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Scouts teach lost cooking skill to homeless

By Sara McManamy-Johnson sjohnson@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 15, 2015 at 2:14 PM

A Wilson County Boy Scout troop demonstrated a fading art Saturday to help the area’s homeless.

College Hills Church of Christ’s Troop 293 showed guests at Timberline Campground how to cook just about anything outside with just cast-iron cookware and charcoal.

“Cast-iron cooking has its roots in outdoor cooking, but it’s become kind of a lost art,” said Scoutmaster Tom Brashear.

The scouts and volunteers showed how to bake food, such as cornbread or pizza in a cast-iron Dutch oven; they even showed how to turn a cardboard box into an oven by lining it in aluminum foil and setting a pie tin of charcoal inside.

“We’re handing out recipes that use a lot of the items food pantries tend to get a lot of,” said Brashear.

These items include a lot of canned goods, such as canned tomatoes or other vegetables, and boxed cake mixes, he said.

The group showed how to place charcoal briquettes on the Dutch oven’s lid while charcoals burn below the Dutch oven to bake or roast food.

“Each briquette [generates] about 35 degrees,” said Brashear.

So if a recipe says to bake something at 350 degrees, someone would use about 10 briquettes.

Brashear said hot meals are not easy to come by for the homeless, so he hoped Saturday’s demonstration would help.

Julie Hadlock, founder of the Next Step Resource Center in Lebanon and member of College Hills Church of Christ, approached Brashear to suggest the demonstration.

Hadlock and other members of the church took the opportunity to also give away coats, hats and scarves to anyone in need.

At one point during the two-hour-long event, the group had to call other members to bring more coats after running out of children’s coats.

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