Arctic Blast 2019: Seasoning

The so-called “arctic blast” never really showed up, although it was the usual cold and windy Pax River January day today.

Apparently there is this “football tournament on” this evening, but as my Bears were eliminated from the competition two weeks ago, I’m not really interested. Today I spent time preparing for tomorrow’s breakfast of shakshuka, which is a North African dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers and spices. Shakshuka is supposedly best cooked in a cast iron skillet; however, mine has been gently oxidizing in my lower cupboard for about eighteen months and it needed some love.

So today, rather than football, I seasoned my cast iron skillet.

After shopping for my ingredients for tomorrow’s shakshuka, I  put everything away except for my Brillo pads which I would need to clean my skillet. First I preheated the oven to 350 degrees. Next I put a bath towel in the sink, so as not to scratch it while cleaning the skillet. I needed four Brillo pads to get rid of as much of the rust and dirt that covered the “gently used” skillet. I say gently used because I think I cooked one meal with it, washed it, then put it away. After seeing it turn a dark hunter’s orange, I put off using it for a while. I had heard of “seasoning’ cast iron skillets, but only gained confidence after watching a video from Martha Stewart.

After washing out the rust and completely drying it. I applied two coats of Crisco shortening all over the skillet: inside the pan and out on the bottom, plus the handles. Basically I covered every square inch of the pan with Crisco…twice. I put the skillet bottoms up on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil and put it in the oven to bake for two hours. I set it to back about 3:05, and it finished at 5:05. Martha said to take the pan out of the oven when it has cooled off, so I took a nap…and took it out of the oven at ten ’til nine.

My cast-iron skillet looks and feels a lot better than when I last put it away so long ago. Phase one of the shakshuka project is complete. Only thing is I couldn’t find any good French bread, so i will have to settle for good old Wax-Mart Texas Toast.

Thank you, Martha.

Song of the Day: I’ve been on a Beatles kick on YouTube for the last couple of days, but that’s kind of a cliche’. I know I’ve done SOTDs for Cream, so I reach into my CD collection and pull out…drum roll, please…

The GoGos! Everybody’s favorite 80s all-girl band! “Our Lips are Sealed” would be everybody’s go-to choice, but “Get Up and Go” and “Head Over Heels” showed they could really rock. “Turn to You” was a cute video…which YouTube does not have, not even on the GoGos official channel. Why?

Tomorrow: SHAKSHUKA!!! Shakshukashakshuka

Thank God and WordPress for hyperlinks.

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