Tuesday, May 17, 2011

bisquits, baby, bisquits.

I made bisquits for my son's teacher today.  I have done this several times now.  It is kind of funny that when I show up, the kids know that the bisquit man has arrived.  The smell permeates the hall as I blow through.  The kids start reacting with "What is that smell?" and "Hi Mr. Spearman" and of course, "Oh man, that smells good!".  The other teachers, though...  That is the funny part.  They see me burning down the hallways holding a 17" pan with my large brown welder's gloves.  Suddenly, they fall into my path, smiling and pleasant and full of hearty hellos.  Of course, it is naturally rewarded with a still warm, cheesy bisquit.  I have been queried for the recipe, and one astute consumer has even identified the style of bacon used (maple).  I was able to share one with the principal today, too.  Some families support with endowments, some volunteer like it was their career.  I make biquits.  That is my story and I am sticking to it. 
Planning on cooking dutch tomorrow night, but with my back issues I may not be able to manage the process.  Kind of sucks, but I am hopeful.  I also owe the lovely wife a pan of Ghirardelli brownies.  I was thinking about doing a layer of brownie mix, a layer of peanut butter, and another layer of brownie mix.  I don't know if it will work.  I have to figure out what to thin the pb down with so it spreads easily.
Love and iron, Del

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Quick notes

I need to to clarify that Kyle's Garage of Wonder should not be confused with Mr. Wizard's Maginarium, which is equally splendiferous.  Also, if you like this web type stuff, check out http://www.actuallydaddy.com/.  My friend has started a daily comic strip.  It is reality based humor, echoing life as we live it, including kids, boogers, fart jokes, and love of our kids.  I have enjoyed it so far, and thought I would share it.  As he is a recent addition to our Circle of Bacon, I can only imagine how some of our foodie adventures will manifest in his depictions...
Love and iron,

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Side note to my obsessive nature...

While I have mentioned in the past my tendency to pick up and drop hobbies, I should point out that it is 1:30am.  I just finished making the second round of Ghirardelli brownies outside for teacher appreciation week, and am getting up at 6:30am to make bacon cheddar drop bisquits for my son's teachers.  I just can't get enough of this stuff.  If only I could be a cast iron chef in a restaurant somewhere...

Steak it away!

When I picked up the beef shoulder the other day, the meat dept guy happened to be a big cast iron guy.  We talked about steaks, and he mentioned that restaurants actually pan sear their steaks and then bake or broil them.  Hmmm.  I went home on a mission and started looking through web recipes.  The concensus is preheat the oven and cast iron skillet to 500 degrees.  Bring meat to room temp and blot dry.  Season with kosher or sea salt and pepper.  I also used canadian steak seasoning for the additional herb flavor.  I used a medium+ grade of meat about 1.5 lbs.  I didn't want to overspend on an experiment, next time is NY Strip, baby!  Anyhow, pull preheated skillet out and put on high heat burner.  Drop steak onto pan and allow to sizzle gloriously for 2 minutes.  Flip, continue sizzling for 2 more minutes.  This sears it and seals in the juices for cooking.  Place skillet in oven with steak untouched for 2 minutes.  Flip steak and bake for another 2 minutes.  So that is 4 sets of 2-minute cooking cycles.  After this, pull the steak from the oven and place on a warmed plate.  Cover it loosely with foil and allow to "settle" for 5-10 minutes, so the internal juices re-absorb and don't pour out when you cut into it.  Serve and enjoy.  I noted that when mine came out, it was just above medium rare.  Steaks also continue to cook for a few minutes, so watch this.  If the meat had been thicker, say 1.5-2" thick, I would have probably ended up exactly medium rare, to almost rare.  One thing for sure is that it turned out far more tender and "right" than I could have hoped or would have expected.  You would have to play with your cooking times to perfect it.  Oh darn, all those steaks you will have to go through for the sake of knowledge...
Anyway, here are a couple of pix:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

No promises

I just have to say I never promised to be consistent or regular about posting.  I have been busy and distracted lately.  For those who have expressed interest in my pages, I thank you and apologize for the delays.  I am glad to report, however, that I have not quit dutching during this delay.  Several cool things have occurred.  Thanks to my friend Kyle and his Garage of Wonder, I have constructed a cook station.  I used 2 large pieces of wire utility shelving, 4 long  legs, and a 10' roll of 14" wide roof-valley tin. Add my oil drip pan, and then a high-sided pan.  Put it all together, you get a dutch oven cook station.  Not entirely amateur looking either.

The bottom shelf is placed low enough that I can actually put coal in the bottom pan and use the shelf as a skillet shelf that I can cook on.  Good place for the 17".  I was surprised at how well everything fit together.  My only concern was that the heat would affect the shelf brackets, which are plastic.  I broke it in with a load of burning coal and about 50lbs of cast iron.  There was surprisingly little heat transfer to the metal around the plastic, so I wasn't concerned beyond that.  My favorite feature, aside from the fact that it is very cool, is that it is reasonably portable.  It will be traveling to our next campout, which I think will be Fort Clinch.  By portable, I mean it can be taken apart and loaded into the Jeep easily.  The tin windscreen is pliable, and can be removed and "folded" up.  I broke it in with a neat recipe.  I went to Publix and got two of the "Hormel" marinated sleeves of meat, in this case, beef shoulder, one peppercorn and one terryiaki.  The theory was that the spice and sweet would blend and balance.  There ended up being about 3 pounds of meat.  I sliced an onion into rings and laid it across the bottom of the 12" 6qt, along with a handful of peeled baby carrots.  I then unceremoniously dumped the meat in, which was in large cutlets.  I didn't do anything else to it.  Just lidded it and did the charcoal, 14/10 for 25 minutes.  When I opened it up, there was literally an inch of juice in the bottom of the pot.
Let me tell you, the meat was buttery tender and delish!
Continuing the adventurous and experimental theme, I remembered John Howard, Dutch Oven Genius, showing me how he had used canning lid rings to hold up a pan in a large dutch oven to make brownies.  I was inspired to quest for the rings.  I then saw a set of stove burner rings and had a vision.  I took the 8" one and put it in the bottom of the 12", where it fit perfectly.  I used a 10" pie pan, which came in a 3 pack.

