How do you care for cast iron?

it with soap, just wipe it out with a damp cloth. Never scrub it with a pad or scouring powder. If stuff is stuck to the bottom, soak it, then scrape the residue off  gently with the flat edge of a spatula. If it looks dull, oil it. I know there are whole web sites devoted to the care of cast iron, and these have competing doctrines, especially when it comes to the seasoning process. I don’t have the strength to sort out these arguments,...

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Garden Bench Ideas

nch midway up a staircase on the Lands End trail overlooking the entrance to the bay. It’s the most beautiful place on the planet with a nice bench to enjoy the view.  A bench at the Preston Winery, home of that olive oil I blogged about yesterday. I don’t ‘think a short bench like any of these would work in our backyard. At home I’m either running around or completely horizontal. Perhaps some kind of lounge chair might...

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Bushcraft Video

ike hunting and blacksmithing, but I admire the grit. Here you can learn how to make a lamp out of raccoon fat and crap he scavenges from an abandoned cabin. This project is appealing (???)  to me because it combines homemade oil lamps, which I love, with a more recent interest in novel ways to deal pesky backyard critters. Skunk lamp, anyone? The Pathfinder School also has it’s own reality show–roughly cut footage of their camps and...

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Recipe for the World’s Best Whole Wheat Pancake

e oldest wheat in the Americas. It’s a soft, winter wheat traditionally used for tortillas. Recipe (based on Nancy Silverton’s pancakes) 210 grams starter 2 tablespoons maple syrup 3 tablespoons safflower or corn oil 2 eggs 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder The night before making these pancakes I take a tablespoon of mature starter and add it to 100 grams of freshly milled Sonora wheat flour and...

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DIY Christmas Trees

oks out there which could do with re-purposing. My picks for the chopping block are celebrity bios and inexplicable runaway best-sellers like the Da Vinci Code and 50 Shades of Grey. These publishing phenomena are like biblio oil slicks, cluttering up shelves and choking out endangered books. Erik’s suggestion is Why the Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust – And How You Can Profit from It: How to Build Wealth in Today’s Expanding Rea...

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Poached eggs and greens on toast with wildflowers

, hot pepper, etc.–or absolutely plain. At the same time, get some water going for poached eggs. While that’s heating, toast up some nice big slices of bread. Dress that toast how you like–with butter, olive oil, S&P, a rub of garlic, maybe a bit of some gourmet spread you’ve got in the fridge–whatever. (And by the way, just because it’s not part of our plan doesn’t mean that some bacon or ham might...

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Return of Bean Friday: Spicy Mayocoba Beans

so used lots of paprika plus a little bit of cayenne pepper as a substitute Put the beans in a big pot, cover them with a couple of inches of water and simmer until tender. When the beans are getting close to done, heat some oil in a deep skillet or a heavy bottomed pot and saute the onion until translucent. Then add the garlic and the rest of the spices, reserving only the jalapenos. I like to cook everything well at this stage to bring out fla...

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Tour de Crap

Scandinavia have done with in-house composting toilets like the Clivus Multrum. In the meantime people, remember that somebody has got to deal with what you all flush and pour down the drain so please don’t put cooking oil and grease down the sink. Not only is this bad for your own plumbing, but it causes clogs in the city’s lines as well. Also keep your pharmaceuticals out of the toilet–no joke here–we have ocean fish sw...

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Cichorium intybus a.k.a. Italian Dandelion

irst time we tasted this plant. Changing the cooking water a few times if you boil Italian dandelion is one way to deal with the bitterness, but we prefer to just throw it together with some fat in a frying pan, such as olive oil and/or pancetta. We also add some hot pepper flakes for a nice hot counter-punch. Italian dandelion makes a good companion to balsamic vinegar marinated pork or game (squirrels perhaps–they’ve been stealing o...

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Rats

aste. Rats nourished in the wine stores of the Gironde were at one time highly esteemed by the coopers, who grilled them, after having cleaned out and skinned them, on a fire of broken barrels, and seasoned them with a little oil and plenty of shallot. This dish, which was then called Cooper’s Entrecôte, would be the origin of the Entrecôte à la bordelaise....

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