A Dutch oven Thanksgiving—Part Three

By Keith Fisher

Have you spotted the person you’re going to help this year? Remember we were going to test the theory that God will give us more blessings if we show our gratitude by helping others?

Have you noticed someone who scowls when they think no one is looking? You can find them everywhere. Through no fault of their own, life has handed them too many envelopes with bad news, and now they exist because they have to, because someone is counting on them.

On the outside, this person will smile and pretend everything is fine. He/she might even tell you how great life is. It is a ruse to throw you off. The last thing this person wants is to explain their irrational feelings.

How do you help someone like that? You obviously can’t walk up and offer to help them. It would only embarrass them and confirm their low opinion of themselves. The answer lies in ignoring the problem and being a true friend. If they suspect they’re a project, they will withdraw.

Be a friend because you want to be. Be a friend because you need to be. God has a way of helping us work out our own self-doubts when we build another person. There are other blessings, however, When you see your friend smiling when they don’t think you’re looking, the swelling in your heart will be an everlasting warm-fuzzy.

The Thanksgiving suggestion for today is about pies—
I know, I know. You think its going to be hard, but I promise it’ll be okay.

There are two ways to prepare a pie in a Dutch oven. One way, is pre-made, frozen pies, and the other is from scratch. Yes, I said the "S" word but as I said, it’ll be okay. Besides, don’t you want to be a Dutch oven hero?

In the Dutch oven cook off world, baking pies sometimes separate the winners from the runners up like a chef separates egg whites from yolks. There are many recipes for pies but all you need is filling and crust. You can use the Dutch oven itself as the pie pan and you can choose to take it out or leave it in the pot. I know what you’re thinking but it really is easy.

Okay, I’ll tell you an easier way for now, but don’t think you’re off the hook. I’ll come back to this subject in a later blog. I’ll explain the pictures and hold your hand.

Now, for the easy way, If you buy a frozen pie, let it thaw. Place it on some kind of trivet or rack inside the pot. Apply the heat like you would for any bread recipe--see the chart. Rotating the lid and the pot is never more important than when you are baking a pie. A burned spot on the crust ruins the pie.

The pie is done when the crust is golden brown. Don’t tell your guests it was a frozen pie. Grandma will know, because she has made more homemade pies than she can count, but the other guests don’t need to know.

Start planning the dishes you want to cook for the holiday, but remember the real purpose is the gratitude you feel. As the words to the hymn say. Count your blessings—name them one by one. Count your many blessings see what God has done. It might surprise you to realize your blessings are more numerous than grains of sand on a beach.

Return to the Neighborhood.


A Dutch oven Thanksgiving-Part Two

By Keith Fisher

Oh yeah, I can taste it now. The candied yams, pickled beets, green beans, turkey, and mincemeat pie. Are these things traditional for your Thanksgiving? All of these things can be cooked in a Dutch oven in your backyard. Pickled beets, however, will need to be made beforehand and brought up from the cellar. For the yams, you might want to line your Dutch oven with tinfoil. The sugars will eat your seasoning off.

Myself, I can’t eat turkey dinner without pickled beats. It’s ingrained in my soul, but I just don’t like mincemeat. If your quest is to become the Thanksgiving chef in your backyard, you will need to think of the little things. Butter, mustard pickles, and cranberry sauce. If you forget, someone will miss them. You can make mashed potatoes, vegetables, gravy, bread rolls, pies, and stuffing in a Dutch oven all it takes is a little planning.

If your goals are only to cook a portion of the meal, that’s great too. Tell the organizer, and make it spectacular. Remember it’s Thanksgiving. As an alternative to turkey, My family turned to Ham, now we have both, so you can guess you know what I’ll be cooking this year.

Pinapple Glazed Ham

12-inch deep or Maca Oval
Cook at aprox 250 degrees for 1 hour then finish with 350 degrees. how to

6-8 lbs ham (bone in)

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 cups pineapple juice

1 cup brown sugar (packed)
3 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 14 ounce can of crushed pineapple
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Remove ham from package and clean excess fat from it. Mix marinade in a very large bowl with a lid and place ham into it. Begin injecting the marinade with a syringe. Close the lid and place in the refrigerator or cooler for awhile. Then, remove and repeat the process. (The longer you can marinate the better.)

Place ham in the Dutch oven fat side up. Pour the marinade over the ham into the oven you may wish to add more pineapple juice for cooking liquid. Place Dutch oven with nine coals on the bottom, none on the top.

One hour later, arrange 16 coals on the lid following a checkerboard pattern and 9 coals on the bottom around the outside edge (none in the middle under the oven). Roast until inside temp is aprox.160 degrees. Change your coals during the process when they are spent. (Charcoal coals are at their peak when all edges are gray, after that, they start to loose temperature).

Prepare glaze by mixing all ingredients together in an 8-inch Dutch oven or saucepan. Stir thoroughly, place on low heat stirring frequently until thick.

About thirty to forty minutes before serving, remove all the moisture from around the meat inside the pot. Pour glaze all over the meat and replace the lid making sure you have hot coals around the outside edge of the lid (none in the middle). The glaze will solidify and sweeten the ham.

Serve with your favorite vegetables, and cut meat into chunks. Takes about 3 1/2 to 4 hours and serves about ten.

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