Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Iron Skillet

Years ago, after rheumatoid arthritis began to take its toll on my hands and wrists, I gave away my well-seasoned, treasured iron skillets. I simply couldn’t lift them any more.

Searching for a good alternative, I discovered that a stainless steel skillet is worthless for sautéing because everything sticks to the pan. The only remaining option was an aluminum non-stick skillet, so I bought one, and another, and another. No matter how careful one is, the non-stick surface becomes scratched and worn through. Toxic, so the whole pan has to be replaced, and where does the old pan go? Into the landfill, of course.

Recently it was time to replace yet another non-stick skillet. I shopped and shopped but couldn’t find an acceptable replacement. Then, while grocery shopping, I walked down an aisle that featured pots and pans. (I still find it strange that one can buy such things in a grocery store, but I guess that’s why they’re called supermarkets.) There an iron skillet caught my eye. Eureka! It had two handles. All of my 2-quart saucepans have two handles and I can lift them even when they are full.

That iron skillet was so tempting I had to try to lift it just to see if I could. Yes, I could! I tried tilting it. I could easily do that, too. Into the cart it went and we’ve been using it ever since with great pleasure. Not only does it have two handles, it also had been pre-seasoned, so there was no breaking in period.

Last evening I decided to bake cornbread in the iron skillet. The results amazed me. The cornbread was moist in the middle and nicely browned on the top and bottom. It popped out of the skillet as easily as a loaf of whole wheat bread does. Sorry I didn’t get a photo until most of the cornbread was gone.

Hooray for Lodge iron skillets, made in the U.S.A.! That’s the kind my grandma used, and no other skillet measures up to it.

Copyright 2015 by Shirley Domer

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Tonight the outside of our lighted kitchen window is covered with several kinds of moths, drawn to the light. I tried to photograph them from inside, but captured only my own reflection.

Moths are nocturnal creatures so their attraction to light is a paradox. It makes no sense. My reflection in the window reminds me that I, like the moths, am sometimes irresistibly drawn to something that is not good for my wellbeing. Oh, what fools we mortals be, moths and humans alike!

Copyright 2015 by Shirley Domer

Friday, October 16, 2015

Neither Here nor There

Becoming a snowbird has had me neither here nor there. My mind has busy thinking about what to do with the last of this year’s garden vegetables, but it’s also been trying to anticipate what we will need to furnish our casita kitchen in Tucson. I have more lists of things to do than you can shake a stick at. But last week I stole a few moments to photograph the true beginning of fall – the turning of the ivies in our woods from green to red and orange.

Quickly the flames spread to the leaves of the trees themselves and leaf fall began in earnest. What’s more, last night our first frost finished off the garden peppers, the last plants in the garden other than perennials such as strawberries and raspberries. Yesterday Dennis picked the last tomatoes and this morning he brought in all the salvageable peppers. I had fun sorting the produce*, and I’m happy knowing that I can soon leave food preservation behind and focus on packing up for our sojourn away.

*We didn’t grow the two Jonathon apples; they just happened to be on the kitchen worktable. They, along with three or four others, soon will become apple pie.

Copyright 2015 by Shirley Domer