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Posted March 26, 2012
Don¿t bother unless you are a rank beginner
I'm writing this review again; I'd rather be nice but it's more important that readers get a clear idea of what they might be getting into if you purchase a copy of this book. I wanted to like this book and just couldn't manage to justify that inclination Here's my problem with this book. Too long and too often rustic has meant basic and tasteless. I don't know what cooking conundrum laid the ground work for this problem. Whether it's some war-recovery hangover or lack of understanding about the use of flavoring during mediaeval times in reality it simply doesn't matter. You don't have to believe it. You don't have to fix food that is so utilitarian as to make it not worth eating. The first two times I went through the book I found literally no recipes I wanted to make as test recipes. Since my commitment is take three recipes from each cookbook, this was truly daunting. (I hate those reviews where people didn't make anything--seriously!) The recipes were all things I could figure out from simply looking in my pantry or fridge. The book seems to believe that cooking outside must only be basic and shouldn't be interesting. I don't know many people who still want to eat boring food that only fills you up. Are there people in the world who wish they had any food? Yes! Do I believe we should do something about this travesty? You bet. If you can afford seasonings and flavorings, you're not saving anyone by eating crappy food. Cooking crappy food for others is a whole different problem--I bet more than one camp cook faced the land-lubber version of mutiny because of uncooked beans or other trail-food problems. Eventually, I found one recipe that seemed worth the time and ingredients. I'd say the result was satisfactory and it has the potential to very useful in a variety of homes. The Dry Baking Mix did fine for biscuits. Over the next couple weeks I'll see how it works as the base for other products. (Recipe available soon on my blog.) Obviously, you can use the mix at home without any cast iron. The author suggests that the mix will keep for up to a year in an air-tight container. Fortunately, I think if you know you have fresh baking mix without all the odd ingredients needed in huge-batch, commercial processing. My home version of this recipe needs some tweaking; I'm looking for ways to add flavor and sophistication to the mix recipe. While I have some ideas, they need more work to be stage ready. Overall, if you are just starting to explore outdoor-style cooking with your first cast iron Dutch oven, you may find it good starting place. More experienced cooks check out the "Lodge Logic Cast Iron Cookbook" for the next step up or for original ideas and for exciting outdoor cooking ideas grab "The Scout's Dutch Oven Cookbook" from Falcon Guides.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.