Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Now We're Cooking: Cast Iron

Monday, December 26, 2011

One of my favorite Christmas presents this year?  A 12" Lodge cast iron skillet.  Made in the good ol' USA, yes sir.  Just seeing a cast iron skillet stirs up memories of heavenly smells emanating from the kitchen as my grandfather fried up sliced potatoes for dinner. 

The skillet came pre-seasoned and J. also gave me some cute stocking stuffers to go with it - some silicone scrapers and a handle cover.  I questioned the pre-seasoning, though.  If you're familiar with cast iron, it has to be properly seasoned and that means it gets better the more you use it.  It's practically non-stick once it's seasoned and it heats so evently that it's very easy to cook with (unlike some of my cheap non-stick pans).  So we got to work on the seasoning by making...you guess it....fried potatoes!

I had been looking for used cast iron all over the place last year - at auctions, estate sales, etc.  I saw one Lodge skillet at an auction but we didn't stick around long enough to see what it sold for.  It was the middle of summer and we had gardening to tend to.  People hold onto these things, because they will last a life time.  But if you do find one used, you can bring it back to life even if it's been let go to rust.  Just take some steel wool to it to remove the rust and the start the seasoning process again.  
So how do you season cast iron?  It's easy:
  1. Rub the entire skillet with oil.  Canola, vegetable oil, or lard is fine, but I'd stay away from olive oil.  If your skillet has a lid, cover the lid as well.  Don't soak it so that it's dripping- just rub the oil in so it's uniformly covered.
  2. Put the skillet (and lid) in the oven and at 300 degrees and leave it for an hour.
  3. Remove the excess oil, either with a paper towel or rag.  Some folks say to rub it with coarse salt, but I don't do that every time. 
So what interesting things did you give or get for Christmas?  Any I the only one that got cookware?  (LOL)  And if you have any favorite cast iron recipes and are willing to share, I'd love to hear them.  Please share!

1 comment:

  1. I have cast iron set. The only one I use anymore is the dutch oven because it makes the best pot roast ever!


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