By Keith Fisher
Several Years ago, when I started cooking in Dutch oven cook offs, we were judged for our table displays as well as the food. In order to comply, we went looking for something that would be reminiscent of our pioneer heritage. We decided to use a full set of enamelware and a matching kerosene lantern.
I became enraptured with the look and feel of the material we called pioneer ware. It had the virtue of being made of metal with a decorative coating. It seemed to be a great idea to buy a whole set to go camping with. About this time, I needed to boil water for cooking, and for hot chocolate mix, so I asked for a coffee boiler for Christmas. Before long, I discovered I needed bigger one, and Santa complied.
Many a cup of hot water became hot chocolate. Then I noticed a chip in the enamel, and it didn’t take long for the rust to appear. Having read about some tragic deaths due to rusty spoon blood poisoning, I decided to quit boiling water for hot chocolate in that boiler.
Enamelware can be great. What’s more outdoorsy than tin plates? Isn’t that what our ancestors used? Perhaps that is true, but if you cook in it over a campfire, the surface turns the cool colored coating as black as a Dutch oven. Enamelware also costs more than earthenware, but Paper is cheapest, and you don’t have to wash it. Just use that egg encrusted plate to start your campfire.
There are many brands of paper products. Almost all of them have bowls and cups. Some brands are more durable and are made from recycled materials. To compliment our decor, there are many kinds of plastic ware utensils. I prefer good old stainless steel. It still needs to be washed, but I can’t break a steel fork, trying to cut a piece of meat or a piecrust.
Return to the Neighborhood.