The low profile of the burner ring allwoed for even heat and airspace on the bottom, which prevented any scorching whatsoever.  I used a Ghirardelli chocolate brownie mix, sprayed the pan with Pam, and usedthe Lodge recommendation for 325 degrees.  After the first round, I felt the brownies came out a bit moist and gooey.  I did another round and changed the charcoal mix to 16 over and 9 under for 45 minutes exactly.  It came out perfectly. 
So here it is.  I am still cooking.  Is anyone still reading?
Love and iron, Del

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

On the subject of web photo albums

I am still trying to make the web photo album work.  -D


Okay, so I got the wok!  I know I said no more, but this was my anniversary gift.  15 years is a good run so far, so I think cast iron is as good as crystal...  It is the Lodge cast iron wok and it is beautiful.  My wife busted me watching videos online... videos of someone seasoning a wok!  I felt so dirty.

After much consideration, I christened it with olive oil, vegetable oil, and a pound of ground pork (along with some minced garlic).  I started by cleaning it thoroughly to remove the wax coating.  I put it on a stove burner and filled it half way with water and a drop of Dawn dish soap, along with a quarter cup of vinegar.  As it warmed up over medium heat, I scrubbed the inside out with a stiff brush.  When I felt like I had done enough, I dumped it and started pouring vinegar onto the inverted outside over the sink and scrubbing that side as well.  A good rinse and the back to the stovetop. 

I started with a dab of pork to produce a little fatty oil.  It didn't actually work so well at first, because there wasn't enough meat to produce the volume of oil needed.  There was a little sticking and I had to pour a little vinegar and water in and scrub the bottom out.  Next spoonfull of meat was preceded by a dab of oil that was wiped around.  It still didn't make much oil, but it didn't stick this time.  Dumped that, wiped out and oiled, and then a full pound of nice fatty ground pork.  It sizzled and oozed grease beautifully.  I moved it around, and wiped it up the sides, smearing the grease everywhere.  I dumped in a tbsp of minced garlic for flavor.  At the same time, I randomly made a pot of herbed couscous.  I thought it would make a decent base to dump the pork into.  I mixed it in and tried it out.  Fantastic!

When I was done, there was enough oil left over in the bottom of the wok that I wiped it around and coated the entire inside.  After it cooled down, I ran some hot water and scrubbed it again.  One more light rubbing of oil, and it looks ready for the next meal!

Happy anniversary to me!

Love and iron,

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pictures and posts!

I swear that before this day is over I will add the photoalbum feature and make a significant post!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Off to the campground.

We are going on a scout campout this weekend.  I will be working with group food prep, and we are making mountain man breakfast, shepards pie and I don't know what else.  If it dry enough, there will be bacon on a stick.  Look out!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Whoops! Forgot the picture...

dingalingalingalingaling (dinner bell...)

Improvised dinner recipe.  I had about 3 enormous chicken breasts.  That was it.  Wanted to cook a decent dinner, but had no plan.  Close my eyes... pasta, red sauce... CHEESE!  Check the pantry, old partially used boxes of pasta.  Off to the store.  Let the kid pick out some pasta.  Showed him four styles, he picked a fifth.  Redirect.  Ended up with a largish box of Barilla "Mini Fusilli".  Mental note, trust the kid and unknown option number five.  Need cheese.  Mozerella.  No wait!  Italian Five cheese...  Interesting, unusual, almost diabolical.  Loveley.  Home to the kitchen.
Cut the chicken in half to thin out the breasts a little.  Good move.  Used Panko to bread them, then skillet fried on the 12" over medium heat.  Coated with butter and I'm sizzlin'.  Browning.  Blackening... Wait!  I can still see pink in the mid-strata of the chicken, but the outside is too done.  Pulled them off.  Apologize to the dogs for the swearing.  Check the pinkness, they are close.  Stop cooking, head off to help Mr. Wizard with a house task.  Then, back to the kitchen.  Boil up the pasta.  Out of nowhere... I have an idea!  Pull out the 17" skillet.  Throw it in the oven and preheat to 350.  Pull it out and oil it lightly.  Dump in the cooked and rinsed pasta, with oregano mixed in it.  Pour on a can of tomato sauce.  Lay the chicken on top of the pasta.  Needs more.  Pour a jar of Ragu pizza sauce all over it.  Needs more red.  Pour on another can of tomato sauce to fill out the color.  Sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan.  Then, 2 cups of of some italian 5-cheese mix that is mostly mozerella.  Into the oven to cook at 350 for 30 minutes. 
Result: The chicken finished out, and stayed very moist, the cheese melted wonderfully.  The panko soaked in enough sauce to lose any taste of blackening.  I actually felt italian while eating both unnecessarily large helpings.  Mmmm.  Ciao'!
Love and iron, Del.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Taking a Break

I am off today, and working aroud the house.  I thought I would take a break for a few minutes and my mind wandered to cast iron.  I have everything stacked in a cupboard, but have to relenquish the space that I sort of just "claimed".  So without something decorative to display these beautiful pieces of iron in the dining room, I guess they are off to the workroom on the other side of the garage, also known as "the man room".  I suppose if I keep the doors closed, they will be okay.  Nothing else in the man room has ever fallen prey to humidity damage.  I feel sort of sad about doing this, though.  It takes everything out of the immediate area, which for some reason gives me the "out of sight, out of mind" feeling.  I guess I am emotionally attached to my cast iron.  Sad.  Weird.  Whatever.
I can't help but think, though, that it would be glorious to see a lovely wooden shelving unit in the corner of the dining room with a display of all the different sizes and shapes of iron.  Yummy!  While I have not started obsessing, I will admit to cruising retail sites looking at camp kitchens.  I am always looking at applications to outdoor life, especially campsite cooking.    These things are kind of cool, with the "folds up into a suitcase", and chinese puzzle fold up capability.  It seems like, though, the cooking surface is made to hold a propane stove, and not a sheet pan of charcoal and two dutch ovens.  Camp chef has some neat stuff, but when you don't feel like spending anything at all, everything is too expensive.  I am also looking at carts for the chuck box that is currently under construction.  I seem to be zeroing in on the portable table saw stand.  I know there is one out there that does not cost $300, but does everything I want.  We'll see.

Okay, break's over, back to work for me.  Doing the taxes...:(
Love and iron, Del

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Okay, I screwed up. Whadayagonnado?

