Cook Until Done

Sisters on the Fly is one of those phenomena that make American life more interesting: It’s a colorful, nationwide group of women who like to get together for vintage-trailer retreats, decorating their Airstreams and canned-ham rolling houses with Americana murals and sharing such old-fashioned traditions as Dutch-oven cuisine. The latest inroad into the culture of Sisters on the Fly is Cast-Iron Cooking With Sisters on the Fly (Andrews McMeel, $19.99), by local author Irene Rawlings. Even though she says she's forming "a carbuncle on my butt from sitting down so much," she took time to chat with us about the folksy cookbook she put together with help from some of the 4,000 or more women across the country who've joined the movement.

It wasn’t an easy job, she notes, because the recipes were not always precise. "I do a lot of cooking, and I've gotten pretty good at it, so I like to cook without recipes now," she says. "I discovered that most Sisters do that as well. That is not good when you’re writing a cookbook. Some would just say, 'cook until done' or to use a 'pinch' of something. And some of our Southern sisters might tell you to use a 'mess' of something, as in 'a mess of shrimp.' I asked one what a 'mess' is, and she said, 'You just put two hands together, and what's inside is a mess.'"

But despite the approximate nature of cooking over a campfire, Rawlings says she's tested every recipe and can vouch for each one. The author will sign copies of Cast-Iron Cooking at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street; a host of fellow Sisters will park their trailers in a caravan outside for meeting and greeting. Expect an evening that’s fun and salty – and we’re not talking about the recipes. Admission is free; for more information, visit tatteredcover.com or call 303-436-1070.
Mon., April 29, 7:30 p.m., 2013

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd