Cast Iron Misdeeds

Purists say that a cast iron skillet should never be soaked in hot soapy water. Mine is soaking. I compensate for my cast iron misdeeds by rubbing the dried skillet with olive oil. That works.

It is sprinkling some, outside. Several days ago, when the drought first broke, I went out in the rain, loving every refreshing moment.

I’m in the house too much … and on the computer too much. I used to live in an orchard. I used to live in the woodlands. I used to live in a small town. I used to live nowhere near any town at all.

I have lived in my hometown again since 1996. The outdoors is all houses and streets, traffic and people. I have tall trees in my back yard – walnut and spruce; I have flowers in my back yard; I have grass; I have squirrels. Sometimes when it rains I can almost smell the woodlands … but that is only my memory. I don’t really go outside much in my urban life. When I leave the house, it is to go to some other “place.” It isn’t to go “outside.”

“There’s not a man alive worth more than $40,000 a year,” my grandpa said to me in about 1976 or 7. I don’t know what the context was. I don’t know why I remembered that tonight. It’s just the rain, the August rain, the “latter rain,” that has taken me to memories I never took a snapshot of.

I made some lasagna tonight — two pans: one for tomorrow, and one for the freezer.

I did my bookkeeping tonight, and paid some bills.

The dishes are done, but the skillet is soaking. The sun is going down. I want to smell the rain in the woodlands. We bought a tent this weekend. We are 25 years old and we are going camping on our vacation! I am not lying.

I will cook bacon and coffee over an open fire. We will sleep beneath the stars.

We live in Michigan. Our vacation is in September. We will probably freeze our butts off, and our no-longer-25-year-old bodies will probably curse us when we’ve done it. Again, I am not lying.

Purests say that you should never soak a cast-iron skillet in hot, soapy water. I will compensate for my cast iron misdeeds with olive oil. That works.

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