How To: Season a Cast Iron Skillet

You ever just date someone who is so wrong for you? From the get go? There are signs it’s not going to work, obvious reasons they’re not the one, red flags popping up left and right.

I’ve ignored those sings and reasons before. Breezed right on by those red flags. It’s almost a right of passage – to chase, pursue, and date a dude that isn’t a good choice. Most women I know have done it. And are better for it. Because what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

My Cast Iron Skillet, before

One dude in particular made me so strong that by now I should be able to lift a Buick over my head. Game playing, antagonizing, ignoring, disrespecting. The whole nine yards. But I was young, I thought I could get him to change.

I was an idiot.

The final nail in the coffin was when I saw how he treated his grandmother’s cast iron skillet. If he was disrespectful to me then what he did to this poor pan was unconscionable.

We had cooked burgers over a fire in the backyard (because A: his kitchen was disgusting beyond belief and B: he wasn’t sensible enough to own a working grill) and afterwards he left the pan outside. For three days. While it rained.

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Kris’s Cornbread (& grandmas)

She stared at my forearm. Icy blue eyes narrowing behind her round bifocals. Pupils as black as the ink on my skin.

“Is it permanent.” Not a question, really. A statement. Pushed through her pursed lips, words hotter than the bright kitchen lights burning above us.

Yes. It was. That’s the thing about tattoos – they tend to stay put.

And my grandma had never been a fan of tattoos – it was a well-known fact. To be honest, I hadn’t been a big fan of them either for a very long time. I’d seen far too many bad tattoos from seedy small town tattoo shops – scarred, blurry, uneven.

But this one wasn’t. It was small, straight, even. The steadiest hand had drawn it, applied it. Permanently. It was my first. It was sweet. Literally. I had gotten a small sugar molecule tattooed onto my inner right arm. And I loved it. And I’ve loved every one since. Falling deeper, my affection growing with each addition to my collection.

My latest one is my most beloved. It’s a recipe. Written in my grandma’s handwriting. Of a cake she used to make me every year on my birthday. She hasn’t made it for me in years, and every attempt I’ve made has fallen flat. But this tattoo, this tattoo was a success.

Because this tattoo my grandma doesn’t hate.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (& first impressions)

They often say, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.”

And with Nick I didn’t make a very good one.

I was mean.

I was curt, cold.

To put it plainly…

I was a bitch.

He reminded me of someone that irked and irritated me, someone who left a sour taste in my mouth. But, that someone wasn’t Nick. He was kind and smart and hardworking and fun. He had a story to tell, a new life he was adjusting to. It took a few weeks of short responses, snarky comments, and serious side eye to realize that.

Lucky for me, Nick turned out to be immensely generous and forgiving. Once I got over my own baggage and realized how ridiculous I had been acting and how fantastic he was, a real friendship formed. Nick is a maker too – a gifted wood worker and talented craftsman. His appetite for knowledge only surpassed by his staggering work ethic. The research and effort he puts in to honing his craft and building a business inspires and impresses me. I didn’t know any of this when we first met – what with being too busy having my head up my own ass to bother learning.

But, I got the chance to learn so much earlier this year, on my visit back to SC in January. One brisk afternoon I went out to his farm – saw his shop, met his dogs, fed some goats. We sat and had coffee (more on that to come), diving deep into discussion. He showed me the projects he was working on, namely one he had dubbed #spoonsforgoons2018 wherein he tasked himself with carving a new spoon every week for the entire year. Each one different, unique, intended for a family member or friend with a specific purpose in mind. An iced tea spoon for his girlfriend, a serving spoon for me, a cookie dough spoon for a former neighbor in Jersey.

It was this spoon that tugged hardest at my heartstrings.

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Thursday Things

  1. There’s been a new addition to our family – Patricia! A pistachio green Kitchen-Aid mixer. I’m in love. I used her to mix up a batch of my browned butter chocolate chip cookie dough earlier this week.
  2. Cloudy Kitchen may be one of the favorite Instagrams I’ve followed as of late.
  3. It happened. Finally. I killed a houseplant. I forgot a fern was in the window over the weekend and the heat cooked it. Burnt to a crisp.
  4. I’ve got my eye on this bag. I’m in love.
  5. Scrunchies are back! But only if they’re Hufflepuff print. Of which I now have two.
  6. Next week, Seth and I head to Chicago for a few days and I.cannot.wait. I’ll be taking him to a few of my favorite haunts as well as getting more work done on my arm. Stay tuned!