Tag Archives: cooking

Thanksgiving 2014

Ah Thanksgiving! A time of food and family. I was pretty disappointed that we didn’t have anyone over other than my little family. Thanksgiving seems more special if you have lots of friend or family to share it with. When I asked my hubby what he wanted me to make he said he wanted turkey and chocolate milk. Well……that wasn’t going to happen. I set out making food a few days early, because I knew it wouldn’t all get down on one day. 🙂 I made cranberry muffins just like the ones I grew up eating on Thanksgiving. My boys helped cut the cranberries:

IMG_3644

Can I just say that cooking a thanksgiving meal by yourself is A LOT OF WORK! I took a break for a bit on the couch. I missed my mom and sisters a lot. We would cook all day for Thanksgiving in my mom’s one-butt kitchen, but we sure had fun doing it!

IMG_3647

But it did all get done! Turkey, potatoes, gravy, snicker salad, deviled eggs, muffins, buns, corn, carrots, and two kinds of pie. 😀

IMG_3653

I made everything from scratch too. I was going to make the stuffing from a box until my almost 1 year old got into a bag of new bread. I couldn’t throw it away so I turned it into stuffing.

IMG_3622

Check out my turkey! That my friends is what real butter will do to it! Considering it was still frozen the morning of Thanksgiving it sure turned out great! And we didn’t get sick either!! 😀

IMG_3649

I cooked the turkey with a bunch of fresh herbs, but I couldn’t taste them at all. The weather was so nice that Titus moved the table outside so we could eat!

IMG_3650

Our center piece! It is a pinterest craft that isn’t finished yet, so I put the pumpkins on top. It looks cute.

IMG_3651

After cooking for at least two days, and planning the menu for almost a week no one was hungry by the time we all sat down. 😦 I don’t think James ate at all and Gideon only ate a few bits.I guess that is what happens with little kids.

IMG_3654

IMG_3655

I am so thankful for my little family.  I am also so thankful for this house we live in. It has been such a wonderful blessing for us! I am also so thankful I was taught how to cook!!

Re-seasoning my grandmother’s cast iron pans (and a lesson in being hasty)

When Titus and I got married I bought the Rachel Ray pots and pans set. My mom tried to tell me that it might not be the healthiest way to cook, but I told it was fine since I had made sure that it wasn’t aluminum. 

41Czzu3lNOL._SY300_

What I failed to research though, are the health risks connected to cooking on non-stick cookware.  The more I’ve read about it the more I’m convinced that it isn’t the way I want to go with my pots and pans.  There are so many things I want to do or buy to help my family be healthy and can’t afford it. But cooking on something healthier is something I can do help protect my family.  So in the last few months I have decided to switch to cast iron cookware.   There are a lot of benefits to cooking on cast iron which this post isn’t about, go google it yourself. 😉 

This post is about inheriting two of my grandmother’s pans. Okay I didn’t really inherit them in the sense that she left to directly to me.  When my grandparents died everything was left in the house that they had lived in.  I asked my aunt and uncle if I could have any of the cast iron pans that were left in the house.  They said sure, so I have two of them.  Since they haven’t been used in such a long time they needed to be stripped and re-seasoned. I think one of the very best things about cast iron is that you can’t ruin it! I even read about a guy that fixed his cast iron pan that broke in two.  When considering having a large family having indestructible things around is a good idea! 🙂

I got a really neat square pan.  I’ve never seen one like the before! It’s great for french toast!

IMG_2038

And I got a regular round one.

IMG_2039

And at a second hand store a few weeks ago I found this cute little guy.

IMG_2050

The following directions did not originate with me. I followed this blog post pretty much to the T:

http://www.ibelieveicanfry.com/2010/12/reconditioning-re-seasoning-cast-iron.html

All I did was spray oven cleaner on each pan and let it soak for a few days. She recommends wearing gloves when you do this. I recommend wearing gloves for each stage!  This process is very hard on your hands. I ended up with very very dry hands with multiple burns!

Sprayed with oven cleaner:

IMG_2040

soaking in trash bags

IMG_2051

After a few days I wiped them all off with paper towels and sprayed them again and let them sit another few days.  After that I soaked them in water and vinegar for about 60 min.

IMG_2102

After that I scrubbed them down and put them in a super hot oven, 500 degrees.  I only had olive oil on hand to grease them with.  Next time I’d like to try lard and see how that works.  Every 30 minutes I had to put more oil on and every 15 minutes I had to wipe them down to avoid pooling.  Even doing this my round pan did pool a little bit.

IMG_2105

After letting them cool completely this is what they look like now:

IMG_2110

IMG_2111

IMG_2115

Julia’s pans are very golden, and I’m not sure why mine didn’t turn out the same way.  The only way I could get mine to look that way was to have my flash on when I took the picture.

And the first thing I cooked in each one (just to prove nothing blew up!)

Pork and Mandarin oranges

IMG_2117

Fried egg. It’s going to take some time getting used to cooking on cast iron.  It’s a really hot pan so my eggs bubbled up a little bit.

IMG_2119

And monkey bread (I love the fact that you can bake in the pans too!)

IMG_2146

I do think I was too fast in trying to re-season my pans.  I think I should have let them sit a few more days in the trash bags with oven cleaner.  I was in such a hurry though because I really wanted to write this post. 😉 And because I had already boxed up my other pots and pans and needed these.  Also I just happened to be doing this project the week Gideon kind of freaked out and was crying all. day. long.  I just wanted to be done with the pans.  The round one especially doesn’t look great, and today after cleaning it I think I saw some rust which means I didn’t scrub all of it off after the vinegar soak.  I do regret being so fast to get it done.  But the good thing is that I didn’t ruin the pans.  I can always re-season them again if I want to.  And maybe not do all of them at the same time so I’m not so hard up for pans.

I wish my grandma was still alive so I could ask her where she got the pans.  Did they originate with her? Or did she get some passed down from a mother or grandmother?  I’ll never know, but it’s still special cooking on them.  Maybe one day I’ll pass them down to Faith, and she can cook on her great-grandmother’s pans. 😀