Nothing is better than a hot meal, straight out of a dutch-oven after a day sliding on ice and snow and Monday proved it.

It was a day of dutch-oven cooking, curling, and skate skiing. It was the Stanley Winter Extravaganza. This event, held Monday, February 2nd, was part of the weeklong Sun Valley Nordic Festival and was hosted by The Sawtooth Society with help from The Redd.

It started out clear and warm for early February. Folks arrived and quickly spotted a table laden with vegetables standing next to the parking lot. Tyson Sibbett, dutch-oven cook extraordinaire, left his other job building customized skateboards in Boise to travel to Stanley and teach the group the art of dutch-oven cooking. Sibbett began with a lesson on cast iron dish maintenance and general dutch-oven cooking techniques. Then he started to cook.

With help from the audience, Sibbett prepared a full-course meal, all in the dutch-ovens. There was the infamous Salmon River chicken, cheesy potatoes and peppers, and two types of dessert: a chocolate cherry cobbler and vanilla blueberry cobbler.

Once all ingredients were chopped, stirred, and put in the 4 dutch-ovens, Sibbett carefully placed hot coals beneath and on top. There they would remain, slowly cooking the meal, until folks were ready to eat.

There was plenty to do in the meantime. Though the weather turned from clear to sleeting, it didn’t deter the 20 participants from having a blast. Some learned the esoteric game of curling. Stanley has one of the only outdoor, custom built curling lanes in the country. Visitors were able practice sliding a curling stone from one end of the lane to the “house” or bull’s-eye on the other end while members of the curling club stood by to help with technique.

Others opted to get some skate skiing tips. The group learned several drills useful for mastering the rhythm needed to smoothly glide forward on skate skis.

As smells from the dutch ovens drifted throughout the area, all made their way back to the table wet from the weather and happy from the activity.

Which made the meal taste that much better.

Thanks to all who traveled from Ketchum and beyond to participate in the event. And a huge thank you to Tyson Sibbett and the curling team – Doug Plasse, Jennie Stephenson, and Phil Enright for all the wonderful instruction. This might have to be an annual thing!

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