for it.
This was kind of a rambling post, but I guess my point is, with summer starting, and so many people getting together for BBQs and corn roasts (can't wait for corn roasts!!!) if you're asked to bring something, why not think beyond potato salad. Make a batch of dutch oven cheesy potatoes, or a dessert to share with the group. It might be a bit more work, taking all the necessary items, but it's fun...and that's what summer gatherings are all about.