Thursday, September 30, 2010

CAST IRON Got any?

How many of you have ever cooked something in a cast iron skillet or dutch oven? Or does the thought of trying to kind of scare you?

Maybe you got great grandma's cast iron skillet or grandma's dutch oven and have just put them away some place. Well, get them out!

It is not hard to cook in these. They come in all shapes and sizes. You can cook just about anything you can think of.

Bread? Yep, all types.

Stews and soups? Yep.

Meat, all kinds? Yep.

And my favorite -- BEANS!

You can even do some pies and cobblers.

I remember my great grandmother, grandmother and grand father, even my mom and dad cooking up stuff in cast iron skillets. Everyone did bacon on Sunday mornings, eggs, hash browns, or sausage and pancakes. Pappy was great at doing his fried pancakes (just batter in grease. He called them fry-cakes.)

Brings back lots of memories.

I carried a cast iron skillet for years when camping, hunting, or fishing. And the more you cook in them, the better the food tastes.

If you have grandma's skillet and have not used it, first you need to clean it with soap and water. If it has some rust, don't worry, use some steel wool, and it will come right off.

After you have cleaned your skillet or dutch oven, make sure that it is dry, inside and out.

Next we have to season it. OK, now you get to choose: you can use cooking oil, lard, or -- my favorite -- BACON DRIPPINGS! They now have some commercial seasoning just for cast iron. I have seen it at like Bass Pro, sporting goods stores, Army surplus stores, and even in some stores that sell all kinds of kitchen gadgit who-ha stuff. (Don't tell my male friends that I have been to stores like that. I have a reputation to uphold with my male counterparts.)

Now, like I said, I use bacon grease. Take a little glob and run it all over your skillet inside and out. Cover top to bottom. You really do not have to do the handle. Set your oven to 350, place a cookie sheet in the very bottom to catch any drips. Place your skillet upside down on the rack and let bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let it cool before removing your skillet. Careful, the handle may still be pretty warm to the touch. If there is excess grease, wipe it out with a paper towel.

OK, now you've got a skillet ready for cookin!

If you have a dutch oven you cure it the same way. Cover it with bacon grease, inside and out, lid also inside and out, and follow the same directions as for your skillet.

After cooking in your skillet or dutch oven, clean up is pretty easy. Wipe out with a rag. Take a little bit of oil and wipe inside and out. Leave a bit of a shine on it and put away till next time.

The more you use them, the better they cook and they get to where food does not stick. If it does, you most likely have it too hot for cooking.

So, now I will have to do some Feed Your Face posts for cooking in your cast iron.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Okay, get out your feathers and put them in your hair. And make sure that you wash your hands.

A fun and yummy thing to make when the weather is cold and you are bored s real Indian Pemmican.

You will have to buy some things, but it won't cost a lot.

Roast a dozen sticks of your favorite jerky in the oven until they're crisp like bacon. Put through a meat grinder, along with an equal amount of fine white fat from around calf kidneys. You may have to go to a butcher shop for this. Or just go to your grocery store and get suet.

Put through the grinder some fresh or frozen chokecherries, Bing cherries, sour red cherries, or some other type of berries, with a little sugar.

Mix together and form into balls about the size of a golf ball. You can melt a little of the beef suet over a fire in a pan, and pour or pat over the Pemmican balls.

Place in plastic bags, and they will last for quite a while.(Unless you wolf them all down in one setting.) They are good for snacking, hiking, camping, fishing, or just about anything else. They are very nourishing, and just good snacks.

This was the "iron ration" of the Sioux Indian warriors.

Try it, and let me know what you think. And you can vary the recipe and try different fruit in it.

Posting Schedule

Hi, all. Just wanted to let you know that I'm moving from evening posting to morning posting. See you in the morning! (Hopefully)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


This one is kind of fun.

How often do you end up with leftover spaghetti?

We had spaghetti one night for dinner at my grandmother's house. It was great! But like most people do, she made way too much.

I was going to go fishing on the weekend. Now, I always come up with stuff to eat for my trips. This time my grandmother said she would pack up my food for the weekend. I always take extra food and stuff, because I never know when I might want to stay longer if the fishing is good.

Well, I got up to my favorite fishing place on the Gore, unloaded everything, and set up camp.
By about 4pm I decided that it was time to head back to camp and start dinner. I had some good looking fish and I should have cooked them up, but thought that I would see what grandmother had packed. Guess what? Spaghetti. . . lots of spaghetti.

