We got to combine three of my favorite things Thursday evening at the library: grilling, chocolate cake and the folks at Gander Mountain.
(Here's a video if you're curious as to where these three things intersect.)
Gander Mountain store representatives Nick Young and Deb Barmess visited the Mentor Public Library to give a delicious demo and answer questions about outdoor cooking May 16 on the Read House lawn.
They used a charcoal grill and Dutch oven to make a chocolate-cherry dump cake from cherry pie filling, a box of chocolate cake mix and some soda.
While the cake baked, they answered questions from the crowd about campfire cooking, smoking, tailgating and other forms of outdoor cooking.
Here are just a few of their tips:
- Young recommended the classic road-trip grill with cast-iron grates for tailgaters -- though he said more ambitious tailgaters could try a deep fryer to make wings or even a turkey, as long as they remember to thaw the turkey first.
- For backpackers, Young and Barmess recommended a MicroRocket Stove – a stove that’s not much bigger than a jewelry box that can boil a liter of water in fewer than four minutes, they said.
- Barmess said the single most important thing (though not the only important thing) while cooking outdoors was to remember food safety. Don't mix your perishable and non-perishables and keep uncooked meat away from the rest of your food.
And, yes, they shared the cake when it was finished.
The pros from Gander Mountain will be back at the library on June 20 for another installment of their seminar series for outdoor enthusiasts.
The next talk will cover walleye fishing, lure selection and trolling techniques.
The talk (like all the events at the library) is free but registration is required.
For more information on the Gander Mountain seminar series call the Mentor Public Library at (440) 255-8811, ext. 215 or visit the Mentor Public Library website at www.mentorpl.org.