Last night I decided to make Little Brother Mark's pot pie.  Sounded simple enough.  I used my 8"2qt, 2 cans of chunky chicken corn chowder and some bisquick.  I poured the filling/soup into the dutch, mixed the bisquick with milk until it was a very thick paste.  I spackled this onto the top of the filling.  I should have been immediately suspicious when the weight of the bisquick caused large portions to start to sink like Atlantis.  I did my best to manipulate this into a covering, only to mild success.  I was expecting a cook time of around 30-35 minutes.  At 1 hour and 10 minutes, my ever-patient spouse started looking for dinner alternates for my son, who was starting to close in on his bed time.  The topping just never looked right.  It had some lovely browned peaks on it, but there was nothing that resembled breading on top of a pot pie.  My family was gracious, and managed to eat the filling out from under the topping.  I stubbornly consumed what I could.  In the words of Randy Jackson, "Yo, Dawg, it wasn't good."  I brought the leftovers to work for dinner the following evening, thinking it would somehow transform during refrigerated hypersleep.  Upon opening the tupperware for my meal break, I was reminded of some of the creature incarnations of John Carpenter's "The Thing".  I thought at first there was an entire chicken breast that had reformed.  But it was a giant dough lump, swimming in the remnants of some otherwise tasty chicken corn chowder.  I hoped that the liberal aplication of hot sauce would kick start the dish like a difribulator, but alas, it was truly unpalatable.  I am wallowing in my hunger now, using this moment to guide me as I discover, share and make up recipes.  But I can also use it as a reminder that I will make mistakes... and that it is okay.  I just can't share it while gleefully chanting "I meant to do that!"
Love and (gurgle... grumble... sorry, that's my stomach) Iron, Del

Friday, March 11, 2011

Oh, one more thing...

Now, if I could only figure out how to add a photo album...

Finally, the Blue and Gold Saga

If you are reading this now, you will know that I am ridiculously overdue.  I haven’t been procrastinating or avoiding.  Just busy.  Sorry for the delay and the suspense, and thanks for the maintained interest!

