This weekend we went camping with my family in Blairsville, Georgia. It was Liam's first time camping, (he's only 8 weeks old). Sophie was just 4 months the only other time we've been camping with her, so to her this was a new adventure. Luckily there was a sandy spot in our campsite where she could play and get completely filthy--nature is fun!
Now don't think that when we go camping that we "rough it" too much. We had water and electric hook-ups and we sleep on air beds in our tent with our tiny heater. And most of all, we eat very well. That's because my Dad is the king of the Dutch Oven.
Dad used the contraption pictured above this weekend. Let me explain what it is. He bought this at an Army Surplus store. It is a cast iron cooking stove made in 1951 for the Korean War. It was originally made to put a burner inside and be used as a stove. It also came with a taller chimney so it could be used inside a tent to cook and for warmth during the cold Korean winters. Dad replaced the tall chimney with this smaller chimney and put a lid over the hole for the burner.
In the bottom of the stove he placed hot coals, then put his dutch oven inside. Saturday morning he baked biscuits, so he put hot coals on the lid of his dutch oven. To make stew, he put the stove lid on and left it for several hours. At night he would rake the coals together in the fire pit and placed the top of the stove over it to contain the smoldering embers.
Not the outdoorsy type? Don't have a dutch oven? Don't worry, you can still make this recipe for Papa's Stew. Papa's Stew, (named after my grandfather and pronounced "Pawpaw") is one of our family favorites. Papa and Nana created this recipe by trying different things until they came up with this perfect stew. Of course, if you want or need to make substitutions, Nana says pretty much any vegetable will work. So please enjoy this recipe. You can cook for a crowd, or just your family and freeze the leftovers. Just make sure you share it with people you love.
Click here for the printable recipe at Tasty Kitchen
5 lbs. potatoes, peeled and diced
1 whole chicken cut up or 3-4 chicken breasts boiled and shredded, (boil for 20 minutes or left all day in you crock pot)
3 15.25 oz. cans English Peas
3 14.5 oz. cans sliced carrots
3 14.5 oz. cans corn kernels
3 14.75 oz. cans cream corn
1 lb black eyed peas, remove debris and rinse well
1 12 oz. bag frozen butter beans, speckled recommended
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup Worcester sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes or until nearly done. Do not drain. Add all other ingredients except tomatoes and simmer until thickened. Add tomatoes last and cook for 15 minutes. Serve with crackers or cornbread for some true comfort food!