Wanna try your hand at this buttermilk cake with roasted strawberries, whipped up by our own Arshia Khan? Head over to Joy the Baker‘s blog for the recipe.

This season, we eat. A lot. And in Arkansas, that means we eat a lot of food that’s been prepared in well-seasoned, much-loved cast-iron vessels. Need to brush up your skills? There’s a class for that. (Or six.)


11.4

Double Dutch Oven Outdoor Cooking Workshop

Cossatot River State Park, Wickes

Hope you’re hungry, because this five-hour workshop’s gonna leave you stuffed. You’ll learn how to make entrees and desserts in a 5-quart double dutch oven, which you can then take home to your own kitchen. Not much of a cook? You can also opt to skip the lessons and just get right down to tasting. (arkansasstateparks.com/cossatotriver; (870) 385-2201)


11.4

Cast Iron Cook-Off

Dogwood Hills Guest Farm, Harriet

Test your cast-iron metal (couldn’t resist) at this annual cooking throwdown with competitions in both “dutch oven” and “skillet” categories. Even if your cobbler doesn’t take first prize, it’ll still be a day well spent on a gorgeous piece of property. (thefarmex.com; (870) 448-4870)


11.11

Dutch Oven Workshop: Veterans Day Celebration

Davidsonville Historic State Park, Pocahontas

Learn more about cooking with and caring for The Natural State Cooking Vessel while whipping up a Thanksgiving meal for local veterans. (arkansasstateparks.com/davidsonville; (870) 892-4708)


11.11

Beginners Dutch Oven Workshop

Lake Chicot State Park, Lake Village

Chili, cornbread and peach cobbler cooked over an open fire with views of Lake Chicot? That’s a workshop we can get behind. (arkansasstateparks.com/lakechicot; (870) 265-5480)


11.11 & 11.18

Cast Iron Cooking: Holiday Sweets & Treats

Historic Washington State Park, Washington

If you’ve already mastered the basics of cast-iron cooking, this class is for you. You’ll learn how to make Christmas-y sweets (gingerbread, sugar cookies and the like) at what is likely one of the most Christmas-y places in the state. (historicwashingtonstatepark.com; (870) 983 2684)


11.18

Biscuits and Butter

Logoly State Park, McNeil

Not that you need more than the words “biscuits and butter” to entice you, but here’s the scoop: You’ll learn to make the aforementioned delicacies from scratch, the old homesteader way, while finding out more about cast-iron cookware. And then? Chow time. (arkansasstateparks.com/logoly; (870) 695-3561)