Party Tomorrow

by Keith Fisher

I am lost trying to get ready for a dinner party tomorrow. Perhaps I'll tell you about next time. until then, I've posted one of my favorite easy recipes for you to enjoy.

Spiced Pork Chops with Red Sauce

12-inch Dutch Oven

  • 1-2 lbs. Top loin pork chops

  • Red sauce (recipe follows)

  • Spice mix rub (recipe follows)

Spice mix rub:

  • ½ cup flour1

  • ½ tsp. Garlic powder

  • 1 ½ tsp. Dry mustard

  • 1 ½ tsp. Paprika

  • ¼ tsp. Ginger

  • ½ tsp. Celery salt

  • 1/8 tsp. Basil

  • 1/8 tsp. Oregano

  • 1/8 tsp. Salt

  • pinch black pepper

  • note: this will make enough spice mix for several pork chops.

Red Sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1 cup water

  • ¼ cup brown sugar

  • 4 tbsp. cornstarch

Prepare meat by rolling it in the spice mix, rubbing it into the meat. Brown on both sides in a hot 12 inch Dutch oven with a little oil. Start roasting the meat by moving the majority of bottom heat to the top. 7coals on the bottom and 11 on the top. Pour the red sauce over the meat then roast until inside temperature is 165 degrees. (Longer roasting time will make meat more tender) Make sure to baste frequently with the sauce from the oven. Also, If three hour roasting time is used: You will need to add more coals about half way through the cooking process to keep the temperature up. Serves about six.

Cherry Cheese Cake in a Pie Crust

Ron Hack

12-inch Dutch oven


  • 2 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup Crisco shortening

  • 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water


  • 2 packages (8 OZ.) Cream cheese, softened

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 3 dashes salt

  • 3 to 4 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 cups sour cream

  • 4 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

in a medium size bowl, mix flour and salt then cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter or two butter knives working next to each other. Gradually add the ice water a little at a time and stir until a ball of dough is formed. place dough on floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll out dough in a circle about 1/4 inch thick. then lift off and carefully put into a 12 inch Dutch oven that has been lined in two halves with parchment paper (For pie removal).

carefully work the dough up the sides of the oven until 1-2 inches high and flute the edges with your thumb and fingers. cover and bake at about 450 degrees for 15 minutes 18 coals on top and 13 coals on the bottom. let crust cool In another large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add 1 cup sugar gradually while mixing. Then add lemon juice, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat eggs one at a time into mixture until thoroughly mixed.

pour into cooked pie crust and smooth out. cover and bake with 15 coals on top and 9 on the bottom in a circular pattern (not directly underneath) about 325 degrees. Cheese cake is done when it sets up, and has a film on top. take oven off heat and let cool about 30 minutes Next, mix the topping and spoon over cheese cake starting with the outside edge first then spoon it towards the middle. Bake about 10 minutes longer with 16 coals on top and 10 coals on the bottom. cool quickly.

when cool, remove from the oven by lifting the parchment paper, being careful not to let the center drop. Sit cake on a Dutch oven lid and carefully slide the paper out from under the cheese cake and Top with Light cherry pie filling and whipped cream.. serves eight to sixteen, (depending on the size of the slices) Can use other types of pie filling.

Return to the Neighborhood.


This or That, Why not Both?

Keith Fisher

I taught about Dutch oven cooking to a group of campers in one of our stake parks once, and the discussion turned to aluminum vs. cast iron. I talked about the problems and virtues of each kind and the subject of Alzheimer’s came up. One of the class members raised her hand, she said she worked at a mid-west university, and according to the studies they’d done, there is a connection between aluminum and Alzheimer’s

Since this was a class on Dutch oven, I tried to get back to the point. I didn’t get the particulars or her references. Before I could change the subject, she told us of a study they did on cadavers. I don’t want to show my ignorance here, but suffice it say, she believed there is a connection.

I don’t know if I’ll die quicker using aluminum or not. I do know, since childhood, I’ve been exposed to whatever aluminum would do to me. From aluminum soda cans, to the drinking glasses my Grandmother used. According to my class member, some people are susceptible and some aren’t. I could also die in a crosswalk when a car runs me over.

I’ll let you decide the risks. Let me tell you about the differences.

Cast iron is what most people think about when talking about Dutch ovens. It is a great source of iron for the diet. It heats slowly and provides even heat. Flavors seem to come from the air to make your food taste better. On the other hand, aluminum can be cleaned easier, it doesn’t need to be seasoned, and it’s lightweight. It heats up quicker and cools down faster, therefore food can burn easier.

Cast iron can be carried anywhere, but it’s heavy. Properly cared for, cast iron can last forever, the same with aluminum. Now manufacturers are putting a hard anodized coating on aluminum pots, and they say the health risks are gone.

The big difference, and the most important to some, is the cost. Aluminum costs more than cast iron, and anodized aluminum costs even more. If you are packing into the backcountry or running a river, aluminum may be just what you want. If you drive your car to camp or never leave your backyard, cast iron could be what you need.

I have both, but just like I use different cast iron Dutch ovens for different purposes, I have specific purposes for my aluminum ovens. I use a 10-inch aluminum oven for baking pies. In competition, we often needed to take the pie out of the oven and get it cooled quickly. Aluminum was great for that because as I said above, it heats faster and cools quicker. The hard part is getting used to managing the heat source. You have to keep an eye out for burning, but cast iron can be more forgiving.

There, you have my condensed version. The point is, you decide. If you’re used to cast iron, aluminum may take some practice, and vise-a-versa.

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