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Friday, May 31, 2013

another deal I simply could not pass up

So as you know, Lodge sells a stainless steel cookware set.

They don't sell the individual pieces; You have to buy the complete set.

Which normally costs more than I would want to pay for a set of cookware, which is why I never got it before.

Tonight, I came across a set for half of what it normally costs, plus free shipping!

And what made this deal even sweeter was, it was used -- so, the Lodge company will not benefit from my purchase.

This article will explain why I only buy used Lodge cookware now.  

I like the cookware, just not the company.

Stainless steel is my second favorite type of cookware; In instances where cast iron is not ideal, then I use stainless steel.

This set comes with a 10 1/4 inch Lodge skillet, and I already have two of those.

I could give it as a present or something.

Or more than likely sell it, if I feel like going to the trouble.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Beef Tips on the fly

I had some extra stew meat, so I decided to make beef tips with gravy and rice, without looking at a recipe.

First I melted some butter in a cast iron skillet.  Browned the stew meat, along with chopped onions and mushrooms.

Should have added minced garlic, but didn't think of it.

Added black pepper and worcestershire sauce.

When it was all browned, I transferred everything to a crock pot.  

In retrospect, I could have browned it in a dutch oven and then just added everything to the pot.

Deglazed the skillet with beef broth and red wine, and added Wondra flour to thicken.

Added this sauce to the crock pot.

Added more Worcestershire sauce, and then some ketchup.

Added more black pepper.

Turned on the crock pot and let it cook.

Served over rice.

Pretty good for not even looking at a recipe!

I just got a bargain, now what am I going to do with it?

Lodge has decided to discontinue its 16 inch camp oven, due to lack of sales.

This isn't the first time; It was discontinued back in 2000, and brought back by popular demand.

I never got one, because I never had a need for one.  

And I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do with it, once I get it!

But at $97.66 on Amazon with free shipping, I couldn't turn that deal down.

And here's the best part:  Lodge will NOT benefit from my purchase, because the item was used!

I have no issue with Lodge cookware at all.  

It's the people who run the company, who for whatever reason, decided to act like petty high school girls.

I'm not one of the "cool kids", and never will be.

But I'll come up with something to do with this pan...

You know, I saw a video once that showed a guy scrambling a dozen eggs on a 14 inch camp oven lid.

So, consequently, you can do it on a 16 inch camp oven lid too.

I'd try it, if I had people to cook a dozen eggs for.  Or maybe I'll just eat eggs for three days.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I knew the Lodge facebook page would ban me again, eventually

When Lodge unjustifiably banned me from their facebook page back in November, I went public with it, posting about it not only on my blog, but on several cast iron forums.

As a result, Lodge backpedaled, claimed it was "only a temporary ban" and that they would be "more than happy" to reinstate me.  

But I knew it was just a cover up, due to my speaking out about it.  And I knew it was only a matter of time, before they would come up with a reason to ban me again.

The reason this time was, two customers had uploaded photos of very old Lodge skillets, and they wanted to know the monetary value (possibly for auctioning purposes).

Lodge does not tell their customers what their old skillets are worth, and I'm no expert at appraising skillets either.  

But, the Wagner and Griswold Society has several "old cast iron" experts, who are usually very good at pinpointing an approximate resale value.

So, I referred those two people to the WAGS forum website for help.

And, this is what I was told:

"Referring Lodge customers inquiring about the history of the Lodge brand to the Wagner-Griswold chatroom.  Although members of WAGS are knowledgeable of the Lodge brand, they are not representatives of Lodge Manufacturing and do not have complete knowledge of our history and products, copies of old Lodge product catalogs (for reference purposes) or maintain communications with members of the Lodge family who have in-depth knowledge and familiarity of our brand."

Actually, that is false; the Wagner and Griswold society has a very extensive section dedicated to Lodge, complete with old Lodge catalogs (visible to members only).

If anybody would be able to answer a question about Lodge products, new or old, it would be somebody on that forum.

When I posted to the WAGS forum about being banned the first time, several members were quick to defend Lodge, and chastise me for speaking out about such a great company.

I wonder how they would feel to know what Lodge REALLY thinks of them.

The fact is, Lodge's public relations manager, who runs their facebook page, has disliked me for a very long time.  

I first got that vibe two years ago, after I posted some suggestions on creative things to do with a Lodge cornstick pan; He accused me of attempting to initiate a marketing campaign that I was not authorized to do. 

He does not like the fact that I know as much as I do about Lodge products, and can give very detailed answers to most customers' questions.

After all, that's supposed to be HIS job, and the company might deduce that there's no need to pay HIM, to do what I've been doing for free.

Especially when some answers he gives are wrong, such as when he suggests olive oil as an acceptable seasoning agent.

Obviously, he'd rather his customers have no information, or WRONG information, than compromise his pride.

I will probably get grief for posting this article.  However, this is NOT an "advertising blog"; I post things exactly as they are.

Honestly, I have nothing against Lodge products, and I have no clue what their public relations manager has personally against me.  

I never did anything to him, except possibly know more than he cares to, about the product he's being paid to know and represent.

Monday, May 13, 2013

easy beef stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff was one of the first things I learned how to cook... except it wasn't really beef stroganoff.

I liked the recipe back then, but not very fond of it now.

The recipe was ground beef, worcestershire sauce, mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, and sour cream, served over egg rolls.

I used to really like cream of mushroom soup, but I don't really anymore.

This recipe, which I made the other day, is better, and  closer to the real thing:

Brown some stew meat, along with some chopped onions, minced garlic, and fresh mushrooms, in a cast iron pot. 

Then add two cans of GOLDEN mushroom soup, which is different from cream of mushroom soup.

Add worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup of beef broth, garlic salt, black pepper.

Into the oven at 300 for a couple of hours, until fully cooked.

A few minutes before serving, cut up an 8 oz block of cream cheese into cubes, and add to the pot.  

Heat until the cream cheese is melted.  Stir until combined.

Serve with sour cream over egg noodles.

This recipe can also be done in a dutch oven over coals, or transferred to a crock pot after browning the meat, onions, garlic and mushrooms.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

my first salisbury steak

I used to love TV dinners, and one of my favorite varieties was salisbury steak.

Mind you, frozen salisbury steak doesn't hold a candle to homemade!

I got this recipe off the internet and it was indeed awesome.

If I were to do this again, I would add a chopped onion and mix it in with the meat, like I do with my burgers and meatloaf.

I used the Lodge 13 1/4 inch skillet with lid for this!  

I have a gas stove; that skillet should not be used on an electric stove because the burners are too small.

Crumble two pounds of ground chuck in a bowl.  Mix in an egg, minced garlic, plain bread crumbs, worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and 1/3 cup of Campbell's condensed French Onion soup*.

*You don't need to add salt or other seasonings, because the French Onion soup is plenty seasoned. 

Form into patties.

In another bowl, mix the rest of the can of Campbell's condensed French Onion soup with 1 tbsp of flour.  

Then add more worcestershire sauce, ketchup, black pepper, and mustard powder.

Heat up the cast iron skillet, then brown the patties on both sides.  

Add the mixed sauce to the skillet, cover, and continue cooking for about 20 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes.