Friday, 22 January 2016

The pan...... new but now rusty!

Lester suggested to me that perhaps we should invest in some cast iron cookware especially to be used on the Rayburn wood burning stove.
It is a good suggestion.
However, it would seem to me that cast iron cookware demands man muscles because they are heavy, this I learnt after doing a trial heft of a friend's Le Creuset pot.
Empty and lidless, it was all I could to lift the thing. With lid and full of food, chance.
I have lady muscles, plus I have overdone things which involve my wrists, which are not wanting to work properly, and tend to have a think as to whether or not they will oblige me by lifting things up.
A bit of a nuisance when one is cooking dinner,
or doing anything which involves shifting things from here to there.
Have had a couple of near accidents when in mid lift the wrists have said, "No, don't want to", which is a bit inconvenient if it involves a kettle of hot water, or a pan of hot, cooked veg.
Man muscles! I need to get some! Plus two working wrists!
Anyways, ......cast iron cookware...
So to promote a keenness not really felt, but thought I should show willing,
I bought a cast iron frying pan from Amazon UK.
It arrived.
I was impressed both by its solidness, and weight.
But what was this!......something about getting it 'seasoned'.
However, this was not done because the instructions were written in ever such tiny writing which I could not read, so the pan was left to sit, becoming another one of those 'To Do' projects.
And then it came to be the time when Lester decided to cook us up a treat.
I was in bed asleep, nursing a cold.
But 'Where are the frying pans?' he thought.
He searched and searched but could not find them
(they were in the Back Kitchen stacked up with other pots ,waiting to be washed up)
And then his eyes did spot the new frying pan, clean, idle, needing to be used, or so he thought.
On to the Rayburn hotplate it went, in was sploshed the omelette he was making as the treat,
"Vera" he called out, "your lunch is nearly ready",
followed by "***!!!****".
Folks, for you who think about buying a cast iron frying pan, do please pay attention to the instructions on how to season it, and even if you can't read those instructions because they are in such small print, have a search on the internet  to find out.
For myself, my internet search has focussed on, "How to get the rust off a cast iron pan".
...because the omelette stuck to the pan, could not be got off, so the pan was left to soak, and then it was forgotten about (not really, just sort of left until I had time to attend to it),
and then things got put on top of it,

My first cast iron pan, brand new, almost unused
(I had toast for lunch that day after the Omelette Project was abandoned)
but already battle scarred and covered top and bottom with rust.
Apparently it can be cleaned up,
apparently it is still usable,
but for the moment it still remains as a 'Project in waiting'.
I have got a lot of those sort of projects on the go at the moment.
So if any of you good folk can help with either 'How to de-rust' info, or 'How to season' info, I would be most grateful.
And that cheese I spoke about the other day...the one which threw up the most horrible smell, but which tasted really is just as well I vacuum sealed two thirds of the cheese and put it away for safe keeping in my cheese fridge, because I seem to have 'lost' the remaining third.
Methinks that it has gone inside Lester's tum.
Methinks that he had a 'weak' moment and could not help but do a raid in our other fridge where this portion of cheese was kept,
which upset me a little bit because just now I had my own 'weak' moment when the urge to have a morsel of that cheese overtook me.
All gone, not a crumb left.
I could, of course, do my own raid on the cheese fridge and open one of the saved packets of cheese,
but that would be weakness because if we eat the cheese as fast as it matures, then we shall have no cheese to get us through those times when the cows stop giving us milk and no more cheese can be made.
But that means I can't have a piece of cheese now.
What to do.....
Eat all up now, or eat a portion then store the rest.....,
or keep a portion to eat but divide it up so that Lester can 'find' his own morsel,
but hide away another piece for when I have the urge to have a nibble.
Ah but then Lester would inevitably find 'my' piece.
He can't find his socks in his sock drawer, but he would find that cheese!
Bless him, I must be gracious in defeat with this, after all he has to look after our cows and put up with their shenanigans when they are in season, when they have the almighty urge to mate with anyone handy, normally Lester when he trying to milk them.
Oops, my wrists are complaining so I am going to close off now,
Thanks for stopping by,
and bye for now.
PS. To sooth my disappointment about not having a piece of cheese I toasted myself up a slice of  DIY bread on the hotplate of the Rayburn,  spread on the toast some of our DIY butter, and on top of that slathered a very generous helping of non-DIY Nutella.
And I remembered to take the meat out of the oven of the Rayburn, .....a leg of mutton, wrapped in foil to stop it from drying out because I knew that I would forget that it was in the oven (no cooking smells come from the Rayburn so one can forget that one is in the process of cooking food in it).

