I often fantasize about being a prairie pioneer, cooking with Dutch ovens and lard, coals and fires. What can I say? I’m a little strange that way. So I love camping season when I can spend time with a low fire, some hot coals, and a slow-cooked meal. I’ve never really found camping cookbooks to my liking. Most of them focus on ingredients and methods that turn camping cookery into a modified form of 21st century cooking, while I want to do the reverse.

When I found Cabin Cooking by Kate Fiduccia, I knew I’d found the real thing. I was eager to try out the recipes and Skyhorse Publishing was kind enough to send me a copy* so I could do just that. They’re also giving away a copy to one of you! Read all the way to the end to find out how to enter the giveaway.

cover

Cabin Cooking includes recipes for anytime of day on the trail, at the campsite, or in the cabin–from breakfast, to dinner, to desserts. It’s all here. The recipes are thoughtfully laid out with an eye to advance preparation of things that can be done at home. The instructions are written for a variety of cooking methods so that you can prepare a dish no matter what your “kitchen” looks like. Most importantly, the recipes use Real Food ingredients, something that I found lacking in other camping cookery books. 

The recipes include a few black and white photos and illustrations, and there is a nice section of well-done color photos in the center of the book. Scattered among the recipes are little tidbits and tips about wild foods, foraging, and hunting. 

interior

Cabin Cooking will be especially welcome to hunters who find themselves with an abundance of fresh game meat. From venison to rabbit to grouse, this cookbook has campfire recipes for it. There are also plenty of dishes for those of us who don’t hunt (or know a hunter), and you can always use, say, chicken instead of grouse. Even so, I’m eager to welcome a hunter into my circle of friends (any volunteers?), so that I can broaden the scope of my campfire cooking.

Our family tested out this cookbook in a cabin in Nebraska. I had planned two meals from it: Dog ‘n Bean Casserole, and Campfire Stew with Bread on a Stick. I had intended to cook both of them over a campfire, but it rained both nights I was cooking. Alas, all of it ended up being cooked on the little electric stove in our cabin, even the Bread on a Stick, which I turned into little pancake-type patties.

dog-and-bean-stew

Although this was disappointing for me, it was a good test of the recipes. My philosophy is that a good camping recipe will taste good, no matter what tools you have at hand to prepare and cook it. This cabin kitchen was ill-equipped and I ended up chopping carrots and onions with a dinner knife on a plastic plate. There were very few pots and pans to choose from, so I often found myself with a too-big or too-small pot. It was obvious that most people who rented this cabin were probably reheating, not cooking. Even so, the whole family proclaimed all the food delicious. I found it easy and adaptable to prepare. We were all happy campers. 

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Skyhorse Publishing is giving away a free copy of Cabin Cooking to one lucky winner. To enter:

Review posts are my opinions on items that were sent to me free of charge. The items were given to me, but the thoughts and opinions are my own. I only provide reviews of items that I find to be truly worthy of recommendation.

Print Recipe

Dog ‘N Bean Casserole

The author notes: This is a camp standard that I prepare often, whether we’ve pitched a tent or are just stopping for a quick camp lunch on the trail. It seems to please everyone.

Source: Cabin Cooking by Kate Fiduccia

Course: Main (Beef)

 

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb bacon chopped
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 lb. hot dog sliced
  • 1 can (15 ½ oz.) kidney beans drained
  • 1 can (11oz.) pork and beans
  • 1 can (15 ½ oz.) navy beans drained
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • You will also need:
  • Dutch Oven

Directions

  1. For Dutch Oven Cooking: Prepare campfire; preheat Dutch oven lid in coals. In Dutch oven, brown bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Drain off excess fat. Sauté onion in remaining fat until translucent. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Place preheated lid on Dutch oven. Position Dutch Oven over small bed of coals; place additional hot coals on top of lid. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes.
  2. For Camp or Home Cooking in an Oven: Heat oven to 325˚F. Fry bacon and onion as directed above. Combine all ingredients in casserole dish. Cover and bake for 55 minutes.

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