• Location: Michigan
  • Last bite on earth: Fried Chicken

How do I save a cast iron pan?

I am re-posting this one again, since this topic is indeed a common one on SE. This is what I did: Take the pan to an auto shop that has a sandblaster for paint prepping. Ask nicely if they will blast your pan next time they rev up the sandblaster. I have had a 12 inch fry pan for years that my grandfather picked out of the garbage. This was how I fixed it. You will end up with a nice clean pan ready for seasoning without all the scrubbing, dust and hassle.

To address your question on how to season: Your pan will come out of the shop like a new pan--bare metal. To begin the process of getting it back in black you need to wash and dry it then put it on the stove and heat it to blazing hot. Turn off the heat. Carefully add enough oil, like plain veg oil to cover the bottom well. When the pan is cool enough to touch, rub the oil around and up the sides with a clean rag or wad of paper towel. Repeat the whole process several times. Then, use the pan for frying several times and it wll be perfect very soon.

I Steamed 12 Pounds of Dungeness Crab, Now What?

Melt five pounds of butter.

Home Soda Maker?

Sounds like I will getting mine soon. Thanks, everyone.

"Mushy" brownie recipe?

The Fudge Brownie Recipe from the old Moosewood Cookbook is the one you need:

15 minutes to make
25 minutes to bake

Yield: a 9x13-inch panful

Butter for the pan
5 oz. (5 squares) unsweetened chocolate
½ lb. (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1¾ cups (packed) light brown sugar (white sugar also ok)
5 eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour (use ¾ cup for fudgier brownies)

Cast Iron Skillet Rescue

This is what I did: Take it to an auto shop that has a sandblaster for paint prepping. Ask nicely if they will blast your pan next time they rev up the sandblaster. I have had a 12 inch fry pan for years that my grandfather picked out of the garbage. This was how I fixed it. You will end up with a nice clean pan ready for seasoning without all the scrubbing, dust and hassle.

What is your processed/junk food weakness?

Cheeseburger Doritos: Ooh or Bleh?

Tastes like White Castle to me.

Alton Brown's Sardine-Avocado Sandwich Diet

I love all kinds of fish, sardines included. And I really love Lox. However I feel guilty about the cream cheese. Thinking my next whole grain bagel may have Lox and avocado.

Pressure Cooker Phobia?

Thanks to everyone! Really seems I hit a nerve here. I am going to get one and start doing soups and stews this fall or sooner as it seems pretty autumn-like already in Michigan. My husband was taken seriously ill this year and we are awaiting organ transplant. I think the savings in time and boost in nutrition will be a big help to us.

It's A Texture Thing....

Oatmeal or any hot cereal. Oatmeal cookies, granola, bread or muffins are fine. I just can't take it as hot breakfast cereal or any kind of Cream of Wheat type stuff either. Also can't take rice pudding but eat tons of rice otherwise.

Italian entertaining music

I bought a cd from Amazon called, Eh, Paisano! 100% Italian-American Classics, when I had a Sopranos season premier party several years ago. It is really what you need.

This was probably my best party ever-- I cooked my a$$ off and everyone came dressed as characters from the show ( I was Artie, of course, with eyebrow pencil mustache and white apron) or in their most gangster-ish or slutty stripper outfits. My husband dressed as Tony going out for the paper in morning: wife-beater t-shirt, boxers, robe, cigar. It was one of my crowning culinary achievments: Great appetizers, three kinds of pasta--one with mussels, one with pesto, one marinara, then chicken, sausage and peppers, steak pizzaiola, whole baked salmon with onions, ricotta pie with pineapple, tiramisu and canoli from the local italian bakery. Played a game with these plastic guns from the dollar store that shoot streamers and confetti which involved monopoly money and bags of fake cocaine and "items you might find in the back of "Da Bing." The house was a mess. What a hangover!!!

Filet O'Fish Sucks, But I Love the commercial!

Nothing is more weird than the Spongmonkeys Quiznos commercial from a few years back. My husband loved that commerical. It seriously freaks me out. You can see it on YouTube at

I don't know how anyone thought those creepy things were going to sell food!

Serious Eats? Really?

Pray tell, what would be an example of a "proper" serious topic? (Let's have some real fun, now.)

