My husband is the Cub Master for my two boys’ Cub Scout Pack. This is a role he takes very seriously. Don’t get me wrong, he is an awesome Cub Master. He has brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm to our pack. Since he never got to be a cub scout or a boy scout, he’s like a little kid again. He has taken several training courses, including dutch oven cooking. I will never forget one Saturday he ditched me and the kids for a day of “training.” He came back all euphoric and told me about the crafts he made, the activities he participated in, and this amazing dessert he helped cook and eat.
“Laura, it’s called Pineapple Upside Down Cake!”
I did my best not to laugh in his face and burst his bubble. You see, my husband wasn’t born in the U.S. He came here from Iran when he was 13 years old. He didn’t know that this was an American icon of a dessert!
“Fabulous,” I answered sarcastically. I had spent an entire Saturday with bored and nagging children while my husband got to relive his childhood fantasy. Sorry to admit it, but I did burst his bubble.
After cooling off for a couple days, we talked about his adventures again. In the coming months, we invested in not one, but two cast-iron dutch ovens. And we’ve been experimenting with them on and off since. For our neighborhood rafting trip last summer, we made Campfire Chili with a Cornbread Crust. We’ve also made Campfire Eclairs and Baked Apples.
So, when my husband told me about our Cub Scout Pack’s Family Camping Trip, I could see the twinkle in his eye as he told me we would make two Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside Down Cakes. This time, I didn’t burst his bubble, but happily agreed to help instead.
The Cub Scouts really got into this project. They took turns stirring the batter, placing the pineapple rings in the dutch oven, pulling out the maraschino cherries, and sprinkling the brown sugar and cinnamon on top. An adult was in charge of placing the hot coals under and on top of the dutch oven. Safety first, of course!
The parents attending the camp were happy not to eat s’mores that night! The cakes were a hit, of course, mostly because many were surprised we could bake a cake on a campout. The leftovers were gobbled up during breakfast the next day.
Another successful adventure in campfire cooking!