I can come up with just about anything when it comes to food. I forgot a pan. So I dug out my Dutch Oven.

Now,hang on to your hat: I made spaghetti pizza. Any of you ever had that? You can use a cake pan or whatever at home. Just make sure you grease it good or use that Pam stuff.

Here we go :
Take and whip up 3 eggs, and pour them in your pan, (or -- like I did -- in the bottom of the Dutch Oven. Spread in your leftover spaghetti, then top with leftover sauce (or any type of sauce you like.) Add some sliced pepperoni, sausage, peppers, onion, mushrooms or whatever you like or have on hand.

Then if at home, bake for 45 minutes or so at 350. If in the Dutch Oven in a fire pit, cover the top with coals from the fire -- just kind of pile them on -- and set the Dutch Oven in coals. Cook for 50 minutes. Then top with some mozzarella cheese (or other cheese), and let it melt for a bit.

Serve it up and enjoy. (This goes real good with some sheepherders bread.)

So there you have it.

Now feed your face!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Quote for the Week

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
Mother Teresa -- Nobel Peace Prize - Winning Humanitarian

Friday, September 24, 2010


OK, everyone close your eyes. Think wayyyy back, to when you were in grade school.

Remember how every thing looked? Remember how big the desks were? And the coat rack. How about how huge the lunchroom was, and how big the gym was. Remember mimeograph paper and how it smelled? And the paste and how it tasted? How about construction paper in all its colors.

Do you remember your first hot lunch? How about buying lunch tickets? Did you ever buy stamps at school and fill up the book so you could get a savings bond, signed by the president?

And who was the president at the time you were in first or second grade? Do you remember the playground? Did you have to rush out and be the first one to grab a swing? What about girls having cooties? And us guys were just plain gross to little girls.

Any of this bringing back any fond memories at all?

Well today, I went back in time, so to speack. I stoped at my first gradeschool. The year was 1961. I went to school in Edgewater at Lumberg Elementary, 1st through 3rd grade.

Today I walked through the front door and went to the office. It is different and they have added to the school. I got to see the principal, whom I had seen a few times years ago.(Different story some time.) She was very nice. I told her that I had been a student back in the 60's. She gave me a look like I had stepped out of horror movie. She asked me my name and I gave it, thankful that it was not a name remembered at the school.

She gave me a guick tour. Boy was I in for a treat. I got to see my first grade classroom. It had shrunk. And so had the desks. And the coat rack looked like it was two feet off the ground!

When she showed me the lunch room, I saw that IT had shrunk also! Everything seemed so tiny and small. I really do not know how parents can go to parent teacher conferance and get their butts in them desks. And if we tried to eat in the lunch room. . . well, we would all be a hell of a lot skinnier than we are.

And the gym! It looked the same but so much smaller. As a kid it seemed like it took forever to run across it and we would be out of breath. Now I could run it, and . . . still be out of breath.

But the ropes...ah, the ropes. They were still in the same spot as when I was there so many years ago. I loved those ropes. That was the one thing I was good at: I could climb a rope like a monkey. Nobody could climb like me. I even beat the teacher several times. Now...all I can do is maybe swing like a monkey.

It was really nice to see the school and how some things there are still the same as when I was a little rascal all them years ago. They have added a few new things to the school, which is nice. My favorite drinking fountain is still there. And the water is just as cold now as it was then. But it is sooo close to the ground it is hard for an adult to get any water.

It was at this fountain that I met my friend Marc Halverson for the very first time.

Such BIG memmories, from long ago, when things seemed SO BIG back then. I hope that the memories do not get smaller too and fade away.

I hope that maybe this will make you think back to your gradeschool with fondness also.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Deer Hunt

This story was told to me by my dad. It is about a hunting trip my dad had with his stepdad (whom we called Pappy.)

Now pappy, when he was a younger man, was 6 foot tall, worked in the oil fields, and was a wild catter. My dad, at the time of this story, was in his teens. The story takes place here in Colorado, up on the Gore range.

My dad, Pappy, Uncle Fay, and some friends were hunting for deer one season. They had stopped to take a break and rest for awhile. They were almost at timberline level, on a ridge taking a break, when my dad spotted this little two or three point buck down the ridge a ways.