The Blue and Gold celebration was… well, I am not sure really.  I actually spent so little time insde participating in the activities that I can’t tender a solid opinion.  I was outside filling and tending a beautiful collective of cast iron.  My day was, in a word, glorious.  Don’t get me wrong, I was elated to see my son make his achievement and receive the accolades of scout rank advancement.  But I was there to do something else.  I was given the opportunity to arrange desserts for 200+ using the pack’s favored method of outdoor cooking, dutch ovens.  I assembled a team of willing volunteers, Little Brother Mark, Ryan “Mr. Wizard”, and my biological little sister, Paula (who selflessly drove up from Orange City just to help.  The real event started in the preceding two days, as I shopped my heart out for food supplies.  In the event of a natural disaster, as societies assembled into smaller collectives, my wife and I would be the hunter and gatherers.  We love to shop, so this was me in my element.  Mr. Wizard and I had met over Bulleit Bourbon Wednesday night and laid out a game plan or playlist of how we thought things may manifest.  List in hand, I cruised the aisles of Super Wal-Mart, Publix and Sam’s.  $200+ later, cart dipping dangerously low in the front under the weight of canned pie fillings and cake mixes, I headed home. 
Friday night, the Wiz joined me and we prepped our supplies.  The estimate was to start with 2 pumpkin breads, followed by 12 assorted pies, cobblers and cakes.  Once completed, another round of 12.  This would feed generously, around 8 to 10 servings from each dutch.  I had donated pots from Ryan, Sue, Ty and Misty, Patrick, Kyle,  Little Brother Mark, and Michael.  We had the iron.  Prepping the stuff was my idea.  Obviously we couldn’t add the oil, milk and eggs.  Instead, we dumped any dry goods into a gallon ziplock, then put that in another ziplock along with the cans of filling to go with them.  Mr Wizard was hesitant to waste so much plastic (kudos mr enviornmentality), but I promised to recycle and reuse any I could.  So we filled a footlocker with the premixes, got all kitchen stuff ready, and called it a night.  I might add that during this my wife was trying to help complete our son’s contribution to the cake auction, a dragon that was to spew smoke from its mouth.  So around 1:30 am, mr wizard and I headed for his pad to assemble a fan for the base of the cake.  By Guinness:30 we had decided the plan was not going to work out.  So the cake went on smokeless.  In its defense, though, it won honors as the highest bid upon and highly sought after.
The next morning started entirely too early.  But feeling enthusiastic, I leapt into action.  The event started officially at 2, but my plan was to arrive at 11 and get set up.  Make a couple of pumpkin breads as starters, and move onto the first course.  My sister arrived from OC on time.  We loaded up the boxes and assorted gear and headed out.  We made a few last stops, which took longer than expected.  I went to Army Navy Outdoors and picked up dogtags for each of the dutch ovens.  This proved valuable as a tool for identifying each of the ovens as we cooked.  We ended up reaching the location about 11:30, still in reasonable limits.  I had padded our time slightly so we were fine.
Things were starting to materialize at the location as well.  I saw several participants moving around and beginning their own setups.  We were directed to our area.  It turned out to be a raised sidewalk on the back side of the church gymnasium, with a wall on one side and a railing on the other, just outside the door in the corner of the gym where all of the food would be staged.  We scoped out everything and began setting up.  Mark identified some concerns and we moved things around so that we wouldn’t burn any walls or ignite any gas lines (yikes).  Traffic was limited by caution tape (compliments of John Howard, Dutch Oven Genius).  We were concerned that kids would be fascinated and might get too near the hot coals.  We got right to work. 
I can not say I have ever worked with a better crew.  Everyone just sort of fell into motion, their areas of optimum contribution seemed natural.  Ryan and I worked at a prep table mixing and added ingredients to pots, Paula zipped around adding hands wherever needed, and Mark worked near the end.  His position was sort of “overseer”.  He kept track of cooking times, provided the eyeball of experience on “doneness” and kept things light.  He and I have a great rapport, so the mood was jovial.  While I was coordinating, Mark managed to look like he was standing next to the grill in the backyard, missing only a beer in his hand.  In fact he was standing by a grill.  While he managed countless details of several ovens, he entertained himself and my sister by making a 1QT pot pie, and grilling tilapia fillets on his lodge hibachi grill. 
As people moved into the event, we occasionally had spectators slide out the door (escaping the noise of wild eyed kids) and start watching us.  It was gratifying to see people watch us with fascination.  Call me egocentric, but I loved the attention.   But more than that, I love the interest it created in cast iron cooking.  I went inside at one point, and as I came back, there were a number of kids standing outside the door screaming into a large fan that had been put up for us.  I love kids, but can’t deal with too much “kid”.  A parent was watching the kids.  We locked eyes and I simply said, “No. Unh-unh.  Not going to happen.”  She tried to usher the kids away, but two kids in particular, the Rigney twins, were lost in the childhood rapture of yelling into a large fan.  I simply yelled “Liam! Aiden!”.  When they looked at me, I thumbed towards the gym and they whisked away, to the amazement of the parent.  I looked at her and said “I speak Rigney.” 
Somewhere near the beginning, I smelled something familiar.  When lighting our charcoal chimneys, Mr Wizard will often  use twigs to help prolong the flame of starter paper.  As I smelled this and made the association, it occurred to me that Mark was using a burner 25 feet away  to start the charcoal.  I looked over the rail to the ground 8 feet below, and realized that a piece of charcoal had slipped over the edge and started a grass fire.  There was a circle about a foot in diameter with flames and everything.  The Wiz jumped the rail and managed the moment.  Whew!  Things were moving along inside.  We started rolling in with desserts, and realized we needed more table space.  We ended up with about 16 feet of table, all covered with glorious cakes and pies.
There was an interlude where parent volunteers were recognized.  Everyone was dressed in either uniforms, or dressy casual clothing, and here I am wearing a pack tshirt, a leather apron, a belt knife, and a cool hat, proudly bearing my IDOS pin.  The awards were cute and sweet, some were tongue in cheek.  Mr Wizard was given a figure holding bacon on a stick.  Oh yeah.  I got one that was a small bed with BSA sheets, two figures under the covers. One bore my face, looking scrunched up and severe, the other was my wife looking shocked, complete with yarn hair sticking out in several directions.  The award was the Dutch Oven award.  Do the math.
By the time we had finished the first round, it was just time to have the second round rolling.  In retrospect, we should have never slowed down.  People had been finished eating for some time, so I thought it may be a stretch to expect a run on desserts so long after the main meal.  But, as I had initially suspected, there was such a variety, and such a desire to “sample”, people were making repeat visits, and tapping more than one well, such as it was.  We had one dish that didn’t materialize as expected.  What I originally thought was a bagged peach crisp mix was actually peach cobbler mix.  I had enjoyed much success with a previous incarnation of the apple crisp mix, and looked forward to making the peach.  The crisp mix is in a bag at winn Dixie for about $4, and is simply fruit filling, the powdered mix and some melted butter.  When mixed and cooked, the peach cobbler looked like a creamy snottish glaze.  So we quickly threw in another cake mix on top, and remanded it to the coals. 
I think we ended up creating 22 dishes.  One of them was a blueberry crisp I had made in the 2qt for my lovely wife.  She was occupied when I delivered it, and I offered some to her mother.  She said absolutely not, that she was stuffed and couldn’t eat another bite.  I left a large helping for Sherry (wife) and put the rest out for general consumption.  It was discovered quickly and I hear was regarded as the best of the day.  As the last plateful of blueberry crisp was taken away from the table, I saw my mother in law rushing up saying “Blueberry Crisp, Blueberry crisp, where is it?  It was so good, I have to have some!”  I was able to scrape a few berries from the bottom of the pot, but will definitely be making that again. 
There were about 4 complete desserts left when everyone departed, but it was easy enough to find someone willing to doggy bag them.  The only dish that was not popular was the banana crumble.  It was also the most complicated recipe, so I will have to review the process and see where we missed the mark.  I have had it before and saw people practically fight over it. 
Referencing again my egocentricity, I felt like a lot of people didn’t realize what we were doing.  Maybe that isn’t the best approach, and certainly not a need for personal recognition of some sort.  But I felt like it was a cool thing that was going on out there.  Also, it was a link to other times in our heritage and history.  To not know that is to trivialize the moment, and reduce what we created to merely sweets on the table.  Overall though, we were entertained ourselves as people drifted out occasionally and said nice things about how cool it all was, and how they wished they were out there doing that.  I should probably get a dutch oven recruiter’s badge of some sort…
As things drew to an end, we started breaking down our station as well.  Cleanup was crisp and organized, as was to be expected.  Mark was far more experienced than the rest of us, and had packed up almost twice as much in half the time.  My sister had to move on to her own adventures, awaiting back in central Florida.  Ryan was diligent and focused, as anyone who knows him would expect.  He spirited away the dirty bowls and utensils and had everything washed up in no time.  Coal leftovers were disposed of, and piece at a time, everything was stowed to go. 
As the event was put behind us, I was thrilled.  If I categorized the day’s events and activities, I would say “success”.  It was managed and organized, efficient, effective and satisfying.  No disappointments, so major hurdles or surprises.  My most specific thought about the entire day was how great it was working with the group I did.  The four of us should open a dutch oven restaurant.  Our motto would be “You get your food when it is ready”.  To the others, let me say my warmest and most heartfelt thanks.  You made the day work, and it worked very well.  To pack 182, hope you enjoyed eating it even half as much as we enjoyed making it.  If you did, I know it was good.
In closing, to all, and as always, Love and Iron!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I have been remiss...

I will be posting a note later this evening detailing the successful events of Saturday, along with pictures.  I will be lavishing praise upon my cohorts and sharing anectdotes sure to test the most secure bladder with gut bursting guffaws!
L&I, Del

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Updates, and confirmation that Jacksonville is the center of the universe.

I spent the day hunting and gathering.  I got my new netbook, upon which I am currently posting.  I went to Sam's, where I was shocked to find they do not carry canned pie filling or cake mixes.  Off to Wally's for extreme shopping.  Cashiers are surprisingly unobservant, though.  If you helped someone ring up around 50 cans of food, along with numerous dry goods, wouldn't you think "This person is either paranoid, or they know somethign I don't...".  I guess just having read Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank makes me think that way.  Anyhow, as I was not at work as planned for the day, I was not there to receive some recipes being delivered by John Howard, Dutch Oven Genius.  When I called him, I found that he was home.   As I was out and about, I offered to come to him.  As he listed the directions, I was needless to say surprised.  He lives a block away from me.  I should mention that I have been trying to get together with him for about 2 months to play Q&A with a great source of knowledge.  One of the challenges was factoring in the travel time adding to the time away from the house and litany of day to day responsibilities.  And he is literally a 5 minute walk door-to-door.   Stunning.  Anyway, I got a great recipe to add to the Saturday repertoire.  Expect many pictures and recipes to follow.  Please feel free to comment on the inanity of my drivel.
Love and iron, Del.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Okay, so here's the situation...