You live where?

Just outside of Detroit.

Worst Food You Ate at a Party

This may not be the worst food I ever had but it's a good story. When I was a kid, my grandmother made Thanksgiving dinner. She always has been a very tidy housekeeper. She took extra care about making sure there was never a time when she did not have plenty of mothballs in all her closets. I love her but her house always smells of that awful mothball stench. (She'll be 90 next month!) Where did she stash the extra loaves of bread she bought a few days early for the stuffing? You guessed it. The hall closet. Ah, the aroma and taste of sage, onion and mothball............

Rusty Cast Iron-- Help!

Go to your local bump,body/paint car collision shop. Most of them have a sand blaster. Ask them to blast your pan and lid the next time they rev up the blaster. You will end up with a brand new pan. Take them some treats you made. It's a good relationship to cultivate.

Comfort Food

You need to keep the cat or have it boarded at a vet or shelter for at least ten days after the date you were bitten if you don't know if the cat has been vaccinated for rabies. This is the standard period for post-bite rabies observation. If the cat should show any signs of sickness during this period, that is considered cause for you to undergo the rabies injections. Very serious business. Although rabies is rare, once you have it, there's no going back. I recommend you take the cat to a shelter or vet. You should have help taking it in and the animal should be handled by someone wearing elbow length leather gloves. You may want to call your local animal control officer who should be affiliated with your local police department. After the observation period is up, you can make a decision about the what you want to do with the cat.

Comfort Food

Former Humane Society and vet clinic worker here: You have a potentially life threatening scenario on your finger. I have seen many cat bites that progress to the point of the red line traveling up your arm with infection in a matter of hours! Go to the doctor ASAP. I have scars to back up my plea.

Celebrity chef shows you will NEVER see...(fictional versions)

Sandra Lee: Flour, Sugar, Eggs and Milk-What to Make?

Ina Garten: Cooking for Straight Guys

Paula Deen: The $50,000 Meatloaf: Or, I know I Was Wearin' Mah Rangs When Ah Mixed It With Mah Hayands.

What was the best thing you ate in '08?

New Year's Eve at Michael Symon's Roast! in Detroit: a 16 oz dry aged ribeye with a side of creamed spinach and feta. I still have a good sized piece of the steak left for lunch today. Best meat I have ever tasted in my life......perfectly seared crust on the outside with nothing much more than salt and pepper and medium rare everywhere else.

Fruit Cake: Way or No Way?

Way!!!! Try this one:

And try their "Fraters" which are slices of their fruitcake dipped in chocolate. I send some to my Dad every year. They are great if you are a "Way" person.

"You made WHAT?"

Feel no shame, you did a fine thing, JBmama. Your family certainly is not suffering, in fact they are happy. It's the poor saps who never bothered to learn to cook who will be suffering now that they can't afford to eat out all time or pick up expensive pre-cooked dinners from the gourmet store. I predict economic conditions are going to get a whole lot of folks into their expensive Viking kitchens which have barely seen a spot of grease other than in the microwave real soon. Let them learn from trial and error how to feed themselves. We've got a jump on them all.

Nothing wrong with Salisbury Steak or the pinto beans and ham hocks my grandfather raised me on or his fried chicken with milk gravy. I learned the simple basics from him--and how to survive. He had a hot plate and an electric skillet and turned out honest good food at all times. While I can now make Paella if I want to with seafood and imported smoked paprika and saffron--I don't need that sort of thing most of the time. It can wait for special occasions.

Route 66

Thanks to Adam for reviving this thread and thanks to all who are replying. I am making notes of all the replies as well as studying road guides, websites and a great DVD series I bought. We are thinking about our trip just about every day!

Leftover pumpkin bread

Bread pudding or a trifle maybe. Is it stable enough to become French Toast? Pumpkin Bread French Toast with Spicy Cooked Apples just popped into my head...

How about some kind of dessert Panini? Maybe with cream cheese and some apricot preserves? Or some pear?

What's your favorite curry recipe?

Nigella Lawson's Pumpkin Seafood Curry which you can find at this link:

It is so good you can't stop eating it.

Home Soda Maker?

