The event draws young and older alike for a day of socializing, sharing recipes and cooking tips and, of course, some good eating. Participants started setting up around 10 a.m. and by 4 p.m. there was enough food to feed everybody in a potluck style meal.
Lehman’s launched their new cookbook, Sizzle! Customer Favorites for Cast Iron Cooking. The store asked people to enter their favorite recipes on the store’s Facebook page and Lehman’s included the recipes in the new book.
“This is a gathering versus a competition,” said Matt Buser, coordinator for the event.
“People come to this event to cook and eat. We do have a youth competition late in the day for ages 10 to 17. They can cook a main dish or a dessert. For everybody else, we will have a buffet-style meal at 4 p.m. where we’ll line up the tables and put all the food out for everyone to try,” he said.
People shopping at Lehman’s store made their way out to the gathering to enjoy the many samples. Buser said they usually see a couple of hundred people walk through the one-day event.
“Anything you can cook in an oven, on a stove or in a microwave, you can also cook in a Dutch oven,” Buser said.
Participants cooked meatloaf, chicken and rice and salsa among others. Baking for the day included apple walnut and peach pecan cakes, bread and cornmeal biscuits among many other baked items. Cast iron enthusiasts have also found a way to bake pizza by turning the pan upside down and using the lid for the pizza.
Buser got started with cooking with cast iron when he was a Master in Boy Scouts when his son was a scout. Many people got their start when their children were in Boy Scouts, including John and Debbie Patrick from western New York.
“We’ve been cooking in cast iron for 15 years and first got involved when our son was in Boy Scouts,” Debbie Patrick said.
Christopher and Laurie Smith, from Pataskala, have been cooking with cast iron for three years. It was their first time at the Kidron event. They got involved in a slightly different way.
“We camped at the Wolf Run State Park just south of Cambridge, and they had a club so we got started through the Cast Iron Cooking Club of Wolf Run State Park,” Laurie Smith said.
“We are self-taught by trial and error. I’ve been honing my skills as I go,” Christopher Smith said.
Karen Yoder, who works in the pantry department at Lehman’s, said that anyone who would like to get started in cooking with cast iron can find a full line of Lodge Camp Dutch Ovens and Woody’s Dutch Ovens at the store. Lehman’s also carries all of the supplies for cooking with cast iron.
Winners of the youth contest for the main dish this year were Will Kalal and Aaron Self with their Wild Mushroom Stuffed Beef Tenderloin. The winners for the dessert were Lindsay Collins and Caroline Wallace with their S’more Pie. Contest winners were awarded new Dutch oven pans and supplies.
Published: May 30, 2012