On Feb. 26th, my son's scout pack has their Blue and Gold celebration.  This is where each level receives accolades for achievements and ascends to their next scout rank (Chase becomes a Webelos).  I have been drafted to prepare dtuch oven desserts for about 170.  170.  170.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.  No fear.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lucky guy.

A customer in the store bought a 17" skillet yesterday. As soon as I saw it in his hands I started talking with him.  I believe by the end of the conversation he feared I was going to get in his car with him.  I love the 17", and someone making that sort of purchase is clearly serious about his cast iron, so I felt kindred.  On the persoanl purchase front, I almost fell.  The fact that I was willing to is failure enough, but I almost bought another piece of cast iron.  It was the lower half of a cast iron cauldron on medium length legs.  My mother in law found it at a clearance center.  I hesitated for a day or two, allowing fate to weigh in.  Probably a good sign that it wasn't right.  I only wanted it for the uniqueness, not the practicality.  When she heard from her mom that I was interested in the item, her text to me was "More cast iron? Really?".  We agreed though that my next piece can be my urn.  Could be inconvenient if I end up getting the wok or hibachi from Lodge...
Love and iron, Del

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fruity sweetness in a pot.

I made black forest cake.  It was at the request of my visiting mother in law (we get along famously).  I was set to copy a previously experienced cherry, but after a brief conversation in which she mentioned loving raspberries, I changed direction.  So I got 2 cans of raspberries in syrup, one can of blackberries in syrup, and a basic chocolate cake mix.  I used the 12" 6QT and lined it with parchment paper.  I dumped the three cans of fruit into the bottom of the pan.  There was considerable panic initially that I already ruined the process.  Unlike pie filling, the fruit is absolutely swimming in watery syrup.  So the bottom of the pot looked like dark fruit soup.  I had a choice at this point of either dumping everything or rolling on.  I chose to perservere.  From this point, I mixed the cake mix according to the directions.  Once prepared, I poured it directly into the center of the dutch, spreading it out from the middle.  It made a nice round circle, but didn't quite reach the edges, leaving about a 2" ring of juice surrounding the mix.  I had no way of telling if it had pushed down in to the fruiy soup or was lying on the top.  From this point, I headed out to the cooking platform on the deck.  Unlike the Lodge cooking directions of 14 on top and 10 on bottom, I used an extra 2 on top.  I had done this before and felt like it gave me the most accurate temperature level.  According to the box directions there are several pan size options, so I went with the 9" pie pan, 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, with the typical lid rotations, I checked and it looked marvelous.  After the toothpick test, though, there were spots that were still moist.  I also prodded the surface a little, and it wavered like the surface of a waterbed.  I added a couple of coals to the bottom and top, and kept it on for another 10-15 minutes.  When I pulled the lid off tis time it had started to get the familiar cracks in the surface, indicating the desired level of doneness.  Pulled and placed in the kitchen, I made a  quick decision to run out and grab some coolwhip as well.  Good idea, because it was literally the icing on the cake.  Dished up warm with the coolwhip, we mowed on it and it was tasty.

This is one of the easier things I've made, with little cleanup.  I reccomend trying it.  Love and iron, Del

Forecast says...

Forecast says in about an hour and a half, I will be making chocolate raspberry or chocolate cherry black forest cake...  Stay tuned, or even comment from time to time!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bacon Cheddar Drop Biscuits. Bacon and 1.5 sticks of butter. Oh Yeah!

So I made tese for a staff meeting last night.  They went over well, and I didn't get to try one, so I decided to make some more to accompany takeout chicken dinner for this evening.  I learned howto make these in a typical-me fashion.  I had just gotten my 17" skillet and was absolutely dying to skillet something.  Anything.  The dogs were starting to look a little edgy when they got near the kitchen if I was there.  So I litereally started scanning google, predominantly YouTube, for "skillet recipes".  I found this segment on YouTube titled "Art Smith's Cheddar Cheese Drop Biscuits - The Secret Ingredient".  I should mention that I had obligated myself to cooking with some friends that evening.  While preparing to leave work, obsessive as ever, I searched and found Art and his skillet making magic.  It is some restaurant recipe, but who knew, it translates to domestic adventure as well.  So I furiously scribbled notes onto about 6 post-its, scooped them up, and headed for the store on my way to the social endeavour.  I have the notes angled towards cooking on a skillet in the oven.  I am hoping to soon figure the coal ratios to prepare this in a dutch in the back yard.
The recipe is as follows:
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp chilled butter
1/4 (at least) cup shredded cheddar (I like mild)
(you can also add 1/4 cup of chopped, cooked bacon at this point if you like, and brother, I like)
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven with skillet inside to 425 degrees. Melt at least 2 tbsp butter into preheated skillet.  Because I use a 17" I use 4 tbsp butter.  I end up with the biscuits, already full of butter, cooking in about 1/4" pool of butter.  But wait... there's more.

Make 1/4 cup or so sized dough drops.  They don't have to be pretty.  The mix is pretty sticky at this point and wants to become a real mess.  I learned after the first batch to spray pam on my hands between each drop (Thans Mrs. Mr. Wizard!).  Mr. Wizard also showed the effective use of butter for this purpose as well.  Love the Wizards. 

Once you have the pan covered, 8-12 biscuits depending on your grasp of proportions, you take, you guessed it, 4 tbsp melted butter and baste the top of the bisquits as well.  That sound, incidentally, was the collective gasp of the Board of the American Heart Association.  They don't have to send flowers, but I will have a buttery happy smile all the way to the grave!

Then throw the pan int o the oven and cook for 14-16 minutes.  You should check in on them near the end of the time.  With the butter, butter, and butter, they will brown.  It is beautiful at first, but can get a bit severe looking if allowed to go just a bit too long.  They magic point is the truest sense of "golden brown".  They will be the color of light straw, with a hint of dark honey across the top, a bit darker on the narrowist of the peaks.

