By Kim McCully-Mobley
What do George Washington, Paul Revere, Lewis & Clark and Dr. Larry Quinalty of rural Barry County, Missouri, all have in common? Well, for one, they are all men. And, for two, they all have a documented passion for Dutch-Oven cooking. The thing that sets Dr. Q (as he’s known among friends) apart from the others is that he’s still alive…and cooking!
Dr. Q has recently published his second cookbook: Gourmet Dutch Oven Cooking Volume 2. The 62-page book is full of personalized recipes designed to make your mouth water and amaze your friends and relatives. You can cook the meals outdoors in your backyard fire pit, at the campsite while you’re on vacation or in the quaint, country charm of your own kitchen.
The book has an inviting, full-color cover and includes photos of its author and his tasty treats on the inside pages. These photos beckon the novice Dutch Oven cook as they are mostly in color, as well.
Some of the recipes are designed to allow you to cook your meal in layers in several different pots, utilizing the long-lasting, intense heat provided with hot coals. Other recipes are designed to cook a meal all in one pot…or oven, if you will.
For well over 200 years, the Dutch-Oven (sometimes known as a sand-casted iron pot with a flanged lid) has become a must for pioneers, cowboys, ranch hands, adventure-lovers, campers, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and those who enjoy the zest, flavor and delight of cooking over an open flame, or in the hot coals—out in the open air.
Historical documents indicate George Washington’s mother left him her Dutch Oven in her will, benchmarking it as a treasured family heirloom. Reports indicate several incidents of Dutch traders selling the heave iron pots door-to-door as American was first getting settled. Paul Revere is often credited with the design of the flanged lid, which prevents the hot coals from rolling off the top of the pot.
With a slogan of “Have Oven Will Travel,” Dr. Q’s presence in the Ozarks has found him wearing a variety of hats through the years. He spent 30 years in the public school system, working both as a teacher and administrator. A lover of the outdoors, he has been active with Boy Scouts, a variety of conservation programs and higher level academics.
He is an adjunct faculty member for both Crowder College and Drury University. He spends a lot of time each year presenting workshops, programs and events designed to help others foster a love and appreciation for the outdoors through knowledge of proper tools, safety practices and awareness of the world around you. Hard work, nature’s beauty and some Dutch Oven cooking are the ingredients for a perfect day in Dr. Q’s book.
Several local Boy Scouts have made the trek with Quinalty to the Philmont hikes in New Mexico, where those who have made the “high adventure” hike always long to return. Dr. Q has returned…a total of 21 times. He loves to travel and meet new people. He shares a few stories on his varied and sundry journeys; he picks up a few from others along the way.
Dr. Q’s latest book talks about the differences between wood coals and charcoal briquettes when cooking outdoors. He also advocates some practices that focus on restoring a park, a campsite or your own yard to pristine (leave-no-trace) condition after you have cooked a meal there. He gives instructions on seasoning the Dutch Oven and advocates taking care of your tools to insure a lifetime of use. He also indicated that today’s Dutch Oven owners will often have the opportunity to purchase the oven “ready to use.”
His oven of choice is the #12 8-quart item, designed to hold enough grub for a hungry crowd. If you crowd is smaller, the 8-quart unit allows for some tasty leftovers in the days to come. He advocates the purchase of American-made ovens and discourages the purchase of oven sets from overseas markets. In turn, the 8-quart unit will easily feed 12 to 15 people.
A look at the table of contents includes recipes for the following categories:
--Salads & Soups
A couple of recipes that I’ve tried out on my own crew already are: Ozarker Meatloaf and Camper Breakfast. Let me share them with you here. (You’re sure to want to get one of these cookbooks for your own in the coming weeks!)
This breakfast treat is fun for anyone who enjoys adventure and a challenge. Give each participant a quart-sized freezer bag and have him/her personalize the bag with individual initials using a permanent marker.
Give each person two eggs to be cracked and place the contents of the shells into the freezer bag. Then organize a “buffet” line that has choice additions to be used with the eggs.
These additions could include: shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, chopped green peppers, chopped yellow onions, chopped ham and finely chopped potatoes.
When all the choices have been made, the bag should be closed and shaken, until the bag’s contents are all one color. Now, open the bag and expel all the air out, before closing it again.
Depending on the size of your pot and the number of bags to be cooked, the bags should be placed in active boiling water for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the bags carefully and open onto a plate or into a bowl for a heart breakfast omelet.
OZARKER MEAT LOAF
2 pounds quality lean beef
1 t Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning
1 pkg of quality onion soup mix
¼ C ketchup
1 ½ C bread crumbs
8 oz can of tomato sauce
4 strips of quality bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 large eggs
½ C warm water
1 C quality sweetened applesauce
Use a foil lined, #12 deep Dutch Oven with a trivet under the foil. Use a large bowl to combine and mix thoroughly the meat, eggs, bread crumbs, ketchup, seasoning, water and onion soup. In a smaller bowl, mix the tomato sauce and the applesauce, until it is one color. Place the empty, foil lined tomato sauce can with bottom down in the center of the foil-lined Dutch Oven.
Place the meat mixture into the Dutch Oven around the tomato sauce can and sparsely cover the meat with crumbled bacon. Now pour the tomato sauce and applesauce mixture over the meat and bacon segments (The applesauce allows the meatloaf to remain moist.) Back at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serve after the meat has cooked for 10 to 15 minutes.
You can purchase your own cookbook at a cost of $20 by contacting Quinalty by emailing him at email@example.com. He’ll give you some directions to obtain your cookbook from there. If you live in the Aurora area, I’ll be glad to deliver it to you personally. Please tell him I sent you. Happy Cooking!
(I am seeking grants, opportunities and sponsors for an outdoor classroom, a hands-on traveling museum and summer internships. The internships are in the works and I’m exploring opportunities with private sponsors to do some living history work this year. Stay tuned as I unveil a revamped website under The Ozarkian Spirit Umbrella. Here’s a link to my new blog: http://open.salon.com/blog/kim_mccully-mobley. I’m also working on a book project with a silent partner. Tentative plans call for the book to be released this coming fall. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-229-2094. I’d like to extend a special thank you to those who emailed or mailed me a handful of column/story ideas. A few of you have even offered to show me some places of historic interest of your own when the weather clears. I’m going to take you up on it! Scott and Rhonda Boatwright started my year off just right with a fateful trip to Carroll County, Arkansas, where we discovered our paths had indeed crossed in past decades. Happy 55th Anniversary to Joe and Barbara Tulgetske, still in love after all these years. They have been top supporters of all of my ventures for years now. I love them dearly.)