My husband and I recently went through a bit of a major lifestyle change, where we went from living in our RV full-time for a few years to purchasing a beautiful “sticks n bricks” home. RV life was fun while we did it (I may just write a series about it down the road…) but we were both ready to put down roots and call one place home. Once we moved in, and got all our stuff out of storage, though, we quickly realized that we had so much more room than we’d had in our RV. Once upon a time, I had used Zaycon Foods as our main source of meats, but it was literally the week that we moved in that Zaycon shuttered its business, and I was left searching for a new source of reasonably priced, quality meats to be delivered to me (because, seriously, who has time to go to the grocery store these days?). Enter: Butcher Box!
Why Use Cast Iron?
I may be a little biased to extol the virtues of cooking with cast iron since I was raised with the stuff, but I simply cannot recommend using much else than this wonder material for your daily cooking needs. Yup, even when I was a shy six-year-old, standing on a chair, “helping” Dad make his famous chili, and building my scrawny arm muscles by hoisting the cast iron Dutch oven, I knew that this was the stuff I wanted in my kitchen someday.
I have a bad back. My husband, Mr. Night Owl, has a set of wonky knees. Together, we can be quite a pair. We used to both toss & turn every single night–trying in vain to fall asleep–but failing miserably. We’d both wake up groggy, stiff, sore, and in more pain than when we went to bed the night before.
Somewhere along the way (I’m pretty sure it was one of those nights that I couldn’t fall asleep…) I was browsing the ol’ Facebook feed and came across a viral commercial for the Purple mattress. I was entranced… this mattress seemed to combine all the sciency-techy stuff that both Mr. Night Owl and I geek out over, and the commercial was hilarious… if you haven’t seen it when you’re done reading this, you should go find the Goldilocks Purple Mattress commercial on YouTube. I kinda want to be Goldilocks’s best friend. (I also kinda want Betty White as a best friend, but I digress…) The thing that most impressed me was this test they did with raw eggs… they attached raw eggs to a glass sheet that weighed a couple hundred pounds and dropped it from several feet above the mattress onto the mattress. The eggs didn’t break. And then, to prove they were indeed raw eggs, as they lifted the glass back up, Goldilocks smashed one of them.
How To Restore Rusty Cast Iron Cookware
My feelings about cast iron cookware are pretty well-known, but for the new kid in the back, here’s the skinny: I LOVE THE STUFF! I’m all about any product that not only performs outstandingly well but will outlive me with the proper care. Cast iron fits that bill very, very well. (It also happens to be a pretty good form of self-protection, should the need arise, but that’s a different subject altogether.)
Here’s the thing about cast iron, though… in the right hands, it has the potential to be the best cookware you’ve ever used. In the hands of someone inexperienced, it can quickly turn into a rusty, nasty mess. I’ll write a little piece on how to properly care for your cast iron soon, but today I’m focusing on what to do if you have a piece that is a super-rusty thing that you’d never want in your house… much less be used to put food in.
During one of my many career paths over the years, I sold furniture. I found, though, that most people have NO IDEA what to look for in purchasing a quality sofa. Oh, also that they’re too afraid to ask the salesperson because they don’t want to be taken advantage of. Additionally, there is a lot of sticker-shock during furniture shopping, so people tend to want to spend as little as possible on their stuff. Totally legit reasoning. Here’s the thing, though… some of the best-made furniture will be a little more pricey than you may have originally intended to spend. BUT, and here’s the big but, the stuff will last you 40+ years. How many times have you bought lesser-quality stuff just to replace it a couple years later? In the long run, by spending a little more today, you are actually saving a LOT of money.
When I bought my first car, I was so excited to have a set of wheels of my very own & all the freedom that came with them. I brought that beautiful girl home (A gently-used 1988 red Chevy Sprint for the record. Never heard of a Chevy Sprint? Imagine a ride on lawn mower with enough room for four seats, and you’ve just about got it right…), gave her a good scrub, hung a set of cheap Mardi Gras beads from the rear view, and thought I was on my way. Thankfully, my parents stepped in and gave me a run-down of things I should keep in the hatch-back of that vehicle. Yes, I had insurance. Yes, I had AAA. No, I didn’t have a cell phone, but this was back in 1994, so that was just not happening. That said, these few car necessities are ageless, and will help you out should disaster strike while you’re out and about.