When you pull them out, immediately sprinkle them across the top with another 1/4 (at least) cup shredded cheddar. 

Eat immediately.  Be messy.  Enjoy.  Repeat.  These don't really reheat that well, so I suggest being piggies and eating them all.  Start rubbing jelly or syrup or, I don't know, butter on them.  The second time I shared these socially, someone suggested I was copying some Red Lobster garlic biscuit.  Don't know anything about that.  If I have had them, they weren't memorable enough to even be considered here.  Besides that, if you want RL's biscuits, go to RL.  Otherwise, shut up and eat a biscuit.  Go ahead.  Have another.  Try not to look like you're enjoying it.  And another.  Okay, leave some for me now.  Hey!  Gimme the damn biscuit!  Put... down... the... biscuit...

Love and iron, Del

Monday, February 7, 2011

All Day Ribs

Ryan "Mr. Wizard" did the major cooking for this weekend.  He made all-day ribs on his Big Green Egg, this mighty ceramic grill that looks like something Mork would get excited about flying.  This thing is amazing, and well... so were the ribs.  He did one with bbq and one with a tropical islandy spicy sauce.  They were being spritzed with apple juice every 30 minutes or so.  There were also smoked baked beans with bacon.  And he topped this off with his own "found" recipe for cheddar drop bisquits.  I had only the night before found that I had lost 9 pounds over the previous week.  Oh well.  I am still full.  Mr. Wizard certainly approaches things in a technical manner, so the post-meal wrap up included critiques and explorations of the details of his cooking process.  I think he is already soaking wood chips for the next cookout.

We attended a party Sunday night for that football game (I am so not a sports person), and I got to make some food for that.  I made a chili that was pretty good.  It had turkey, tomato, bacon, corn... tomato.  It is actually kind of a blur.  I ran around the kitchen, rifling through the fridge and pantry looking for salvagable leftovers and spices.  It must have been alright, because my entire 4QT crock pot was emptied by the end of the party (which was punctuated by a vicious Nerf gun battle, but that is another story).  I also made bacon wrapped water chestnuts.  This has little to do with cast iron, but I have made them in one of my skillets, covered, on charcoal, so there you go.  These are always party pleasers. 

1 pound of bacon (I like hickory smoked)
3 cans of whole water chestnuts to a pound
1 bottle of BBQ Sauce (no brand, I used Publix brand Hickory and it was good)
Good toothpicks (important, so they don't splinter, I like "Diamond Elegance Toothpicks")

Take the bacon and cut it in half.  Wrap each 1/2 piece around one water chestnut.  Skewer this combination with a toothpick.  Collect all of the wraps in a bowl.  Once you have finished off skewering all the bacon, empty the bottle of BBQ into the bowl all over everything.  Seal the bowl and roll it around to coat everything thoroughly.  Put this in the fridge and marinate for however long you can.  I usually do this overnight if I can, but even an hour or two will help.  Spread the bacon wraps out on a cookie sheet in a single layer.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake for 25 minutes.  When you remove from the oven, you should find quite a bit of grease that has cooked off of the bacon.  Use tongs and pick the wraps straight up from the grease to keep from dragging them around.  The grease and bakes BBQ sauce doesn't really add to the flavor, and makes them just a little messier.  They are ready to eat at this point.  If you have a small or medium sized crock pot, this is a nice way to serve them and still keep them warm.  If there are any leftover, they reheat very well, and are a delightful breakfast add-on.  I wouldn't hold out on there being any leftover though...

The party was great, food, friends and fun!  I heard there was a ball game of some sort on as well.
Love and iron, Del

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Adventure, thy name is "the I made it up as I went along" recipe...

I was determined to actually cook something outside tonight, as well as post it on the blog.  I have been toying with the chicken potpie for a while, but just didn’t feel up to it.  I called Little Brother Mark (like a brother, but not twins…) for a consult.  We talked chicken, and as he was talking about chicken parts and broths, I blurted out “Yeah, and what about maybe some prime rib or something…?”.  I wrote out the recipe in my head as I spoke with him, and we agreed that it may come out cool.  The general layout was some sort of meat, large-chunked, sautéed in red wine, with green onions and whole pieces of garlic.  Throw in some red potatoes coated in olive oil and wrapped in foil, along with some green beans.  Lay the meat on top of sliced onion to prevent scorching.  The green beans will be from a frozen bag, and will take care of themselves.  And the potatoes will not over soften because of the foil.  Maybe some biscuits on the side.  Sounds like a plan.  I should mention that this was on the phone in the parking lot of WD, with my son patiently waiting our trip inside.  He was stoked to be helping me, and I was glad to have his interest.  For this dinner, I used my 12”-6QT, and my 8”-2QT.

I got 1.68lbs of boneless rib eye, a clove of garlic, one onion, two large red potatoes, green onions, a bag of frozen name brand green beans, and a tube of 5 golden layers buttermilk biscuits.  The meat was cut into pieces and put in a bowl with the chopped green onions, and several whole pieces of garlic.  The potatoes were cut, coated with olive oil and garlic-herb seasoning, and wrapped tightly in foil.

The meat and stuff was sautéed in the wine, about a half cup was fine.  I forgot to trust the meat to grease itself when cooking (I wanted to sear it a little before adding the wine) so I smeared a little reserved bacon grease on the pot’s cooking surface before starting.  This was entirely unnecessary.  I laid a bunch of coals on the cooking platform and make the pot into a skillet.  The meat browned up and smelled great.  When it was ready, I used a skimmer and pulled everything out of the pot and drained the wine and grease out.  I then poured the beans in on one side and the meat mix in on the other.  I laid the foil on top of everything, sort of across the middle.  Then new coals for the dinner pot to cook with.  I used my typical 350 degree mix of 10 coals on bottom and 16 on top (I find that 14 doesn’t quite give me the top heat I need).  This was cooked for 25-30 minutes.

I then used the coals I’d used previously to set up the biscuits.  The tube directions called for 400 degrees, which on an 8” was 12/6, or 12 top and 6 bottom.  I hadn’t used this pot before, so it seemed reasonable.  I found near the end that I needed about 3 or 4 more on top to keep it within the prescribed cooking time.  As you can see, they turned out quite nicely any way.

