What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Dutch Oven of Doom September 4, 2013

Filed under: I Meant Well — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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A few years ago I decided to take my husband camping for his birthday. It was a great plan. We were going to go white water rafting and then spend the night in a state park with a few of our cast mates. I booked everything and borrowed camping gear from my mother. I was good to go. I even had the scathingly brilliant idea to bring a Dutch oven to make his birthday cake in. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the world of camping, a Dutch oven is a cast iron pot that you bury in the ground under coals to cook things. Sounds easy right?

We went rafting and had a blast. Sure it was raining, but we were in the water anyway. Then it was time to camp. Right away two of our party decided to drive the four hours back home. The rain was too wet for them. But I had a tarp to use as a rain fly and a birthday cake to make, so the rest of us stuck it out.

The only way to keep the fire going to make dinner was to cover it with the rain fly, which meant we were stuck huddled in a smoky mass trying to be happy as we nibbled on hot dogs. Eventually we gave up and went into the tent while we waited for the cake to bake. We tried to play cards to entertain ourselves, but we were really just waiting for the cake to be done so we could go to sleep.

Finally, an hour after the cake was supposed to be done, it was cooked enough to call cake. I melted Dove hot fudge (I only do the really good stuff) and drizzled it on top. We sang happy birthday and dug in… to the completely inedible cake.

It tasted like smoke. And not the yummy way bacon or ham taste like smoke. The cake tasted like smoky death. We had been waiting for this damn cake for hours, and none of us could bring ourselves to eat it. Not even the Birthday Boy. We spent to rest of the night cold, wet, and cakeless. I guess the wood was too wet and smoke had leaked into the Dutch oven. I made him a new cake when we got home. That one was edible. Better late than never I suppose.


This story is being told in honor of my wonderful husbands birthday. Happy Birthday baby!!! We’re in Europe right now, but I would love to come home to lots of comments!


6 Responses to “Dutch Oven of Doom”

  1. Nathan Says:

    I hear that smoked birthday cake goes really well with smoked salmon…

  2. ssoldjasper Says:

    You should have been prepared, like the Boy Scouts. At camp, one resourseful First Class brought a pot full of Skiddles. It came back empty.

  3. ksbeth Says:

    very funny, seems to be how my best laid surprise cooking plans usually turn out – happy bday to hubby )

  4. arjay Says:

    ugh I know that taste. I bet a good cleaning and re-seasoning of the dutch oven would have prevented that problem.

    • I mean a lot of it probably had to do with my being a horrible cook too. I made edible peppermint bark yesterday. I only had to use the microwave to do it, but everyone was very impressed with me!

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