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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Can you cook a turkey in a volcano stove?

Someone posed the question on a yahoo discussion group:

Can you cook a turkey in a volcano stove?

The company says yes, but... 

When I cooked a turkey in a camp oven, I used a Lodge 14 inch deep camp oven.  

And I still had to remove the breastbone, so it would fit.  

You can't use a 14 inch camp oven in a volcano.  It only fits camp ovens up to 12 inches.

The turkey I roasted was medium size, 14 pounds.

A smaller turkey MIGHT fit in a 12 inch deep camp oven, and you'll definitely have to remove the breastbone.

So unless you can get a turkey small enough to fit in a 12 inch deep camp oven, my answer would be no.

chicken cordon bleu casserole

This is a crock pot recipe, but you can also make it in a cast iron pot, in the oven at 250.

You could also cook it in a camp oven with coals!

In the pot, put in some thin chicken breasts that have been pounded down.

Add some thin sliced ham, provolone and brie cheese, and cream of chicken soup.

That's it!  It's basically chicken cordon bleu, with sauce instead of breading.


salmon marinated in brown sugar and beer.

I got this recipe from the local grocery store.

I saw salmon that had been marinated in brown sugar and beer.

So I decided to make it myself!

All you need is brown sugar and beer.  

Soak the salmon in the brown sugar and beer.

Then transfer to a pan.  Into the oven at 350.

Yes, it was that easy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

my first homemade yogurt!

I made my first homemade yogurt!  

I was nervous about how it would turn out, but indeed, it is bona fide yogurt.

Yogurt is not made in cast iron.

Most of the time, you heat the milk on the stove, and if you're using cast iron, the seasoning will dissolve into the milk.  

But believe it or not, I did not heat the milk on the stove.  How was that possible?

I used a unique yogurt making machine, called the miracle yogurt maker.

With this machine, you don't have to heat the milk on the stove, or measure the temperature.

You take a quart carton of whole milk -- make sure it's whole milk!

Let the milk get to room temperature.  If it's too cold, it won't work.

You need a "starter".  There are powdered starter cultures, but I used a container of Activia brand yogurt.

The yogurt also needs to be at room temperature when you mix it in the milk.

Plain yogurt is preferred, but I couldn't find any plain Activia, so I used a random flavor.  

I chose Activia because it has good active cultures.  You can use any yogurt you want, but be sure it has active cultures.

Mix in some powdered milk if you want thicker yogurt.

Put the carton inside the machine, plug it in, and leave it for 24 hours.

The instructions say 12, but that was not long enough.

If you like more tart yogurt, you can leave it for 48 hours.

Refrigerate overnight before eating.  The yogurt will thicken in the refrigerator.

I had it with blueberries!  

You might want to add sugar if you're used to sweeter yogurt.

Friday, October 12, 2012

my first homemade peanut butter

I made my first homemade peanut butter!

You don't use cast iron to make peanut butter, of course.  

All you need is a food processor, no cooking required.

Unless, of course, you want to roast your own peanuts.  But mine were already roasted.

I used Planter's roasted peanuts, and peanut oil.  Added a tiny bit of sugar.

At first I put in too much peanut oil, so had to add more peanuts to compensate.

It wasn't as "smooth" as store bought peanut butter, although I'm sure it would have been smoother if I'd whipped it more in the food processor.

It was grainy, but I've always liked extra crunchy peanut butter, so that wasn't a problem.

It tasted like... Planter's roasted peanuts that had been ground up in peanut oil.  

Actually, I really like Planter's peanuts, so I found it to taste great.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Finally, I'm publicly coming forward on this:

I realize this blog is "ramblings on cast iron" and not "ramblings on bullying awareness." 

But because this is National Bullying Awareness month, I am publicly coming forward with my stance on the weightism issue, for the first time.

I posted the following article on my personal Facebook page, and decided I wanted it to have a bigger audience.

For those who are actually teachable:  What is appropriate, and what is NOT appropriate.

I live with the fact that every day, I will be subject to bigotry and discrimination, because I am overweight. 

I recognize "the look", and know immediately that I will not be taken seriously. 

And I was always afraid to publicly speak up about it, because I figured that people would tell me I "brought it on myself" and I "deserved" it.

No one deserves to be bullied, for any reason.  

Whether you think a person's weight is a "choice" or not, the debate will go on forever.  But there will NEVER be any question, that being a jerk is a choice.

At my husband's former job, his regional manager had never met me, and knew NOTHING about me.  

He saw me through his office window, and proceeded to laugh and make derogatory comments.  

He asked my husband "How can you stand to be married to a fat pig woman?"  He eventually fired him, and cited that as one of the reasons.

We had no recourse whatsoever.  There is no law prohibiting employment discrimination based on weight.  Had he made a racial slur, for example, we could have taken legal action.

What a shame, that this man has two children, who are being taught that this behavior is appropriate and acceptable.  And what an even bigger shame that he professes to be a "christian."

I'm all too aware of the severe health risks associated with being overweight.  I'm not at all offended when a doctor tells me about it, because he is a doctor, and that is his job.

Just for the record, a few days ago I finally started taking steps to take care of it, on my own-- But, I'm being fairly quiet about it, because this is for ME, and not for anyone else.

I am absolutely not doing this to become more "acceptable" to those have already rejected me.  

I don't want them around me even after I have lost some weight, because they've already shown me what kind of people they are.

 I do NOT owe anybody an apology, or an explanation, for my weight.  Especially not to anybody who demands one.

