Contributed article by Araceli Oswald
The Dayton 4-H Club held their 4th annual Dutch Oven cooking competition earlier this month. It is always a popular contest for our 4-H kids. The kids select their own recipe and decide if they want to compete in Main Dish or Dessert. The kids prepare their dish and complete the cooking process by themselves. Dishes are judged by volunteer judges from our local community.
Dutch ovens are usually made of seasoned cast iron, is perfect for braises because of how heavy it is, which helps it retain and distribute heat evenly-ideal for searing meat at high heat and maintaining low-and-slow temperatures for a long time. When cooking over a campfire, it is possible to use old-style lipped cast-iron Dutch ovens as true baking ovens, to prepare biscuits, cakes, breads, pizzas, and even pies.
4-H Outdoor skills projects deliver fun and educational programs for all ages and backgrounds at a local level, state camps and programs or virtual. Visit: https://4h.uada.edu/youth/camps/virtual-programming.aspx Outdoor Cooking Series: This series is designed to help you learn how to cook over a campfire. It focuses on techniques rather than recipes. While we explain the recipe we use, we know that you may have your own and would like you to encourage you to take your favorite at home recipes with you to the campfire. Cooking over the campfire with cast iron may seem like a daunting task with limited options on what you can cook. However, if you take your time and manage your heat the possibilities are endless. Be safe when cooking especially over an open fire.
4-H–the four H’s we emphasize are: Head, Heart, Hands, and Health–is designed to prepare young people to step up to the challenges in their communities and provide youth with the skills to lead for a lifetime. The core elements of 4-H include youth leadership, youth-adult partnerships, life skills learning, and community service. 4 H programs are grounded in the belief that youth learn best by doing. 4-H members complete hands-on projects in areas like science, health, agriculture, and citizenship in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. To learn more on how to join 4-H contact the Sebastian County Extension office at 479-484-7737.