Welcome to Airstreaming with Kids!
My name is Jen Ehrhardt, and I am the editor of this new WBCCI page. The purpose of this new page is for us to share ideas and resources about Airstreaming with Kids. What are your kids' or grandkids' favorite Airstreaming activities? The theme is wide open for your input and feedback, so please don't hesitate to send me any notes, links, or articles that you think fit on this page to
. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.Thanks,Jen
Category: Food PreparationAges: 9 and older
Having children help with the food preparation while ‘streaming offers a multitude of benefits. For one, they learn to take responsibility for nourishment which is an important life philosophy on the road as well as at home. Second, food preparation involves the real-life practice of school subjects such as mathematics in measuring ingredients and chemistry in recognizing how different substances react to heat. Third, in camp, food preparation becomes a worthwhile activity on its own merit as people gather around the fire naturally rather than scurry about to fast food restaurants to “eat out.”
Title: Fresh Air-streaming Breakfast
This post comes to you from Pensacola, FL, via Lake Guntersville, AL, and Sevierville, TN.
The berry cobbler was served straight out of the Camp Dutch Oven with glowing embers on the lid and under the pot. It tasted like heaven on a spoon. Unbelievably, the dessert was even more magical than the glorious sunset over Lake Guntersville during the First Annual International Glamping Weekend. My ten-year-old daughter, Malaren, and I immediately vowed to give this style of cooking a try as soon as possible.
Camp Dutch Oven cooking is one of the cooking styles brought over from Europe by the pioneers who camped out on the American continent. This hundreds-of-years old cultural heritage has been stoked by traditional homesteaders, chuck wagon chefs, and campers. Indeed, the WBCCI offers a Camp Dutch Oven Cooking workshop at the Florida State Rally in 2013.
Many companies manufacture Camp Dutch Ovens these days. You can get ‘em at Walmart, Target, and Amazon. However, after conducting due diligence in preparation for the purchase of my oven, to me, the ultimate brand is Lodge Logic. The foundry for these ovens was established in 1896 Joseph Lodge and is still run as a family business. (Can you believe that name for someone selling wares for lodges!?). As luck would have it, I had to travel to North Carolina in September, right by Sieverville, TN, where Lodge Logic has a factory outlet. Yep, I got the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle, and not one oven, but three plus a pot for the stove. I’m ready to feed an entire caravan with these things!
Malaren and I got our first chance at preparing food on our very own oven the following weekend. Inspired by a collection of recipes that usually included the phrase “Country Breakfast,” we bought a tube of Jimmy Dean sausage, a carton of eggs, a bag of mixed shredded cheese, and a jar of salsa. (Oh, yeah, originally there were baking potatoes involved as well, but by the time Malaren got a hang of theshredding, the early batch of shreds had turned dark and limp. If you plan to include potatoes in your breakfast meal, practice the timing of the shredding and cooking at home first for success. )
To get you started, here are the steps we took to create our Fresh Air-streaming Breakfast in our new Camp Dutch Oven:
1. Preparing the Coals (a.k.a. Ember Whispering):Place 30 or so charcoal embers in a charcoal starter, crumble up three pages of an old newspaper and stuff ‘em up the bottom of the starter. Put the starter down and light the newspapers from the side.There will be A LOT of smoke in the beginning. You know things are good when you see that the undersides of the top embers are red from heat. This will take about 10-15 minutes or so depending on wind conditions and patience. (You really want to use newspapers. Malaren learned the hard way that napkins burn weird and end up blowing up through the starter in a snowish cloud of charred tufts of napkin.)
2. Heating the Oven:There are a lot of different strategies for placing the embers properly below the oven and on the lid to heat the oven. We decided to place one ring of glowing embers under the pot within easy-poking distance and one ring on the lid. The embers truly are superhot, so wear proper gloves when handling the charcoal thongs and the lid lifter. The oven will heat up pretty quickly, so be ready with the ingredients. After that, one of the fun things about cooking this way is the need to rotate the oven andthe lid every 10 minutes to prevent hot spots from scorching the food. We’re thinking you could alternate what you rotate when clockwise or counter-clockwise, just don’t rotate a whole 360 since that would be counter-productive. If things take a while, the embers will burn out at the surface. When this happens, the charcoal powder falls off the embers. If left on the lid, this powder acts like an insulator, so you may need to dust it off with a brush to keep the heat on.
3. Brownin’ in foil:Malaren had practiced browning chuck for dinner several times prior to this outdoor experience, so there was not much of a learning curve for browning the sausage. Basically, she had to figure out how to keep a safe distance to the embers and cook with a glove on. To cut down on clean-up time, we plopped in a foil baking insert into the oven before we put in the sausage. Malaren was excited about using theproper spatula made from wood to protect the oven. Once the heat got to the meat, the steam rose up like a layer of fog into the morning air.
4. Whippin’ up them eggs:We used eight eggs for this dish. We whipped them up hard in a bowl while keeping an eye on the sausage. Before we poured the eggs into the foil insert, we soaked up excess sausage fat with household paper. Once the eggs were in the oven, we put on the lid, and set the table. We estimate that it takes 10-15 minutes for the eggs to cook. When they look settled, they are done.
5. Get Cheezy:Malaren chose a mix of four differently-colored, shredded cheeses to top off the dish. She spread the shreds evenly over the browned sausage and fluffy egg combo and we let it melt under the lid for 3-4 minutes.
6. Enjoy!:Our first attempt at cooking with the Camp Dutch Oven was a resounding success. We didn’t even burn the bottom of the dish . . . because we are the “Ember Whisperers.” We served the easy, yet delicious dish with mild salsa on the side.
Clean-up was easy from using the foil insert, but in true pioneer spirit, we still went through the process of washing the oven and the lid with water only, drying it completely dry, and rubbing in some vegetable oil to keep them going (and gleaming) for the next hundred years. For more recipes to explore with kidswhile ‘streamin, see
Our next foodie challenge is to find the exact cobbler recipe we tastedby the lake that magical evening. Wish us luck . . . and please don’t hesitate to send us recipes for cooking with kids while ‘streaming!
~ Jen & Malaren at
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