Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Tools I Couldn't Cook Without: Cast Iron & Magnetic Knife Holder

My Dad and Charles's Dad have taught us well. They are masterful cooks who wouldn't dream a kitchen that had no cast iron. Neither would I! Besides leaving no teflon in your system, it just makes food taste soooooo good. Cast iron has the great advantage of being able to withstand very hight heat (won't warp like all of my non-stick pans.) It goes from the stove top to the oven, and it conducts heat very evenly.

Some basic ways to care for your cast iron:

1. Raise your right hand and repeat after me: "I solemnly swear to keep my cast iron seasoned." If you do, it will never stick! You can even wash it with soap & water if you keep it well seasoned and oiled. However, NEVER let water sit in it. I prefer to wash it with boiling water and oil it (only occasionally soaping it.)

2. Seasoning your cast iron: Oil it and put it in the oven to season. I use Canola oil (it has a higher smoke point and doesn't turn into trans fat like olive oil does.) I just preheat the oven to 250 degrees and check it occasionally--sticking a wooden spoon it the oil to be sure it doesn't congeal.

Here's a fantastic write up on cast iron. Interesting cast iron fact: it actually adds iron to your diet. To get the full benefits of this cook tomato sauces in it; they pull the iron out more.

Magnetic Knife Holder:

$10 bucks at Ikea equals sharp knives and a happy cook!!! 'Nuff said. :0)

Over the holidays, I cut my finger chopping carrots with a dull knife (forgot to bring my own to a cabin we rented, duh!) Granted, Lemon Drop Martinis were involved (recipe to follow after I perfect it.) ;0) However, I still blame the dull knife. I have had the occasional tipsy kitchen adventure and I never cut myself. Wouldn't live without a great way to store knives: cooking is more enjoyable when your tools are sharp.


P.S. I'm not affiliated with any of the makers of this schtuff--I just likes it! :0)

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