Sierra Nevada Airstreams -> TT Owner's Guide -> Living

Cooking - Old Meets New with Airstreaming

Don & Gail Williams

Some younger Airstreamers are adopting old age cooking during their weekend jaunts, rallies and even at home! Our Region12 is on the forefront of bringing back heritage cooking to the WBCCI, creating and managing the WBCCI Dutch Oven Site (no social media experience needed). For those that don’t know, dutch oven cooking uses a heavy cast iron or aluminum pot, typically with feet and a flat lid that allow the chef to place charcoal or the hot coals from a wood fire underneath and on top of the oven. Food is cooked somewhat slow with temperature controlled by the amount of coals used, no turning the knob on the oven or worse yet on a microwave like cooking in the trailer. Check the website and see the 26 or so recipes for Breads, Breakfast, Dessert, Dinner, Lunch and Soups. They run the gamut from single dishes for a meal like stew, pot roast, chili to side dishes and deserts.

The experienced or A Personality Types will have a heavy steel cooking table and may use multiple ovens to create an entire dinner. Gail and my own experience at Sierra Nevada Unit and Four Corners Unit rallies is much more mundane.

We (me), Gail helps with the food preparation, have cooked Chili Queso (Habanero) dip at the SNU Eagle Lake Rally in August 2008, steak chili at the Dead Horse Ranch Rally (FCU) and chili and Fresh Peach Cobbler at the 2011 Obsidian Dome Rally. I had hoped to add to our dutch oven experiences at Obsidian Dome this year but the campfire restrictions in the open forest, which include charcoal, made me think of a different old age cooking, Sourdough.

Sourdough piqued my interest after I read One Man’s Wilderness, an Alaskan Odyssey, the journal of Richard (Dick) Proeneke a nature and wildlife photographer who lived in the Alaskan wilderness at Twin Lakes from 1968 until 1999 when at the age of 83 he moved back to the Lower 48 States. Dick’s talked about making sourdough biscuits, breads, pancakes and more in his journals. I came from a family of farmers and country folks in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania; we always ate home grown vegetable, fresh or canned, home made jellies and jams, apple butter, cider, vinegar, etc. but I never heard anyone talk of sourdough. After researching sourdough on the internet and Gail’s cookbook library I jumped in a bought some sourdough starter from King Arthur Flour.

Now starter is a mixture of water, flour and yeasts that is allowed to work, the natural orgasms in the yeast modify the water flour mixture to create a gooey bubbling mix needing little refrigeration in moderate temperatures.

In Southern California I keep it in the refrigerator but bring it out to work before I make anything. I took some starter on our trip to the International this summer and experimented along the way on my family, sourdough pancakes with maple syrup and sourdough chocolate cake. Since we got home I continued with apple Latvian cake, more sourdough pancakes, another chocolate cake and finally sourdough bread. I branched out beyond our family at obsidian Dome making a double batch of sourdough pancakes for Saturday’s breakfast; we really needed a triple batch but next time.

Old age met new age in Twin Lakes Campground near Bridgeport, CA.

We used our 60+ year old Guardian Service cookware for our beans...

while we cooked our barbecued short ribs in our 12 volt Stove to Go.

The Guardian Service is made out of a thick walled aluminum with a Pyrex glass lid. It can be used in the oven or on top of the stove; one advantage was you could bake in the larger pieces on the cooktop without an oven. Guardian Service cookware was made during the 1940s and 50s, extremely expensive and, sold at parties like Tupperware.

The Stove to Go can be purchased at truck stops and probably on Amazon today. It plugs into a 12 volt cigarette lighter socket and will pull between 8 and 10 amps once it warms up so you typically need solar power to maintain the batteries when cooking stews, pot roasts, ribs and other dishes that take 4 hours or more. Our Stove to Go has been replaced by the Digital Stove to Go and has adjustable temperature.

Whether meals are new or old, cooked with a dutch oven, Guardian Service cookware or Stove to Go, one must relax at the end of the day.


WBCCI Dutch Oven Site

Texas Cooking – Dutch Oven

Seven secrets of dutch oven cooking

Jen’s Reviews – dutch oven recipes

Guardian Service

King Arthur Flour

King Arthur Sourdough primer

Lodge Cast Iron Cookware

Sourdough cooking

Food Safety Tips

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