My dad pointed it out to everyone and Uncle Fay said it was too far away for a shot.

My dad asked Pappy what he thought and Pappy said, "Hell, I can hit him from here!" So Pappy found him a comfortable spot on a rock looking down the ridge, took aim, while everyone else was telling him that there was NO WAY he was going to hit that buck, that it was a waste of time and ammo. But that didn't seem to matter to Pappy. He wanted that buck.

So, taking his time, aiming, and thinking he has adjusted for the range and angle of the ridge, he pulled the trigger.


Several seconds later, they all watched as the buck made about two steps and fell over. Every one said it was a damn good shot! Pappy stood up and looked at all of them and said, "I told you I would get him," and he looked at my dad and winked.

As everyone stood and watched, Pappy took off down the side of the ridge, going from one rock to another, trying to not start a rock slide.

When Pappy finally got down to his deer he laid down his rifle, straddled the buck, got out his hunting knife, and leaned over to slit the buck's throat.

All of a sudden the buck jumped up with Pappy on his back and started to run down the side of the ridge. (I won't print what Pappy was hollering while on his ride. )

So, here is Pappy on this deer's back as it runs down the ridge, a knife in his hand, and trying to slit its throat. Now to hear Pappy tell it the knife was dull at the time. He said that he forgot to sharpen it before they had left camp that morning.

Anyway, Pappy finally brought down his deer. And all the while everyone on top of the ridge are hollering and laughing their heads off.

As Pappy was cleaning out the deer he could not find a bullet wound. As he rolled the deer over he found the wound. It seems that he -- how should I say it -- he hit him in his marble sack. Took it right off!

By the time everyone else got down to Pappy and brought him his rifle he was nursing some bumps and scrapes. Everyone told him what a great shot he was, that it was the greatest shot they had ever seen. While all this talking was going on, some of the guys were looking at the deer and asked Pappy where he had hit it (they didn't see any wound.)

Before he could say a word, someone rolled the deer on to its back. Everyone looked and saw that the buck was minus a certain part, and they all started to giggle, and then laugh. Poor Pappy, red faced, trying to tell them all that he shot the buck that way on purpose. To save meat. That the angle was off. And if he had hit him elsewhere there would not have been much left of the buck.

Now, I know that this sounds like a tall tale, but I think that it really did happen. When I asked Pappy about this story, he turned red, lit his pipe, and admitted that it was so.

My grandfather (Pappy) was a man that had fought in WWII, came from a big family, had seen a lot of changes in this world, traveled all over the United States. He seemed to know a little about everything. Like a jack of all trades. He built my great grandparent's home up in Kremmling, Colo.

In my eyes, he was a great man, a good man, humble, and loving. Even with all of his faults. He had a side that was fun, and his eyes would light up if you asked him a question about his life.

I truly miss him, as I'm sure he is missed by others.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Fall is on the way. It makes me think about using our crockpot more. Crockpots are really neat. You can load 'em up, and turn them on the next morning before heading out the door for work. When you get home, you can smell something good even before you get to the front door. The hard part is not getting into it for a bite or two before everyone else is home.

Here is one I like: Get several pork chops, some taters, and your favorite BarBQ sauce.(I use KC Masterpiece sauce.) Also get some crockpot liners. It makes clean up a lot faster.

OK, put the liner in the pot for the crock.(that kinda rhymes.) Take your chops out of the package, and place them in the crock pot. Now, clean and peel your taters, and cut into chunks. Or make them pretty and slice them. Place them in and around the chops. Take your bottle of sauce and pour over everything.

Now, you can do this the night before, and place in the fridge overnight and pull the pot out the next morning, put it in the crock, plug it in, set it on low. And take off for work.

When you get home your main course is done and ready to go. Make up a salad and a veggie, and you got a meal that will be hard to beat.

We never have any leftovers when we have this at home. In fact, you may want to do two chops per person after you try this the first time. Cook time is about 6 to 8 hours.

So thats it for the first FEED YOUR FACE.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What bears do in the woods

I think that just about everybody has seen a bear in their life time, whether it was on television, at the zoo, or maybe in the wild. And for those who have seen them in the wild, my hat is off to you.

Bears are really cool to watch. . . from a distance. Sometimes it is up close and personal.

And when it gets personal, who knows how it is going to go or how it will end.

