Bonnie Stone's Blog
If you cook in a cast iron skillet or use other cast iron cookware, you’ll know that periodically, they need what is called “seasoning.” But just what does that mean? The way that cast iron works, oil baked into the service prevents the iron from forming rust and keeps food from sticking too much. As long as the pan is adequately protected, the seasoned finish improves with age, giving you that much sought-after easy-release veneer.
What you need
- The manufacturers of newer pans sell special soybean-based oils that are highly refined to use on their cookware.
- If you’ve inherited grandma’s cookware, however, she probably used cooking oil or even lard to keep her pan seasoned. If you cook in the pan all the time, lard (pork fat) or tallow (beef fat) still are excellent seasoning choices. But, when you use it only occasionally, both lard and tallow can become rancid and ruin the flavor of your food. Additionally, you may use melted shortening or vegetable oil.
- A cleaning kit (sold at better homeware stores) or a soft, lint-free cloth.
With a clean, dry skillet, cover the pan inside and out with a thin layer of oil (or lard/tallow). Be sure to get the bottom and the handle as well. For best results, rub the oil on with a lint-free cloth.
Heat your oven to 350°F. Place the pan upside down on the top rack of the oven and place a sheet of aluminum foil or an aluminum cookie sheet on the bottom shelf to gather any oil drips. Let your pan season in the oven for one hour. Let your pan cool completely before using.
If your pan feels sticky, excess oil may have built up on the surface, or the oil has not fully converted to seasoning. Turn your oven on to 400°F and place the pan upside down on the upper rack. Allow it to bake for an hour. After your pan has cooled, test the surface again. If it is still somewhat gummy or sticky, repeat the process at 400°F for an additional hour.
If dark residue appears on your cleaning cloth, your pan may be reacting to high heat or an acidic food such as tomato sauce. Just wipe it out as much as possible and continue to use your pan regularly. The darkened areas should resolve.
If your pan has rust, perhaps from improper storage, or because you picked it up at a garage sale, gently remove the rust with very fine steel wool or a scratch-free scrubber. Then, wash the cookware in hot, soapy water to remove all the metal filings and loosened rust. Let your pan dry so that you can see if all the rust is removed. Once is it completely clear of rust, follow the seasoning instructions above.
As your property professional if there are cooking classes in your area to become a pro at using your cast iron skillet.
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An event planner is someone who handles your event, without you having to run around to get things done. However, most people feel it is a daunting task when it comes to looking for a suitable event planner when it's not. If you need to hire an event planner for your party, there are a lot of things to consider. First of all, what aspects do you want an event planner to handle? Before looking for an event planner, decide the event's objective and the budget. Once you know what your party is about, an event planner can work out the details for food, music and other things that your party will need to be successful.
- Looking for an event planner. You need an expert, someone experienced and able to work under pressure. One of the ways to go about hiring an event planner is to ask friends and family for planners they have used before. Check online for the best event planners in your locality and make a shortlist. There are lots of them and finding them isn’t the issue, the issue is finding the best.
- Interview your applicants. Screen the event planners on your shortlist to find the best fit for you. Don't be clouded by sentiments. Give them a brief detail of the event and see if they have done something similar before. Then, gradually reduce them to the top three suitable applicants. Compare their works and try to get a handle of their personality. You want someone you can truly work with.
- Selection and budget. Once you have selected the best event planner from the list of applicants, sit down with your event planner and disclose your budget and expectations. Most people come up with an unrealistic budget and yet, want a premium event at the end of the day. It is the work of your event planner to bring you down to earth and work with you into creating a more realistic budget that fits into your finance.Also, don’t forget about the event planner’s fee. You might need to pay deposits. Some paper works might also be required so; it will be proper for you to have your lawyer around to review the contracts before they are signed.
An event planner is in charge of the event doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow up. Be part of the team, to make sure you have input in significant decisions aren’t made without your input. In other words, you are expected to work hand in hand with your event planner in other to have the best event ever! Hire an event planner today to see your party come out better than your imaginations.
In the quest to find a new home that you love, there are two fundamental things you must know: how much you can realistically afford to spend and what you need to be happy.
Qualifying for a mortgage is one of the first hurdles on the road to home ownership, but loan approval doesn't necessarily mean you can comfortably afford a house you have your eye on.
There are other expenses to factor into the equation, such as closing costs, the down payment, school and property taxes, possible HOA fees, and maintenance costs.
If a house you're considering needs a lot of repairs, updating, and decorating, for instance, those projects could take a big bite out of your bank account and household budget. First-time home buyers and growing families moving into larger homes often have to consider the cost of furniture, new window treatments, and painting supplies. People moving from an apartment or condo to a house may also need to buy a lawnmower, tools, and property maintenance machinery (weed whackers, leaf blowers, snow blowers, etc.)
Once you've determined that you can absorb all those costs without being "house poor," the next step is creating a list of requirements, preferences, and lifestyle goals. For example, if privacy is important to you, you'll need to narrow your search to homes that have a sufficient amount of frontage and space between neighbors and streets. Fences, privacy hedges, and mature trees could also help provide you with the kind of living environment you're looking for.
While the emotional appeal of a house is an important aspect of home-buying decisions, the location of a property and the amount of living space it provides will play a central role in your level of satisfaction. In addition to having enough bedrooms, bathrooms, and storage space, you may also want to consider things like the home's architectural style and whether the floorplan is to your liking.
Many families prioritize the quality of the school district, the look and feel of the neighborhood, and the distance from shopping centers, recreation, and needed services. Also highly desirable is a daily commute to work that isn't too grueling or time consuming!
Since everyone has different goals and needs when it comes to finding the ideal home, there's no one-size-fits-all strategy for zeroing in on the house of your dreams. Although there are a lot of websites that provide great ideas on everything from flooring and countertops to cabinetry and room color, having your real estate agent show you houses that match your specifications is the most productive thing you can do.
Getting out there and physically viewing and walking through houses in your price range will eventually lead you to the home that's just right for you and your family. It's a process in which you need to immerse yourself, but with a little persistence and a clear idea of what you want, you're sure to find the home that checks off most (if not all) of the boxes on your priority and wish lists!