Wrists now thoroughly done in,

bye for now again!


Horst in Edmonton said...

To Properly treat a cast iron fry pan you must oil it up, then heat it up until it smokes, then take it off of the heat and let it cool. This should be done after every cleaning, then when you cook you just use it as you would any pot or fry pan. I have 3 cast iron fry pans and they are very easy to clean when properly treated. I love them. Just don't clean them in a dish washer. They really rust when you do that.

Cro Magnon said...

I have one of those ribbed cast iron pans; it's never been used. I also have a full set of rustic French steel pans (I'm sure you know the ones) which are wonderful, but they have to be thoroughly cleaned and oiled after each use, or they too rust.

Ally said...

We have a big steel wok for stir fries. After washing in the sink it goes on the Aga plate to thoroughly dry off then a thin film of oil is applied, then covered with a sheet of kitchen paper and stored away till next time. Would rust in no time otherwise. I have Le Creuset pans and they are really a bit heavy. I, too, have weak wrists prob after years of spinning, knitting, crocheting, so I can understand your problem.

Vera said...

HORST, thanks for the info, and will give it a go. It would be a shame to have the pan stay forever unused!

CRO, I am astonished at how rusty that pan got in such a short time! I am thinking, therefore, that I might continue with non stick frying pans and stainless steel cooking pots!

Dawn McHugh said...

I have a paella pan like that, it was left in the barn and got damp I am going to give it a go with this method using salt a potato and a bit of oil, I love my paella pan we bought it in France.

LaPré DelaForge said...

Season once as Horst says.... preferably out-of-doors....
it saves cleaning the whole house afterwards...
and avoids setting of the compulsory smoke alarms...
a barbecue is perfect... it delivers a much more gentle heat than any hob!!
Move the pan around to make sure that ALL of it is equally seasoned.

Then when you clean, DO NOT USE soapy water...
use very hot water and a cloth to wipe clean....
and a natural fibre scrubbing brush to remove stubborn bits...
the bamboo whisk that all "Chinese" suppliers sell is actually such a brush...
and a real Chinese supply shop sells them as such...
if you use them as a whisk, you run the risk of getting dangerous short bamboo fibres in your food...
which can be deadly.
But many health food shops [viz the BioCoop chain in France] sell stiff-fibre brushes... I replaced my worn out bamboo one last year with one... it isn't going to last as long, tho... three years probably.

Once washed... dry it IMMEDIATELY and apply a thin coat of oil before putting away.... but it is best to keep these hanging, decoratively, near the cooker.
I use Peanut Oil... and use a bit of newspaper to apply it.
It will then self-pre-season each time you use it.
You get no further rust.
You will get a build-up of what looks like soot on the outside...

And if you get the odd patch of rust, cook some mushrooms and have them with scrambled egg on toast...
the body needs iron for good blood...
this was one way our forebears obtained it!!

If you suffer from the "weakening of the wrists"...
please consider getting a pair of good, tailored, leather wrist supports...
I don't suffer, but still use them...
my forester recommended their use for anyone involved in heavy work.
They only need to be worn when necessary.

Mine are like a fingerless glove and strap at the back of the wrist...
with a steel plate that runs from ball of thumb and widens at the wrist.
I got mine from the same medical tailors as him...
they also did shoes and hernia supports, etc....
as well as lifting belts for shopfloor workers and weightlifters.
Cost me about a tenner each... I was on £19 a week then!!
They get oiled too... with walnut oil...
keeps them supple and waterproof and they smell nice!!

Vera said...

ALLY, so us ladies who do spinning, knitting, crochet, etc need to not use Le Creuset pans then! I'm OK with that. Hope you wrists keep well.

DAWN, thanks for the link. But it looks like a lot of elbow grease is needed if that rust is to be removed!

