Don’t let the care of cast iron skillets intimidate you. These indestructible pans are the perfect addition to your cookware collection. They will last practically forever and actually get better with age. When you get a new skillet or find an old one, the first thing to do is “season your skillet.” This is accomplished by scrubbing it down with steel wool and gentle dish soap. Yes, you can get your skillet wet. Skillets are porous, so the key to skillet success is to always make sure it is dry before storage by placing it in an oven or on the stovetop so that the heat boils all the water out of its pores. The next step is to rub oil into the skillet top, sides and bottom. Wipe the oil off leaving only a thin layer. Place it in a 450 degree preheated oven for one hour. This temperature will take the oil past the smoking point and break it down so that it bonds with the skillet. Turn off your oven and let the skillet cool gradually.
The most important thing to remember when cooking with cast iron is to always preheat your skillet before using. Placing cold food in a cold skillet will result in the food sticking to the pan. This one-pan wonder is great for caramelizing foods on the stovetop and then finishing the dish in the oven.
To clean your skillet, let it cool slightly then scrub with hot water and salt. Never put your hot skillet in cold water as this can result in cracking. Rinse, pat dry, and place on stove top or oven until thoroughly dry. Using a paper towel, carefully rub a layer of oil onto your skillet and then turn up the heat to the smoking point. Turn off the heat and let your skillet cool gradually.
Cast iron skillets are a healthy alternative to many products because they don’t produce toxic fumes when heated, and the iron from the skillet will seep into your food, boosting your iron intake.
To avoid dangerous chemicals and ward off creepy creatures, try these natural insect repelling potions. Spray vinegar along your windows and doors to discourage spiders from entering. Coffee grounds sprinkled around windows and doors will keep ants from crawling in. Slugs will drown in beer when it’s poured into shallow containers such as lids or small saucers.
Celebrate National Girlfriends Day – August 1
Many years ago women shared their lives not only with their husband and immediate family, but also with a sisterhood or tribe of girlfriends. They shared in the care of their children, they cooked together, and they supported each other in good times and bad. Today, many women feel isolated as social media replaces human contact. Women are so busy working all day, then caring for their families and home, that there is nothing left except a few minutes of catching up on Facebook before falling into bed. This results in a loss of the beautiful bond that comes from the human connection with other women. Women are natural nurturers and givers, and it’s vital that women also receive these gifts to avoid the rising health problem of depletion.
Celebrate this National Girlfriends Day by making plans with your besties.
The Grass is Greener
The Environmental Protection Agency found that lawn herbicides can cling to shoes and be tracked inside for up to a week after weed killer is applied to a lawn. Keep your home safe for your pets and young children by leaving your outside shoes outside!
If you re concerned about rising energy bills, keep your thermostat set at 75 degrees and use fans to circulate the air.