One morning my husband and I made scrambled eggs. It was more like I was cooking them after he scrambled them. He is an excellent scrambler. When he is finished scrambling the eggs they always look almost artificial to me. They are shockingly uniform in color. Whenever I scramble them there are usually bits of white here and there which does not bother me much.
After I cooked them and plated them we noticed that there were small black bits in the eggs. Neither one of us had put pepper in the eggs. It made me go back to the pan that we used. Sure enough, the Teflon (Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)) coating on the pan was beginning to come off and went into our eggs! I know that the coating is supposed to be non-toxic (unless you are Avian!). I am not a bird, but even so I decided to go back to my cast iron pans.
My mom gave me all of her cast iron pans probably 10 years ago. She has arthritis pretty bad and they can be heavy especially armed with food. I used my cast iron pans quite a bit, but I still would use my Teflon coated ones the majority of the time.
They come in all shapes and sizes! Here is a sampling of the pans I have.
My favorite one is this little guy.
My mom would always make my breakfast in it before I went to school, whether it was eggs, little pancakes, or French toast!
Some of the pans I have were even used by my grandma! She made my mother food in them! I hope they last long enough for my daughter to cook for her family in them. I find them easy to use and care for. If you can get your hands on some of your relatives pans, I highly reccomend that you do! Here is what works for me:
If they are brand new you will need to season them. This may sound complicated but basically you are just going to bake the pan in the oven with a coating of some type of oil on it. I like vegetable shortening the best (I tried olive oil with bad results. I’ll have to try it again because I like the idea of it better.)
Once seasoned I maintain it by doing the following:
- Avoid using soap-clean with water only when possible. Sometimes kosher salt on a damp cloth is enough.
- Clean the pan immediately after cooking. Remove the food and wash the pan! It makes cleaning easier.
- When clean, I like to heat it up on the stove top and wipe it out with shortening. Once it all melts on the pan you can shut off the heat and wipe out the excess.
That’s pretty much it! One bonus to the pans is that they can add small amounts of iron to your food. Many people could benefit from that. I’ll take a bit of that instead of Teflon any day!
In the background of the small cast iron pan you could see my cupboards. We have been in our house for 12 years (in August) and things now need to be updated and replaced. The cupboards are oak and they look(ed) a bit worn. Not warped or anything, it’s just the finish that has worn off. Another thing that bothered me was that they were trimmed with fake wood. My husband was willing to purchase new ones, but I just felt bad for the oak. It bothered me when I thought of ripping them out and just throwing them away. So, I decided to tackle re-finishing them.
I have been working on it for about a month here and there. I choose one area, remove the doors and hardware, and begin the task of stripping the old varnish off, sanding, and painting on new polyurethane.
Here is what they look like with the old finish (like the gold hinges with bronze knobs! I tried painting the knobs a few years ago and it did not work out too great. They peeled and I never got around to the hinges. :))
This is what they look like post stripping:
I complete one area and then move on to the next. This is nice because my kitchen does not feel completely torn apart, and I get to see the effort that I am putting in is worth it.
Here is the finished product!
I have found new oak veneer that I can trim them out with, which gives me the solid oak look I always wanted and now I am getting the new finish I needed!
You can see the sides of the cabinets are in fake wood which is what I did not like.
I did buy new hardware which is slightly annoying because the new hinges look identical to the old (but are stainless steel not shiny gold of the old ones) but are just a bit off so that I need to fill the old holes with glue and toothpicks and drill new ones!
It’s a process but it is going good! I am about ¾ of the way finished. Next up will be new counter tops, hood fan, a sink, and painting too! We replaced our refrigerator with a new stainless steel one (the old one was on it last legs and we wanted to replace it on our time not when it decided to die!) and now the white stove and dishwasher are staring at me. In time they will get replaced too. 🙂
Here are some cookies my daughter and I made (decorations don’t stick too well to chocolate chip cookies. :)).
We made them with dark chocolate chips. I wanted to make cookies or a cake or something for Valentines Day, and thought I should wait to make them but the chocolate chips kept calling to me so I gave in. It was a super cold and snowy day today so baking was almost a requirement anyway! We will just have to make something else for Valentines Day too! We used the good old Toll House recipe (shh don’t tell, we used Ghirardelli chips!). I was inspired to make the cookies by a blogger named Alexandra.
She made them using the new Toll House dark chocolate recipe which I checked out and it’s the same as the old original one, it just uses ¼ cup less chocolate chips! Go figure! So I did leave out the extra ¼ cup. My husband did not care for the dark chocolate in them, but he is not exactly a dark chocolate fan. My daughter thought they were fantastic! She is a dark chocolate lover like me.
This was sort of a test of my intuitive eating skills. I said it was a good day for baking, and it was, but I also wanted to put my newly found skills to work. Normally when making cookies, I would eat half the dough, eat 5 cookies after they came out, say what the heck and move on to ice cream! The act of baking always felt like a trigger to me. Today I made them after I had dinner and was full. So, I knew I was not vulnerable (ravenous) and did not think it would set me off. I still have not had any cookies or dough yet. I am just not feeling like it. I am still full from dinner and it’s not appealing. I know they will be there when I want them and they will be great! I think most of my binge eating problem was never having enough good food in me to feel satisfied, and then I would taste something like cookie dough and my body would make up for it. I really feel like I am on a roll with intuitive eating!
That’s enough of my intuitive eating talk for a while. It may get old to you but it’s pretty amazing to me that it is working!
Have a great night! I will talk to you soon!