What do you do when the kettle tilts off the pothook and spills onto the floor?
Scoop the food back in and keep cooking.
That’s how you make dirt stew, with just enough ash to keep the texture interesting at the bottom of your bowl, plus ham, onion, turnips, parsnips, potatoes and carrots. If you wash the inside of the kettle later in your motel bathtub, you will add to the list of very bad things you’ve done in the bathrooms of temporary accommodations.
On Saturday, the original event plan called for a camp kitchen demonstration; this was nixed because a long string of permissions could not be obtained in time, so we fell back on bringing the three sticks and two kettles. Outdoor fires of all kinds were nixed Thursday because of red flag warnings, and after downpours Friday night followed by rain on Saturday afternoon, we ended up cooking in the back room of the Temple building.
Some of us were too focused on getting food into the kettle to tidy up the surroundings, and that is why you need several people in any group: someone has to keep their head and clean up the wreckage of previous occupants. Fortunately for us, Mr McC managed that while the Young Mr swarmed around like a cat wanting its dinner, I cut vegetables and Mr S stewed about spilling the stew.
In the end it was a cozy evening boiling roots and hearing stories. I took no photos because that would have ruined it, but Mr S kneeling before the fireplace in the Ugly Dog coat and overalls as the last of the light came through the watery glass made a Vermeer-like and beautiful sight.
On Sunday morning, Our Musician Friend (who has turned his coat, and now sports yards and yards of lace and a bearskin hat nicknamed Lamb Chop), produced a package of Oreos from his haversack, and the Young Mr and I took the King’s Oreo with pleasure and no commitment.