I've been thinking about getting one of these SodaStream or similar gagdets that contains a CO2 cartridge and allows you to make seltzer water (my addiction) or even flavored sodas at home. Do you have one of these things? Does it work and is it worth the price tag?

Jamie Oliver Flavor Shaker

Does anyone have one of these and do you like it? I just got one and my first try with pesto last night was not too successful. I shook the heck out of the thing and still had a whole clove of garlic left in there that would not break up.

Pressure Cooker Phobia?

Am I the only one? Is there help? Are pressure cookers a kitchen essential for you? My grandfather and an aunt both used one religiously back when I was a kid, but I think the constant warnings to "stand back" and "do not touch" made me afraid to have one. Now I am 47 years old and wonder if I've been missing something...

If you think I should have one, please make a recommendation and possibly suggest a support group for my nervous condition, if you know of one. And what should I begin with that will turn me into a devotee to this mysterious culinary contraption? I am no novice in kitchen but need help on this one.

Copious Cabbage

Fear I may be repeating a fairly recent thread but will take a shot anyway, begging your indulgence. I find myself thankfully on a short vacation from Michigan, visiting my father in Palm Bay, FL. His "winter garden" is brimming with good old green head cabbage. He has some wild boar in the freezer (he's a hunter/gatherer type) which I will probably braise with cabbage and some of the onions he has also grown. Other than cole slaw or soup, does anyone have any ideas on how he can make use of his harvest? His neighbors have plenty of their own, so making gifts is not really going to help. He thinks he is going to send heads back with me in my checked luggage next Tuesday! Help...

Route 66

Okay, Serious Eaters, my husband and I have decided that next September we will drive the Mother Road all the way from Chicago to California. I have purchased the requisite guidebooks and am doing my homework but with all the recommendations and possibilities it boils down to the fact that one can only eat and sleep at so many places, so I am hoping you all can give me some opinions on the "must eats" and any other downright "musts." Oh, and if it makes any difference (some people think we are crazy for this), we are taking our beloved Doberman. She loves the car and I see many pet friendly lodgings we can take advantage of. We are all super geeked for the trip and want to do it right.

So, my oven is dead.

Seems the thermostat on my 15 year old Kenmore gas oven has fried. Last night's baked chicken was a real challenge since the oven never went out of pre-heat mode and thought it was only 250 degrees all the time.

Now I am shopping for a new range. It must be gas and free-standing. I think I can manage to relocate the fridge to another wall which would allow me to go for a bigger range with a large capacity or double oven situation. Heck, as long as I'm at it, I may just get a new fridge or they won't match as I really want to go over to stainless steel.

I am looking at GE Profile today online. If I had more money and more room, I'd go for Viking or such but that's not possible. I'd like to kep the cost for both a stove and fridge to under $3500. I don't really care about ice makers or water dispensers on the fridge but I do want a sealed cooktop and self cleaning oven on the stove. I cook everyday.

I'd love to hear your reviews and advice.

Garbage Soup...

...and/or other creative, one of a kind, clean-out-the-fridge creations? Have some of your proudest culinary moments come from using up frozen leftovers, like broths from roasted beef or chicken and vegetables that “need to go today?” For me, soup from what I have on hand with a few pantry items added (beans, pasta, etc.) is intuitive cooking at its best and nearly always yields happy results. Unfortunately, the results are those which can never exactly be repeated….

Ratatouille Philosphy

Have you got one? Like, eggplant or no eggplant? Kitchen sink approach with whatever you've got on hand or follow a particular recipe? Peasant food approached with abandon or strictly adherred to method? Mushrooms? Cooking time? What do you like to serve it with?

Food Faux Pas

Everybody has a story of something someone did or does habitually that violates some sort of unwritten pot luck or holiday food rule of etiquette.

Once my place of employment held a holiday cookie swap. All those who wished to participate showed up with homemade goodies, the assistant manager brought a box of Dunkin Munchkins and took home a plate of cookies that others had slaved over in exchange for her "contribution."

Let's hear some dishing!

Kitschy Recipes

What's your best kitschy recipe? My friend takes Ritz crackers, spreads a goodly amount of peanut butter between two of them, then dips them in melted chocolate, lets them set up and they become an awesome "cookie"/candy.

What have you got?

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