LaPré, thanks for the info.....and thanks for writing such a fulsome reply. It is much appreciated. Like the thought of the 'build up of soot' being 'ignored'...means I won't have to fuss with trying to keep the pan clean!
As for those wrist supports, wow!, I think I would look the real bizz with one of those on each wrist! Will have a look on the internet to see if they can still be bought!

Sol said...

After years of not so great pots and going through many a frying pan, I took the chance and a lot of £££ and bought le creuset 3 ply stainless steel pots and a frying pan. I save so much on electric they heat up so quickly where I used to have to cook at 7 or 8 on my stove. And now I can cook on 3 or 4. fab. I love them and they are so easy to clean

My Life in the Charente said...

Sounds like you have been given all the answers above so I hope they are successful. As for your wrists I hope it is not carpal tunnel. I over did the gardening bit a few years back in South Africa and ended up with carpal tunnel syndrome. The op was not painful but for months I could not even open a jar and it took ages to get any strength back in them! Take care Diane

Vera said...

SOL, I bought this frying pan because I, too, go through lots of frying pans. I shall have a look at 3ply stainless steel pots on Amazon, as I think that they would be much lighter than the cast irons ones, and thanks for pointing me in that direction.

DIANE, my wrists are behaving oddly at the moment.....really painful in the morning, especially the left one, but as the day goes on the pain subsides but the hand remains quite swollen. The right one is not so bad. I shall have a look on the internet about carpal tunnel syndrome, but meanwhile shall continue to give myself Reiki healing to help shift it. Looking on the positive side though, it has slowed me down a lot, which is no bad thing!

Old School said...

Hi Vera - enjoy your blog, and admire your cheeses! I found a fellow who makes cheese without any rennet, either from calves or GMO plants. He starts out with homemade kefir. Here is the link.



Vera said...

SU, thanks for your kind comment, and thanks also for the link. I use vegetable rennet, which is, as you say, probably from GMO plants. I did try kefir recently as a drink for myself, but found that my stomach did not approve so I had to stop using it. But will investigate the link to see how do-able it is....I am always interested in how other people do things!

northsider dave said...

You can cook whole mushrooms on top of the hotplate Vera. Have you got a toasting fork for your toast in front of the range fire?

Kerry said...

Oh my goodness, I'll stick to my ceramic nonstick, much less work. Hope you get your man muscles soon and your wrists get better.

Vera said...

NORTHSIDER DAVE, Thanks for the info,, we do not have a toasting fork, but we do cook bread on the hotplate to make a sort of toast, and toasted cheese sarnies...delish!

KERRY, thanks, wrists will get better when they decide they want to work again!

DUTA said...

I usually get rid of pot disasters with the help of vinegar . They look as new after the treatment, but I must add these are lighter pots ,not iron made.

Vera said...

DUTA, I use vinegar for all of my cleaning needs! Excellent stuff!

Jean said...

My mum used to clean her rusty pans with Brillo pads. Generally the frying pans were permanently greasy enough not to rust too often!
Sorry to hear about your wrists. Things like that really make life difficult and can take such a long time to heal. Nick has a similar problem caused by too much wielding of the screwdriver when building our kitchen cabinets. Which just shows how easy it is to hurt yourself without really trying. I hope you soon get some relief.
I have given up with heavy pans and just use basic non stick ones, which are very light and because they're inexpensive I just take them to recycling when they get tatty. They generally last a few years before I change them and they're much easier on the wrists, arms and elbows. I found my cast iron frying pan so difficult to use that I took it to the charity shop after it had been sulking at the back of the cupboard for a few years. After that I was happier as I no longer felt guilty about not using such an expensive piece of kit! On the other hand I still have my mum's old Prestige stainless steel pans which are a bit dented now and part of the handles are missing where she melted them on the gas, but they seem to go on long as I can still buy Brillo pads!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Never fear! We just seasoned some cast iron ourselves and it is not difficult. The only issue we ran into was the pan cooling and getting sticky after but we googled that and fixed it!

Vera said...

JEAN, I have stainless steel pots which must be about fifteen years old and are still going strong! But the frying pans only seem to last about six months or so, which is why I thought I would invest in one which would last much longer. Of course I did not think about the upkeep of a cast iron frying pan because I am so used to the non stick modern pans!
Hope Nick's wrists have repaired themselves. I am surprised at how much damage I did to my wrists without even knowing I was doing so!

LISA, will watch for the stickiness!