My first glance at Cook Wild: Year-Round Cooking on an Open Fire by Susanne Fischer-Rizzi was enough for me to decide that this book is a keeper. As a former Explorer (boyscouts) and girlscout that grew up in a family of campers, cooking outdoor has always been a favorite of mine. Our Backyard fire pit is undergoing renovation, so I tried the borscht recipe in my cast iron enamel pot on the stove. I cheated but only a little in order to finish the book review.
There are so many different ways to cook in the outside, some I’ve never seen before. I want to try wrapping a chicken in dough and placing in a fire. I also was impressed by the bread wrapped around branches of a tree and hung above the fire. Digging a pit and wrapping with leaves looks interesting too. Many of these are time intensive and all that are cooked over an open flame or coals will need constant attention.
Ms Fischer-Rizzi identifies and uses several wild plants in Cook Wild like elderberry, coltsfoot, polypody ferns and nettles – though I wish there were photos of polypody fern since I didn’t know that one until I did an online search . A few use specialized equipment, like a dutch oven, tangine, bundt pan and a waffle iron however plenty use what you find around you in the wild like sticks and leaves to hang and hold food.
When I received the book, I called my sister who is the leader of a Venturers group and told her to look into it because I thought it might be fun for them to try new ways of cooking out in the open. While you probably can’t do some on a back packing or canoeing trip because it’s tough to carry around a dutch oven and ingredients are space limited, there are other times when it will expand their skills.
This is a fun to have book with fabulous photos by Sabine Mader and Ulrike Schmid. It was originally written in German in 2010. I recommend it for those who want to cook outside in the wild (or their backyards).
Disclosure – I receive a copy of Cook Wild in order to facilitate this review. I received no compensation for the review and my opinions are my own.
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