By definition, a survival recipe uses simple, staple ingredients, is easy to cook, and can be prepared in a one-pot setting using a campfire or woodstove. A collection of easy, tasty recipes should be in every survival kit.
This recipe comes from Ann Gawith, of La Pine, OR. Ann and her husband, Gerald, retro-fitted a wood stove in their home to provide a reliable heat source during Central Oregon’s cold, snowy winters.
The Gawiths regularly use their wood stove for cooking, but this recipe could easily be adapted to cooking over a campfire with a Dutch oven suspended from a tripod. Ann suggests this recipe as a good use of those stalwarts of long term food storage, dried lima beans. (This recipe was posted a few years back, and it is a winner. It’s a go-to recipe for camping, becuase the beans can simmer on the campfire while you read a book, carve a spoon, or just hang out.)
About 6 –8 cups boiling water
Soak beans overnight in water until they are fully re-hydrated. Put the beans, ham bone and ham, and chopped onion into the pot; pour in enough water to cover the ham bone. Stir in chicken bullion (enough for about 6 cups of water); stir in Italian seasoning. (If you know your seasoning is one of the stronger varieties, use your judgment…you can always adjust seasonings further down the line).
Bring to a boil on your kitchen stovetop…or if you have started enough in advance, just place on the woodstove to cook. Keep in mind it will take a good half-hour to come up to a boil because the water and ham are usually cold.
Another alternative is to add boiling water to the pot, but that means another pot or kettle to dirty. Just do what works best for you! Cook 2 to 3 hours after the pot temperature is up to simmering.
“I check mine a couple of times after the first 2 hours because I don’t like it the beans too watery,” Ann says. “If the dish is gaining too much water, crack the lid somewhat to let the steam escape for the rest of the cooking or until it becomes the consistency you like. Adjust the seasonings then, by adding more Italian or more salt and pepper.
Gerald and Ann Gawith are experienced cast iron and Dutch oven cooks, competitors and judges. In addition to being local and regional Dutch oven competition winners, the Gawiths also promote the annual July 4 La Pine, OR, “Frontier Days” Dutch oven cookoff.