By Keith N Fisher

Work was grueling. I wasn’t able to get the trailer out for camping, but we went up Friday night for dinner. As I mentioned last week, My family goes to the same place each Independence Day. I didn’t cook, but my wife made a turtle cake to die for. I renewed acquaintances and whittled.

My inspiration was my cousin’s husband, Bill who took a large piece of willow and made a spoon. He’s good. I made a toothpick and a little head that almost looks like Bart Simpson. My mother kept it as a treasure. I’m sure she’s just being kind.

At dinner, another cousin’s husband, Michael, cooked pork ribs and potatoes and another husband, Loyd, made two cobblers. It was delicious, but I was left to reminisce.

Michael started cooking in Dutch ovens a few years ago. First, with one oven then, he started using tables and more Dutch ovens. He’s come a long way, and enjoys cooking. Mostly, I think, he enjoys the praise he gets.

At one time I felt a little threatened. After all, I thought I was the guru, wasn’t I?” This year I sat back tasting his wonderful food and feeling satiated. Michael is a great cook. I made a point of telling him from across the way. Loud enough for everyone to hear, “Michael, this is really good.”

Everyone needs praise and he certainly earned it. What he said delighted my heart, he said, “Thanks. That means a lot coming from you.”

Thank you, Michael.

In thinking of this event, It occurred to me, others of my relatives have achieved chef standing with Dutch ovens. I think it’s time for a family Dutch oven cook off. Maybe we could make it a camp cooking competition and those guys who make the wonderful breakfasts on the griddle can compete, too.

Hmm, we could invite the whole campground to judge. We could be famous!

We’ll I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime start gearing up for the 24th. It’s Pioneer Day in Utah. A great weekend for outdoor cooking. I think I’m scheduled to cook dinner for my church group.