I Want a Dutch Oven Cookbook!

I Want a Dutch Oven Cookbook! - Purchase your very own Dutch Oven Cookbook from Nimbus Publising

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Deconstructing the Dutch Oven

The Dutch Oven Diaries is a blog dedicated to deconstructing the recipes of the Dutch Oven Cookbook. A cookbook of coveted traditional recipes from the Kitchens of Lunenburg originally produced by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Lunenburg Hospital Society and published in 1953 in celebration of the town's bicentennial anniversary. The Dutch Oven Cookbook, a piece of artwork in itself, contains hand-written recipes and illustrations by the recipe authors themselves. This can create a bit of challenge at times depending on the author’s penmanship! These Lunenburg Ladies of the 50’s were pros – most of whom would prepare their recipes from memory, rarely depending on a written recipe. As a result, many of the recipes leave gaps from a directional point of view – temperatures, cooking times and detailed instructions are often omitted. This undoubtably will lead to some trial and error – or if worst comes to worst – you can pick up the phone and call the author for more detail – something we had to do in preparing for our first recipe blog entry “Mama's Little Rhubarb” (to be posted soon). The author wasn’t home, so we had to wing it, but many of the authors are still cookin’ and reside in the town of Lunenburg. The illustration on the cover of the Dutch Oven Cookbook was provided by famous Lunenburg Artist Earl Bailly while other full page illustrations throughout the book were provided by Phillip Backman.

Julie Powell (The Julie/Julia Project) we are not and French cooking this ain't! The authors of the Dutch Oven were/are not Julia Child, in fact, they probably did not even know who Julia Child was as the Dutch Oven Cookbook was published 8 years before the Art of French Cooking. Many of the recipes in the Dutch Oven are quite simple in execution while others are quite complex. While many of the recipes would have been part of our childhood, many we’ve not had the pleasure of experiencing. Eel, Rabbit and beef tongue are not ingredients that we are accustomed to using – and quite frankly never wanted to. However, this adventure is about keeping an open mind and experiencing all the culinary delights of our ancestors. In doing so we commit to preparing all 447 pages worth of recipes in the Dutch Oven Cookbook!

The recipes of the Dutch Oven Cookbook have been passed from generation to generation, and while the cookbook has been modified a bit since its original publishing in 1953 - some of the recipe names and hand drawn illustrations have been revised to reflect a more politically correct era - the recipes remain original, and are steeped in Lunenburg’s long history and traditions!

Jan Young (mild mannered accountant by day) and Peter Johnson (mild mannered Civil Servant by day), are lifelong friends and self proclaimed foodies by night...and just about any other time they're not working...and sometimes when they're working. Originally from Lunenburg (born and raised), they will take on the challenge of cooking and sharing their culinary adventures as they cook and blog their way through the Dutch Oven Cookbook - a commitment to reproduce every recipe - the good, the bad and the Delicious!!

If you have a passion for food, history, tradition and the culinary arts in general -Join us as we flashback to the 1950's and follow in the footsteps of some of Lunenburg's finest original foodies. Join us through our culinary triumphs and defeats as we tackle Lunenburg's oldest and most cherished cookbook.


  1. Good luck ..
    Quite the undertaking but I know if anyone can do it, it's you.
    Happy Mixing,

  2. Can't wait for your next blog...gettin' hooked!

  3. looking good, thx.