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Week 4 Round-Up

This is my last weekly round-up for our Cast Iron Journey! From now on- we’ll be reflecting monthly. But January was special and really helpful to kick-off our journey this year.

If you are in need of some Kitchen Tallow for your Cast-Iron ware, check here in our shop:

www.etsy.com/shop/ConnorsRdCollective

Looking for some gift ideas? We have some cute Valentine’s Gifts that we can send out in a jiffy- bundles of our Kitchen Tallow and potholders or Kitchen Tallow and crocheted skillet handle covers. Go check them out in our shop.

And, if you love our tallow for your kitchenware, be sure to check out our hand salve- made of all-natural ingredients and especially helpful for the dry winter air. They are scented with essential oils that have many great benefits of their own, made by our very own Oarsman. More info and videos on our Facebook page: ConnorsRdCollective

This week, we had some new contributors in our Facebook group, who gave us some really good recipe ideas to use in our cast-iron. Here are the ideas and recipes:

We also saw how great cast-iron can be in a pinch! We all have those moments when suddenly our oven stops working:

Amazing what we can come up with when we need to feed our families! Well done!

I’ll be trying a new soda bread recipe to share in our group this week and can’t wait to see what else people are making around the world. Find our Facebook group here: Cast Iron Journey 2021

All the best in the kitchen this week!

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Seasoning Cast-iron

What is seasoning?

When it refers to cast-iron cookware, seasoning is the layer of good stuff between your cast-iron and the food you’re cooking. Lodge Cast Iron has a good article on the science of cast-iron seasoning here:

https://www.lodgecastiron.com/cleaning-and-care/cast-iron/science-cast-iron-seasoning

As they mention, “When oils or fats are heated in cast iron at a high enough temperature, they change from a wet liquid into a slick, hardened surface through a process called polymerization.” Seasoning helps create a natural, non-stick surface. When there isn’t a good layer of seasoning on our cast-iron, it corrodes and rusts. My cast-iron skillet spent 6 months residing in a shipping container from Dubai to Chicago and it ended up looking like this:

Ahhhhhh!!!!

Who knows how many different changes in climate it went through on the journey and in storage. But all was not lost, because cast-iron can be re-seasoned to bring it back to life. Because I needed to re-season my pan, I first washed it very well using a mild detergent and baking soda in order to take care of the grime and rust. If you are seasoning a pan for the first time, you don’t need to use baking soda like I did.

Here’s the rest of how you can season and re-season your pan:

  1. Heat the oven to 350-450 degrees Fahrenheit. (You’ll find varying temps all over the web when you search. Sometimes the higher temperature comes with directions for a shorter time, so I decided to do the lower temp for longer option)
  2. Coat the inside and handle of the pan with a thin, even layer of tallow.  A soft cotton cloth makes a good applicator.  Turn over and place on a cookie sheet to do the same thing on the bottom of the pan and handle, applying tallow all over. If you have a lid, you can do at the same time.
  3. Place in the oven on the cookie sheet face down and bake for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and place on a metal cooling rack.  After the pan’s cooled to “warm,” buff the inside with a clean soft cloth.
  4. It’s good to season your pan a few times, even if it come “pre-seasoned”. As Lodge Cast Iron even mentions in the above article, the seasoning fills in the rough surface of your cast-iron making it smoother and more non-stick.

If you are a visual learner- we have a video you can see as a part of our Facebook Group, Cast Iron Journey 2021, here:

https://fb.watch/2ZU9LXA9dH/

Join along and contribute- we would love to hear from you this year about your cast-iron and recipes you love!

And check out our Kitchen Tallow for seasoning your cast-iron in our shop! You’ll like the results:

What It Looked Like, and Now!

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First Week Round-Up

Last week was the start of what I think is going to be such a fun adventure! Even in the midst of uncertainty, fear, anxiety, and such awful events- there is so much inspiration, change, and good taking place. I’ll admit it’s hard to find it sometimes, and so I’m grateful to have a place this year to build good positive community, to grow and learn, and to share lives together. So, if this is the first time your hearing about our Cast Iron Celebration going on this year then check here for details: How to Join In

We started a discussion on our Facebook group, Cast Iron Journey 2021, discussing how we clean our cast-iron after we cook with it. We had a mixed degree of “to use soap, or not to use soap”. What do you do to clean your cast-iron?

This week in our group, we’ll move into the basics of seasoning our Cast-Iron. You can find it here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/227225078908512

We also started posting on Instagram with the #castiron2021.

Collaboration and Sharing has begun with some recipe posts and even adaptations. We had two delicious Cast-iron recipe/ideas shared by our group:

Cast-Iron Skillet Cornbread, which obviously was a smashing success:

And,

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie made with Homemade Biscuits, recipe found here: https://playswellwithbutter.com/skillet-chicken-pot-pie/?fbclid=IwAR2eAgtgsTKAm5RBoH4xHRICnSwjJi4kR5ib1kAO286cN6eAkOVggV0heq0

It was another winning recipe:

And was even adapted to AIP by one of our group members:

She changed the homemade biscuits to this recipe:

https://www.ottosnaturals.com/blogs/recipes/paleo-cassava-flour-biscuits?fbclid=IwAR0c4RXUpKFFeT4y03Z4RxrgvEsAq_sqRYz2LbqAa3um9N17nOs9e5GhxrA

And substituted the dairy with coconut milk!

I love seeing all this creativity in cooking and sharing! Learn along with us!

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How to Join In:

  • Follow #castiron2021 on Instagram
  • Post the recipes you love to make in your cast-iron cookware (or the new things you try!!!) on Facebook and Instagram, include the hashtag #castiron2021
  • Tag @connorscollective.etsy on Instagram and share on our ConnorsRdCollective page on Facebook so that we can see your posts and include your posts and recipes on our page, especially if you really loved something you found!
  • Include the disasters, not every journey is smooth so even if a dish turns into a disaster or differently than you expected- let’s share it!
  • Try out some of our Kitchen Tallow to enjoy the experience even more and find out how to properly season and keep your cast-iron in good shape, or teach us how you do it!
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Our Cast Iron Journey in 2021

We are so excited to start this journey together tomorrow, and we want to invite you to join us! We’ll be posting a page on our website to gather our findings and will try as best we can to contribute and support the learning we can engage in together this year.

Click here for our Cast Iron Journey Page and contributions:

Here’s to the start of growing together and enjoying yummy and healthy food.