10.21.2009

New Life in Cast Iron


As I was going through my kitchen the other day searching for items to put in my yard sale, I came across this old cast iron pot my grandmother had given to me about 5 years ago. I have never used it once and frankly, I have never really known how to use it. I was thinking I could get $5 for it, but just for kicks decided to look up the branding name on the bottom (Lodge). In my research I came across several websites not only claiming the suggested value of my pot being $80-100 (!!) but also teaching the value of a good cast iron pot.

My pot had spots of rust all over it, but with a simple solution of sea salt and cooking oil was able to buff them right out. I cleaned it up, seasoned that bad boy and now it sits proudly on top of my stove to add some rustic ambience to my kitchen! I now use it for everything: stews, sauces, stir fry, skillet meals and more. It is FABULOUS!

Some benefits of a cast iron pan are that foods glide out of it as from no pan made with Teflon; it goes from stove to oven; no special utensils are needed to cook in it; it won't warp, and cleanup is a cinch. A well-seasoned cast iron pan will only get better with age, and will last you for a lifetime.

So if you have an old cast iron pot stowed away somewhere, I would encourage you to bring it back to life and give it a place in your family for years to come- to one day pass down to your children's children.

10.17.2009

discoveries.




One of the sweetest parts of my morning is when I am still fast asleep and my alarm clock- otherwise known as my sweet baby Preson- goes off. My husband goes and gets him from his crib and brings him into bed with us. I nurse him and then he is off into his own tiny world of imagination- exploring through the sea of covers and mountains of pillows! Not to mention the grand canyon between my husband and I. But his all time favorite thing to do is to peep through the little cutout square in our headboard that looks into our backyard through a window. It is so sweet! He climbs all over us and our pillows, grunting and as determined as ever, while grabbing handfuls of his daddy's hair to gain leverage to hoist himself up to the little window that was specifically design for him. Once he gets there, he grabs the string of the blinds and shoves the little hanging wooden bobble into his mouth. He is at that time totally content for an all time total of 3 minutes! (Thats a long time in baby-time!) Needless to say that despite my attempts to finish off those last few z's, I cant close my eyes as I embrace every moment of this first year of discoveries.



10.03.2009

autumn lover


I love fall. Doesnt everyone?- especially us Floridians despite the late start. The first whiff of crisp dry air sends me weeding through my winter clothes in search of a light sweater to cozy up in. The air gets turned off and all the windows and doors come open and Tommy turns on his bluegrass.
I get slightly giddy over how Seminole Heights (our little historic urban neighborhood) comes to life in the fall. Everyone is almost magnetically drawn outdoors for a walk with their loved ones and puppy dogs. The parks become flooded with children playing tag and the Starbucks on the corner becomes unusually busy. It's probably just me, but it feels just the slightest bit like a northern town.


One of the things I look forward to most are the long drives my husband and I make a point of taking every few weeks along
the countryside. Dade City and Tarpon Springs are usually our destination while stopping off along the way at antique shops and fruit stands for some hot boiled peanuts. The sounds of Anathallo, Devendra Banhart, Jon Foreman and Cocoon bring back these wonderful memories.

I recently was researching local pumpkin patches and came across Sweetfields Farm-an organic pumpkin patch up in Brooksville. Later this month, when the weather cools down a bit, we will take a day with close friends and family for hayrides and pumpkin pickin'!

Hopefully this fall we will be able to take a trip to the mountains at some point. I dream about bundling Preson up in his knitted teddy bear beanie and putting him in his sling for a hike. I cant wait to share with Preson all the fall activities that I grew up with and begin giving him some wonderful memories to take with him in life!

God is so good- he draws my undivided attention to him as he changes the seasons. I sense Him in nature and he renews my spirit each year at this time.