Too Much

By Keith N Fisher

It was with trepidation that I set up my kitchen with two Dutch oven tables and seven propane burners. I love being asked by the activities committee to cook Dutch oven food for our church group. It’s really gratifying to be the one they turn to. We were asked again this year to cook for the Christmas party, but we weren’t ready.

With job commitments and life in general, The Holidays have crept up on us unnoticed and we had to cook for 300 people. We made 13 leg-less turkeys, and four huge hams. I cooked it all in 12 Dutch ovens of various sizes and types.

After the cooking we stripped the meat off the bones and put it into portable roasting warmers, then took it to church.

You know, I’m going to stop listening to the committee when they tell me how many to cook for. It was too much. We purchased smaller turkeys with out legs or arms because we didn’t have enough Dutch ovens of the right sizes. I was left with a logistics problem of how to cook all that turkey.

I think the best solution, was our new 16-inch. We cut the backbone out and laid three of them inside. You can see from the picture, they fit perfectly and I was pleased. I relearned a lesson and feel like an idiot, however, but I used an aluminum ultimate Dutch oven with and expansion pack and placed in on the bad burner on one of my stoves.

The burner isn’t getting enough air so it blows black smoke, which entered the oven through the cone. I discovered my error quickly, cleaned off the birds and finished on a different burner.

I’ve almost had it with my Ultimate Turkey roaster. Even at low flame, the moisture boils out and can burn the bird if you don’t keep careful watch. The problem is removing the top lowers the temperature and prolongs the cooking. Perhaps if the lid sealed better, there wouldn’t be a problem.

After it was over, my wife swore off cooking for large groups, again. Since she was the one who agreed to do this party, I think she felt guilty.
“That’s what you said last time,” I said.

The thing is, I created a monster. I think she loves the gratification more than I do. I’m sure we will be cooking for more parties. I’ve seen the smile she gets when people compliment her.

We cooked way too much this time, and I wonder what they did with the leftovers.