We live in northeast Wisconsin, just minutes away from the Door County peninsula, where you’ll find one of the biggest tart cherry producing areas in the U. S. We usually go picking and fill the freezer every two years. Our favorite cherry picking spot – Cherry Lane Orchard – has a deal where you get the seventh bucket free if you pick six, which is a LOT of cherries. We stocked up last year, but we had family visiting this year who wanted to go picking, so we headed up yesterday. I was talking to my niece about how to pit the cherries, and she had never heard of the method we use. This was passed down to us with much ceremony the first year we went cherry picking, back in the 1990′s. We had my mom and nephew with us, and had picked a whole mess of cherries – two five gallon buckets of them. As we were paying the bill, the orchard owner asked how we were going to pit them. Never having picked before, we had no idea. (Worry about it later, right?) She leaned in close, and told us she would share the secret of the world’s cheapest cherry pitter.
In 2013, I reviewed a gorgeous, sustainably harvested cutting board from Proteak. They’ve recently relaunched their Marine Collection of cutting boards, and asked if I would like to share them with all of you again. Since the last giveaway was so popular, I was glad to do so. You can read the full review of Proteak and the Proteak Cutting Boards to learn about teak, where the wood is grown and the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship. Since they’ve taken steps to produce a quality produce that lasts, I figured it would be a great idea to share the things you should never do to your cutting board to help it stay beautiful for a lifetime of service.
7 Things You Should Never Do To Your Cutting Board
I cringe a little every time I see rust this bad on a cast iron pan. Yeah, it’s kind of nasty looking but that’s not what bothers me. When I was first married I had a cast iron pan and my husband, after cooking breakfast for me, left the pan soaking in the sink. Yes, you read that right, he left it soaking. As a young girl who thought men should just “know better” you can imagine the argument that followed. What was worse is that I had no idea how to fix the pan – there was no internet to speak of at the time, and I wound up throwing it away. So those rusty pots and pans remind me of a time when I made a few more mistakes than I do now. Now, that I know better, when I see those neglected pots or pans I have an overwhelming desire to take all of them and show them love and affection and help them “look and cook” like they they were intended to. A little like marriage, it takes a little time and a bit of work to restore cast iron cookware, but it is really worth the time and effort!
Cast iron is my favorite cookware; I talk all about the reasons why here. Cast iron needs a little more care than most cookware, but the trade off is that it will last forever (well, at least your lifetime and probably your child’s lifetime). There is a lot of cast iron of varying quality on the market today. Some of it comes pre-seasoned and some of it ships unseasoned. Believe it or not there are times when you will want to strip the pre-seasoning off a new piece of cast iron, but I’ll get to that in a moment. If you purchase new cast iron and it arrives unseasoned can you start cooking with it? You could, but you would probably have a hard time with food sticking to your cookware. The seasoning is the black covering (or patina) that makes cast iron non-stick.
I’m going to show you how to season your cast iron cookware so that it will have a non-stick surface. The more you cook with cast iron the more non-stick it becomes. It’s a process. You would also use this method if you found some old cast iron at a yard sale and it needed to be stripped and re-seasoned. I’m not going to get into the stripping in this post, but I will in a later post. For now let’s just say you have “naked” cast iron and you want to season your piece.
Sometimes you come across a new product and think, “It’s about time somebody invented that!” That’s what I thought when I came across the FARMcurious Fermenting Set. Nicole contacted me via the Common Sense Homesteading facebook page about her kickstarter project, and I knew she had a great tool that would be useful to many people. Don’t have a clue about what I’m saying? Read on, or skip to the video, and learn how and why to do more fermenting and add live cultured foods to your diet.