this is what happens…

…when you let men into your kitchen.

(a tragedy in two acts)

Our wonderful friend Nigel came to visit for a week in December, and that was very fun and also a nice break for me because he took on the task of washing the dishes while he was here (we still don’t have a dishwasher). Which was so very helpful and wonderful that I considered asking him to stay permanently, but, tragically, he also has other friends. He may also have said something about a family…

Okay, okay, I’m KIDDING! Anyway, he couldn’t stay. But before he left, I made something for dinner that involved my imported-from-America-because-Europeans-Just-Don’t-Get-It cast-iron skillet. I should have washed it before I went to bed, I know that, I don’t know why I didn’t, but yeah. I didn’t.

So Nigel did. He was very careful not to use the scratchy-plastic side of the sponge (um. It is cast-iron. You could scrub it with a pitchfork, and it wouldn’t mind.), but he sure got all that nasty grease out (there should be an eye-rolling emoticon).

And then DrBob came in and said uh-oh, oh dear, no! You have to oil it! Because, some five years ago now, he’d seen me season the pan (coat it with vegetable oil, inside and out, put it in a hot oven for awhile) and somehow he remembered that you should leave a puddle of some kind of oil in the pan (it looks like he used olive oil…), and set it on the stove for… however long. What he didn’t remember? Was to turn off the stove. I found it when I got up at seven the next morning, the tiniest of blue flames under my beloved skillet. And inside?

Well, the center was completely dry and devoid of any evidence that it had ever held moisture of any kind – a bit like the planet Mercury – and around the outer edge was… um… hm. I think DrBob may have invented a new adhesive. Perhaps we should contact NASA.

Does anybody know how to salvage this? Actually, I’m not sure it’s even worth a try, since it’s really too small for a family of four, especially one that contains a 15-year-old and is thus, for feeding purposes, a family of six.

Song du jour of the day: Sweet Home Alabama, by Lynyrd Skynyrd

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5 responses to “this is what happens…

  • amy

    I’d send you one but the shipping would be awful. Condolences. I have no idea how to fix it, but maybe Google does?

  • Melanie

    I have had similiar things happen to mine (from leaving it dirty on the gas stove near a pilot light). I have had some success with gently re-warming it and paper towel wiping, knife scraping, then just ignoring it and hoping it goes away over the course of the next few things I cook. Gross, but you asked.

  • Jack

    I recently learned the best way to clean a skillet is to rub it with salt. Some kind of salt bag. However, I just scatter a large pinch of salt in the pan, then rub it with a cloth or paper towel maybe with a bit of oil. I don’t know if it will help in the above case, but you might try it.

  • =Tamar

    It depends how much effort you want to put into it. Remember self-cleaning ovens? The worst baked-on crust burned to ash once it got hot enough. Cast iron can take a lot of heat. So find someone with a flame-thrower or a welding iron and ask them to burn it off. Metal scrapers can be used also. Then to get the last of it off, scrub in hot water with one of those cleaning scrubbers made of strips of stainless steel – _not_ steel wool! – or use the plastic scrubbies of doom as long as there’s no soap involved, since there’s no need for it at this point. Then reseason it properly. Remember, it could have been worse. It could have set the house on fire.

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