Dr. Larry Quinalty, author and specialist in area traditions, offered one of his periodic shows of how to cook in pots with hot coals, or briquets today, at the Boy Scout pavilion. Quinalty not only put hot briquets on pot lids but also stacked the pots so that all of the courses in the dinner would be ready within a 10-minute span.
Quinalty asks his students to research the culture of the Ozarks pioneers, from wedding customs to how they cooked. Many parts of the old culture remain unknown, such as the origin of the term "Dutch ovens." Quinalty speculates that the name may have come from the many vendors selling the cooking pots who originally came from Holland or had Dutch heritage.
The demonstration started by treating the group to "mountain man coffee," a concoction of coffee grounds and cinnamon brewed in a cloth sock inside a coffee pot on a fire. To show the versatility of the cooking method, he prepared rolled chicken with bacon, French onion and cheddar potatoes, October beans, easy apple crisp and feather-light biscuits, without using a stove or a thermometer.
With the change in temperatures, cool conditions proved no obstacle for the class, as the hot briquets provided a warm atmosphere around the cooking area.