Previous month:
July 2013
Next month:
September 2013

Elbow Grease


So, I didn’t just bring home an orange ash tray from my mom’s last week. Mom and I were talking about how I’m now cooking more than ever and how I’ve come to the conclusion that while cooking’s still not my favorite thing when I do cook I prefer casseroles, stews and soups. Those are dishes where I can throw stuff in a big pot and it can simmer away on its own while I do other things.

I haven’t had a good solid pot though so I’ve been contemplating getting one of these which will do the job AND look great at the same time. Then mom reminded me that she used to have something like that but smaller but we couldn’t find it in the kitchen so she figured she’d gotten rid of it.  When I cleaned out a cabinet in the sun room a day later I found it!



It’s by Husqvarna and hasn't seen any use for a looooong time but I do I remember it being in use back in the 70’s and early 80’s. It looked a bit grubby when I found it, you know the greasy grub from when it’s been in a cabinet for “a while” and probably wasn’t squeaky clean when it was put there in the first place (sorry mom).

So I armed myself with a blunt knife, a Scotch Brite, some Vim (Jif to some of you) and a good deal of elbow grease. First I prepared a smoking hot bubble bath with an OD of detergent and dunked the pot and lid in there for at least an hour while I ticked off my list of other things to do. After a good soaking I used the blunt knife to scrape off the worst of the burning on the outside and then gave the inside and outside a good scrubbing with the Scotch Brite and some Vim/Jif until all the burning and grease was gone.



I couldn’t resist putting it through the dish washer too when I got back home and the result is pretty awesome. There are a few chips in the enamel of the lid but I’m ok with that. I lightly greased the cast iron inside with canola oil after it was dry and I can’t wait to use it. It is on the small side so I might still get a larger white Le Creuset for those big batches (I like to cook less often and freeze) and for when we have company but I like the idea of using this one for dinners for Wille and I.

Do you have any favorite one-pot-cooking, or slow-cooking recipes that can be done in cast iron pots like these? I'd love to hear and add them to my repertoir! 

Project 52: Week 34

Week 34

This week I noticed how orange has crept back in to my life again. I had quite a bit of orange in the house a few years ago. Check out this, this and this post. And for the record I absolutely cringe at my complete inability to white balance back then. Actually I think I might not even have been aware of what that was in those days. I’m happy that as my blog has evolved over the years, so has my photography and white balancing skills.

Anyway orange is currently in the house in the shape of an ashtray I got from mom last week. I know, 60’s naked lady alert! It’s also there vaguely in the scented candle I bought a while ago as it was starting to feel darker in the evenings. I’m not big on scented stuff but this one I loved the minute I sniffed it in the store. Wille on the other hand was like “what’s that smell?”. And not in a good way. I’ll have to burn it in September when he’s away then :). The “Made in the USSR” bowls Wille got  me as a surprise gift over a year ago are still favorites to both of us. The very latest bit of orange came to me in the shape of my new gym membership card. I’m still doing my weekend power walks but I know I will need to replace them with something when the temperature goes down below zero so I figured I might as well get started now. My job pays half of it which is great, I haven’t really taken advantage of that perk before so it was about time.



Back in spring my sour cherry tree bloomed like never before. It was crazy beautiful.



I do remember thinking “I hope not every one of those blooms will turn into a cherry, or I’m in trouble!”.



Guess what? They did. Our tree has been SO heavy with berries it’s completely nuts. These sour cherries aren’t great eating straight off the tree, they’re really REALLY sour, but they do make for great tarts etc. Last year I asked my next door neighbor if she wanted the crop since I didn’t have time to take care of it. The year before I made some jam. This year I did pick quite a lot and made some tarts which I put in the freezer and also froze some de-pitted cherries for making tarts later on. My next door neighbor also picked a lot but there was still a crazy amount left.



So up went a sign inviting neighbors and passers by to fill a bag (or several). It was awesome to see people taking me up on the offer. It really was a win-win situation. I didn’t have to pick and take care of it all and the pickers got free berries. There are still a few left for the birdies but I’m happy it didn’t all fall on the ground rotting.