The prep time was nothing, cook time was 10 minutes of skilleting, and 30 minutes of lid turning and monitoring.  I used Shiraz for the red wine.  I don’t know if there is a particular type of red for cooking, but I like Shiraz, so…  phhhhbbllltttt!!!  And if you are ever using a wine for sautéing, use real wine, not sherry.  If you wouldn’t drink it, why the hell would you cook with it?  Aside from that, I think the potatoes would have been fine laying in the same place outside of the foil.  The meat came out tender, but didn’t have as much of the garlic taste as I would have liked.  The garlic pieces were quite tasty, though, roasted and soft, not overpowering to eat by themselves.

Family was happy with dinner, I have leftovers for tomorrow, and my little made-up recipe will be labeled by me as a successful adventure!  Love and iron, Del

Monday, January 31, 2011

Honorable mention...

Just a quick note to add.  My boss, and one of my coworkers, both purchased a Lodge wok.  I got to see them when they were delivered to the store, and they were beautiful.  I have to admit, my committment to not spending was called into question.  With that being said, I don't think I could justify the expenditure on yet another piece of iron, so I will wait.  For how long...  we shall see.  The wok is truly a beautiful piece of cookware, and useful in the kitchen in so many ways.  I look forward to hearing the stories of culinary adventure from the two proud owners.  Maybe I can borrow one an try it out for myself.  I had someone ask me about using an iron skillet on their ceramic cooktop.  I mentioned that I had used my 12" skillet a few times on the stovetop with no ill effect to the cooking surface.  I just made a point of not moving it around once I found the right spot.  I must reiterate the reminder at this point of keeping the heat to a medium level to avoind scorching the pan, facilitating the need to reseason.
Love and iron,

Bacon on a stick...

I know I haven't done much actual cooking lately.  It has been a combination of returning to work after a vacation, social events, helping my kiddo with his pinewood derby car (he came in fourth), and just being too short on time to commit to a little outdoor cast iron time.  But something I mentioned in the first post has resurfaced, and I thought I would share it.  After many long evenings, longer than mine, my friends Ryan and Kyle wanted to hang out a little to relax after the rigors of scout parenting.  Ryan is the originator of "bacon on a stick", a result of abject hunger while sitting around the firepit.  We got together last night and enjoyed some fine import beers, a charming pit fire, and of course... bacon on a stick.  You take a sword skewer, one a bit longer than the typical kabob style, slide it into a piece of bacon, usually thick cut, preferably maple or hickory smoked, and hold the piece of bacon over a healthy bed of embers.  The experience is both relaxing and invigorating.  If you find the right spot, the bacon starts to shine and drip immediately.  As the fat starts to release the grease and it drips into the fire, the embers flare up into flames that lick at the bacon.  You have to watch out for singing the bacon, unless charred is your taste.  The scent of cooking bacon starts to permeate the air pretty quickly, and the anticipation of delights to come begin to rise.  There isn't much conversation during this stage.  I think I saw Ryan start to enter a trancelike state that transcended his exhaustion as he dangled the succulent piece of pork over the coals.  I have found that if the bed of coals is adequate, you can hold the bacon near the edge, limiting the flareups.  It has result in what I can only describe as a well seasoned firepit.  I swear I can smell bacon now when any of us fires their pit!  The time varies depending on your personal taste in bacon "doneness".  I like mine a bit less cooked, still soft.  Ryan and Kyle seem to be of similar tastes.  The wives all seem to be more consistently crispy in preference.  Eventually, the cooking is complete, and you withdraw the skewer from the heat and flames.  A brief inspection of the bacon to assess the texture, and then the process of consuming the bacon begins, tearing a bit at a time, savoring, trying to avoid going into some sort of carniverous frenzy.  Heaven on a stick.  Pure culinary delight in a single strip of rendered flesh.  Primal.  I think I need to make an apointment to have my cholesterol checked...  Ryan, you are my hero.  Now we look at what is next.  Sanwich makers with bacon, egg and bread is on the agenda for our next gathering.  One can only fantasize and delight over what the firepit may offer next.  Incidentally, I think I may finally get around to making the pot pie Monday night.  Post to follow...
Love and iron,

Monday, January 24, 2011


I just used my 12" skillet to brown some maple Jimmey Dean sausage and then used the leftover grease to fry up some shredded potatos.  I am making a mountain man breakfast in a caserole dish in the oven for dinner (feeling a bit under the weather and didn't want to stand around outside).  After laying everything in the dish, ovening it, and then cleaning the skillet, I was shocked to find a 8" brown stain across the bottom of the skillet.  I don't know if it is spontaneous rust, scorched potato, grease, or some trans-dimensional being who has decided to use my pan as a portal into this world...  I oiled it up and threw it into the oven for now.  I must communicate with one of my gurus.  :(


Unfortunately, other plans made cast iron cooking impossible last night.  I am thrilled to mention that I used my 17" skillet for food prep during a party on Saturday.  I took two family sized bags of chicken fingers and baked them in the iron pan.  The positive effect was that they reheated nice and even, did not stick in the slightest, and stayed warm for quite awhile due to the heat retaining iron.  The chicken was one of the bases for a topping bar including queso con carne, fresh organic tomatoes (diced), shredded lettuce, black olives, sharp cheddar, sour cream, diced green onions, sliced jalapeno and other colorful peppers, and skillet-fried bacon.  In addition to the chicken, there was a variety of chips as well.  There was a load of food, but strangely, there was no dutch oven cooking.  Unusual for this group and this party.  It was our friend Lori's birthday party.  She is a die hard Twi-Mom, so there was lots of theming.  Clearly, there was no scene where Edward or Jacob lovingly or putingly seasons a pot, or bakes a cobbler.  My sister Paula is outcooking me like crazy, though.  She is a cooking machine, and I will look for some of her pictures and notes to add here.  I did see the Lodge cast iron wok last week.  Very sexy hunk of metal.  I know, I know, I promised.  Maybe I can sell off some of my "old" hobby stuff to supplement my cast iron addiction.  I am supposed to meet for a mentoring lesson soon with J.H., dutch oven genius.  Looking forward to that.  I was hoping to run support service for him at a cooking event this coming weekend, but it looks like I will be working.  Drat!  Anyway, I have my pot pie recipe, and need only pick up the ingredients.  I am also rarin' to try making bacon cheddar drop bisquits in the dutch instead of the oven.  There is a lot of heat involved, so I am a little unsure about moving forward until I am more confident in my temp control skills.  I will, as always, keep you posted.  Love and iron,  Del

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This looks sort of yummy...

