One Thing Led To Another

| 2/11/2014 9:59:00 AM

Mary ConleyDear readers, This blog is going to be just like the title suggests, and I am so excited to write it. Tickled is the word I want to use! This very morning, I felt like a little girl playing house as I fixed breakfast, and the following is the winding road I took to get there.

It started when I read a blog on Capper's Farmer Facebook page from Steven Gregersen at who told about making toast, of all things. He lives off the grid, so when he heats his house in the winter and on cold spring and fall mornings, he makes double use of his wood-burning stove and cooks breakfast on it. His problem was the toast. It never turned out right unless you fried it, and that wasn't an option for him. Then he accidentally discovered that instead of just laying the bread on foil, if he folded the foil over the top also, it turned out as good or better than from a toaster. I made the comment on his blog that I would try it just for the fun of it the next time we went to the farm. You never know, it might be a needed and appreciated skill to have someday.

Then a couple days later, I thought, "Why only make toast? Why not cook breakfast on our wood-burning stove like Steven?" Just as a road turns, this got me thinking about skillets. Did I want to use my nice frying pan on that stove? Hey, we have two cast-iron skillets that came from Larry's mom that are just taking up space sitting on a storage shelf! So I retrieved them, but ... what ... a ... mess.

How to clean cast iron:

Good ol' www. After a little research, I chose the smaller and heavier skillet and followed these instructions on how to clean cast iron: Remove the wire racks from your oven, lay a brick on the oven floor, place the skillet on the brick, and set the oven on self-cleaning. The bonus was that my oven needed cleaning anyway. You should have seen the crud on the oven floor when it was finished. (Mostly from the dirty skillet, of course!)

The next step was to rinse off all the rust and residue, and soak the skillet from one to four hours in a half and half mixture of vinegar and water. (Good ol' reliable vinegar.) I soaked it the full four hours and the orange rust floated to the top in little pools. I didn't waste my time while this was happening. No, I kept myself occupied with a nasty cold. After the four hours, I again rinsed the rust off, patted the skillet with a towel, and then put it back into a warm oven for a few minutes to thoroughly dry.

2/12/2014 10:23:47 PM

Thanks for commenting ladies, and good luck with you cast iron. You are fortunate to have some as people are buying them up. Jean, Larry liked your Handsome as a skillet comment! MissEditress, you are always fun to read! Gail, I think I know someone you can pass any extra cast iron on to!

2/12/2014 1:31:34 PM

Haha! This article is one of my favorites. The bonus that your oven needed cleaning anyway made me laugh. And I could just sense your giddy excitement in the first paragraph. That's how I felt when I made my first scrubby out of a clementine bag (thanks for the blog post on how to do that!). Oh, and that breakfast looks absolutely delicious!

2/12/2014 10:11:15 AM

Mary, what a great "how to" blog. I've got several ancient cast iron skillets that need restoring. Thanks so much for the tips! Gail

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