We all have heard or read about bear contacts with people. And so, now it is my turn. No bears were hurt in this story...

The summer of 1977 found me up in the mountains here in Colorado. I had decided to forego my present job and take a little vacation. So I packed up my camping gear and fishing pole. I loaded up my Chevelle, said goodbye to Grandmother and Pappy [I was living with them at the time] and headed up the highway towards Kremmling.

After driving to Kremmling, I stopped and talked to my Uncle Fay, who was now running a store. I asked Uncle Fay how things were going, and he said that things were kind of tight right now and that he needed to get away for a day or two. So I invited him to come camping and fishing with me. He said that was a good idea, but that he would have to meet me up at my camp. So I told him I was going up on the Gore, by the cabin that was called the Mac. He said, "Great, I'll see you up there."

So I get up to where I want. Pitch camp in the perfect spot, lots of aspen trees, and make myself at home. Now it is time to do some fishing. So down the trail I go. It is maybe a quarter of a mile or less to the beaver ponds that I like to fish. [I still bring friends up to fish and camp.]

The fishing is great, I've caught three or four brook trout, enough for a meal, when I hear what sounds like several people screaming and fighting. So I start to follow the sound. The farther I walk back up the trail the louder the screaming gets, and it is starting to really get to me. Of course, now my imagination is starting to take over. [We can talk about my imagination some other time.]

So now I'm starting to think that some one is fighting for their life, or that someone is being attacked by wild animals.

I'm running up the trail, wishing that I had my pistol with me, which I left back in my tent. As I get closer, I find that all of this racket is coming from my camp. So now I'm running like my butt's on fire.

As I come busting into my camp, my tent is no longer where I had put it up, but is now moving through the trees and hitting some of the trees as it goes. All of my stuff still in the tent, including my car keys. The tent is making good time, and when it hits a tree there is a growling sound.

Now, it takes quite a bit to get me rattled and a lot to scare me. But this is the damnedest thing I have ever seen.

So now I'm looking for a big stick; I mean to whack the hell out of whatever it is. Out of the corner of my eye, I see something BIG and hairy, and it is headed right for me! I turn my head, and coming right at me about 15 yards from me is this black bear. [I know that the bears here do not seem that big, but when they are headed your way, they look to be the size of a bus.]

Now, I don't know what this bear wants, but it really looks pissed off, and I seem to be in its way. Do I fall down and play dead, or should I try to spook it, crap my pants, or what?! I decide that maybe I should just get the hell out of the way.

The bear is now maybe 15 feet or so from me. So I do the fastest thing I can: I crawl under my car. That's right -- under a 1970 Chevelle.

Do any of you know how low a 1970 Chevelle is to the ground? LOW! Really low. Those of you who know me right now know how I have put on a few pounds. Well I just seemed to be custom fitted to the bottom of that car. No way I could do it now, unless you jack up the car first.

As I got under the car, who should show up but my uncle! So here I am under the car waving at Uncle Fay. He is laughing and pointing, and my tent is still moving through the trees and getting further away. We both watch as this bear goes to my tent and jumps on it. The tent is now screaming in protest, and making little jerky movements.

Fay hollers for me to stay put. As we watch, this bear takes and rips my tent completely in half, like paper, and out comes two little bear cubs. Now I know what all the racket was about. I had left my tent open and had put a sandwich in the tent[dumb, dumb, dumb, I know].

Now we watch as the three of them decide that it is the tent's fault, plus the sleeping bag, and all my clothes.

Everything is ripped, torn, chewed, and I think some of it might have been eaten.
And those fish that I caught? Well, I droped them in camp. And those damn bears ate them also.

There I was in what's left of my camp, still under the car, my uncle laughing, and everything destroyed.

After getting out from the car and getting Fay to stop laughing, we went ahead and did some more fishing. The fishing was still good and we caught our fair share.

Later, after cleaning up the bear mess, we built a fire and cooked our fish. Uncle Fay offered to put me up for the night in town, but I turned him down. Fay left a little after sundown. I built up the fire, grabed a blanket that I had in the trunk of the car, wrapped up, and looked at the stars for awhile, had some more coffee, and listened to the wind.

The next morning, I headed back for home. As I drove, I wondered what the bears thought about this. I'm sure they laughed about me trying to get out of the way.
I know that Grandmother and Pappy did!