I don't mind when someone is genuinely concerned and wants to offer support to me.  But more often than not, that isn't the case at all.  

There are appropriate things to say to me, but most have taken it upon themselves to say things to me that are NOT appropriate.

So perhaps you have a friend or family member that you're concerned about, and you really do want to know how to help them.  The purpose of this writing is for those people, who are actually teachable. 

The weightist bigots, obviously, will not be. 

And just so we're clear, as soon as I figure out that a person is so shallow, to tie the worth of a person directly to a number on a scale... my relationship with that person is done. 

So, I'll start with what you CAN say to me, provided that I KNOW you, and you genuinely want to offer support:

1.  You know, I found this recipe the other day for grilled fish with fresh herbs, and it was wonderful.  Here's the recipe.  I think you'll like it.

2.  Have you ever tried swimming?  It's great because it works out your whole body and it doesn't wear you out or hurt your joints.  I think you'll enjoy it.

3.  Did you know that massage therapy can help you?  That alone won't help you lose, but it will make you feel better and you'll be more likely to exercise.

4.  Have you ever tried walnuts and sliced peaches?  It's a great snack, I think you'll like it.

5.  I know the first time you exercise is the hardest, because you're so tired.  But I promise, once you start, you won't be so tired anymore, and you won't be so stiff, and you'll sleep better. 

6.  I found that playing the wii is a lot of fun, and makes the time go by a lot faster than walking on a treadmill-- I know that's a bore.

It's a short list; sadly, the supportive comments are much fewer and farther between.

There are also many comments that are NOT appropriate.  

Many people think that comments such as this will "motivate" the person to lose weight by shaming them.  It does NOT work-- and that's not their real motive anyway.

These comments are NOT a product of genuine concern, but of hateful intolerance:

1.  YOU haven't had BREAKFAST?  (in a catty, condescending tone)

First of all, I know you would never ask that question to someone of a normal weight.  

Second of all, it is NONE of your business what time of the day I eat breakfast.

2.  YOU already HAD breakfast!  (in a disgusted tone)

OK, since what I eat and when is obviously very important to you, I'll bother to educate you: 

 I cannot eat a lot of food in one sitting.  So, instead of three regular sized meals a day, I break up my meals into several small ones, about every three hours.  That's what I do; That is what works for me. 

So, yes, I did have a small bowl of cheerios three hours ago, and yes, now I'm having a half of a breakfast burrito.  

My eating schedule is not dictated by you, and neither is anybody else's.  Get over it.

3.  In a big hurry to get something to eat, huh?

Yes, as a matter of fact; I am on my way to WORK.  I will be driving an hour, to work a 16 hour shift.  When was the last time YOU did that on a Saturday? 

4.  You know, you COULD DO SOMETHING about it.

First of all, how do you know I'm not?  You assumed. 

Second of all, you COULD DO SOMETHING about being a shallow, bigoted jerk.  

The rest don't even deserve a response:

5.  There is NO WAY YOU could possibly be hungry.

6.  YOU could go a WHOLE YEAR without food and be just fine.

7.  Are you ready to eat?  I bet YOU ARE!  

8.  Hey, you didn't take ALL the donuts, did you?  

(Spoken to me by a man about 3 times my size).

9.  Not that you're THAT LITTLE!  (ha, ha)

10.  I don't want my tax dollars paying for your (fill in the blank) !!

Several people have told me this; one was a 15 year old, because "his tax dollars pay for it, it IS his business!"  Everyone knows how many thousands of dollars 15 year olds pay in taxes every year.

11.  Why don't you (fill in the blank) ??

Why don't YOU (fill in the blank)??

12.  You can't eat that!  That has FAT in it!  or, That has SUGAR in it! 

what doesn't?

13.  I would kill myself if I looked like you!  

Oh really?  Do us all a favor.

14.  You know, if you REALLY want to kill yourself (by being fat), I have a gun you can use... save yourself the trouble.

15.  Food is REALLY important to you, isn't it?  I can tell!

16.  Wow, you really can EAT!  

(Spoken as I was eating GRILLED FISH, of all things-- after I had been sick for two days!)

17.  Jesus was very bony and he didn't eat much.  You'll never be a REAL christian until you can go without food for a long time, like Jesus did.

(No, I'm not making that up.  Someone claimed it was a "word from God for me.") 

18.  Your therapist must not be doing her job, because you still have a weight problem.  If I was your therapist, I'd be focusing on that!

19.  I'm going to leave my McDonald's bag out and see if you dig in it!

(Spoken by a woman twice my size).

20.  You look like a (fill in the blank).

As a general rule, if you wouldn't say it to someone of a normal weight, you shouldn't say it to someone who is overweight. 

And I realize I'm preaching to the choir; The people who really need to be told this, will never learn. 

I guess I'm just hoping that I will help someone out, who honestly doesn't know what they should and should not say.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lodge mini servers in a toaster oven?

Someone asked on the Lodge facebook page, "Will the mini servers fit in a toaster oven?"

Lodge's answer was, it depends on the size of your toaster oven.

And it does... but from my observation, most of the time, they will.  Unless your toaster oven is very small.

I have a medium to large sized one, that can fit a 12 inch pizza.

I don't see why the mini servers would not fit even a small to medium oven.  

My advice would be to measure the inside of your oven, and then check the size of the piece before you order it.

Lodge also sells "serving griddles" without handles, which I would think would be perfect.  

There is a 7 inch handleless griddle, for example.