If I ever take information from somewhere, I promise I will do my best to give specific credit, or at least acknowledge that it wasn't my idea.  I think I may have my pot pie recipe.  I love the internet.  Here is the link for the recipe page:
I am going to be pretty busy at home and work until Sunday, so maybe that will be the day.  I will keep you "posted"!
Love and iron,

Monday, January 17, 2011


That level of excitement can only mean one thing...  My 2qt was delivered!  I feel positively giddy.  In addition to that, my store's (Army Navy Outdoors) fill-in order came in.  There were some cool pieces that we received, including a wok (special order), a 1qt, more of the 2-handled 17" skillets, and some cleaning accessories.  Yes, I am excited about cleaning tools.  Mom would be so proud.  So, my collection is complete, at least for now.  I will be pulling a potpie recipe very soon to christen the 2qt, and will post the recipe and pix of the finished product, or action photos of me getting my stomach pumped, whichever direction things go...  Love and iron, Del

Here is the store display of our selection, lovingly designed by my colleague and friend Kyle and myself...  Note the behemoth 17" skillet.  Mmmmm.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Pits Baby! An amazing thing...

Whatever this is, I covet it.

Broken Promise. I got another pot :( (but not really sad about it...)

Nothing new cooked, but I may have aquired another piece of cast iron (in addition to the previously listed 2qt...).  While not the highest quality piece, I got a mammoth 12qt dutch oven through an associate at work.  It is not a Lodge, and feels like it could use some serious love and re-seasoning.  All I know is, once sweetened properly, it will manage, quite literally, 3 GALLONS of stew or chili.  I know that the size is not ideal for breads and cakes, as these foods don't need the airspace over the top of them for steam.  The seasoning thing is still an area of opportunity.  For now, I will defer to friends with expertise far in excess of my own.  I did pick up a tube of Cast Iron Conditioner, which I am trying out.  It sure looks nice going on.  We shall see.  I am still eagerly anticipating the arrival of my 8" - 2qt dutch.  I have visions of pot pies dancing in my head. 

I am kid wrangling this evening, and I was going to make apple crisp, which is simply apple pie filling covered with an apple-cinnamon sweet crunchy-esque topping, prepared in the 10" - 4qt.  The crisp mix comes from a bag, which was picked up at Winn Dixie.  I am not at the level of making my own mixes (yet).  I say again, this is not that challenging if you have a sense of adventure.

I realize this is one of those "speaking to hear one's self talk" situations, but I hope someone somewhere gets a moment's enjoyment from this.

Eat well, and enjoy.

Dutch Oven and Cast Iron Cooking: A New Taste In Hobbies

Dutch Oven and Cast Iron Cooking: A New Taste In Hobbies        

I have had countless hobbies, for which I have collected a ridiculous amount of gear.  I get interested in something, don’t bother learning enough about it, assume the “stuff” will help me succeed in truly experiencing the hobby, and bore all too quickly with the hobby.  I am walking a thin line right now as I develop my newest interest, cast iron cooking.  It started simply enough.  About 16 months ago, Army Navy Outdoors, as a long-time supporter of the scouting community, added Lodge Cast iron to our wares.  We had a small “basic Dutch oven cooking” class, helmed by John Howard, cast iron cooking genius.  My wife kindly attended to help shore attendance numbers, so I purchased my first Dutch oven (a 12”- 6qt).  She made a lovely cornbread, and I had a new cast iron toy.  It took me almost 2 months to develop the nerve to actually try using it.  I was sure I would melt it, break it, poison someone, or otherwise embarrass myself beyond recognition.  But I did none of those things.  I made a basic but tasty shepherd’s pie.  But I did something else that was far more important.  I took a first step.

Fast forward to today…  I have a 12” – 6qt, 10” – 4qt, 1 tiny skillet for a single fried egg, 2 fajita skillets (with wood trivets), 1-10.25” skillet, 1-12” skillet, and 1-17” two-handled skillet.  I have a crate of cooking accessories, from lid lifter(s) to charcoal chimneys to whisks to bowls, lots of cups and spoons for samples (there are always plenty of volunteers when I am trying something new in a dessert).  I have a cart just for dragging the weighty iron from place to place.  My friend is making me a “chuck box” (portable wooden kitchen).  I know, coolest guy ever.  I have joined a Dutch oven society.  And oh yeah, I’m waiting for my 8” – 2qt pot to be delivered. Gee, obsess much?  Here’s the thing.  This hobby seems to be sticking. 

Sounds cheesy, but this growing entity of “cast iron-ness” has added a whole new dimension to my life.  It has led to friend and family gatherings, surrounding food and good times and more food.  Several of my acquaintances have become true and close friends.  This year’s New Year’s Eve celebration ended up being a 6-hour cookout with our friends’ entire family sleeping over.  My friends all have Dutch ovens now.  Campouts are designed around our cooking.  The hangouts are now patios and back decks, around fire pits and sheet metal cooking platforms.  Whole new oddities, like “bacon-on-a-stick” have spawned from these gatherings.  I will spare you the details of several food-drunk grown men sitting around a fire pit giggling and salivating as they hold skewers of bacon over the coals…  Let’s just say that even a cardiologist would have had a hard time avoiding that encounter.

Cast iron cooking is truly a fading art.  But it is amazing, and amazingly simple.  Mistakes are not mistakes, just something new to sample.  And everyone will sample a mistake from time to time.  Some of them turn out to be pretty darned yummy.  I find a sense of interactive pleasure in group cooking.  I learn more every time I cook or communicate with another enthusiast.  I hope I will never stop learning.

My most recent adventure was Dutch oven prepared Cornish hen, which I had never cooked before at all.  But my 9 year old and I grabbed a random YouTube video, watched it twice while scribbling notes and ingredients madly, and headed for the grocery store.  I have said so much already, I will say briefly… Yum.  The picture is of the birds cooking while being basted periodically.  Right in my back yard.  Amazing!

I will start looking for the next adventure, which I will share in more detail.  In the meantime, I promise, no more purchases (except of course the 8” – 2qt, perfect for pot pies…).  Until then, discover this for yourself.  Share the food, share the fun, find the joy.