Op Shop Idol

I would like to publicly thank all those people who buy cast iron skillets, don’t find out how to look after them, use them once and give them to the op shop whereupon I buy them for a dollar each, clean them with steel wool and hot water, season them and happily cook with them forever after.

Bless them all. The little one I bought this week, the big one about six months ago. We don’t bother to put them away. They just live on the hotplates and get used every day.

I found a couple of other treasures today –

Continue reading


Dr Sister Outlaw presents: When too much hygiene is never enough

I work for a peak organisation that supports early childhood services. As a result, I spend some of my time counselling them about food handling and other issues, and there are quite a few things they have to watch that those of us with home kitchens don’t need to bother about – for instance, the new National Food Standard will restrict the serving of luncheon meats to vulnerable persons (sorry Kirsty, spam is out for kids).

However, sometimes anxiety about hygiene just goes a bit far. I happen to know, for instance, that some early childhood educators refrain from using toilet rolls in kiddy craft, on the basis that they are a hygiene risk (I hasten to add that sensible people have concluded that nobody has yet died from their use, and that they are a worthy addition to the craft table). But, in a similar vein, comes a concept which a colleague tells me was reported on the ABC’s New Inventors last night.

It’s a shield that goes over the cake, and stops children’s germs falling on the icing as they blow their candles out.

Because there was no picture on the ABC site, I googled and found a US patented example.

So, an open post about hygiene standards, the lack thereof, and other people’s ridiculous pernicketiness. Fire away!

Real home cooking

I first got the idea for a food blog by posting some cookery related stuff on my personal blog, crazybrave. This is my favourite of those posts, from June 2007.

A word of warning. Some of my best friends are vegan, a choice I respect. This post is not for them, and it and other posts of this ilk will be in the category “Not Safe for Vegans”. Check the category list under the post titles if you’d rather avoid them.)

Under the fold we have chicken four ways: Continue reading

Best and worst kitchen gadgets

Ed at Tomato wants to know our best and worst kitchen gadgets. I have cupboards full of both. Rental house brown wood veneereal cupboards, as it happens, not the slinky monochrome he’s got.

The comments so far are a lovely mix of the purr of the satisfied owner and then bewilderment at the price, stupidity and lack of suitability of things that once seemed worth purchasing. I’ve been enjoying thinking about the rubbish lying around here and watching the things that I use every day, wondering if you could work it out on a matrix. After entertaining myself for a little while I decided against it because the pleasure we take in making stuff in the kitchen will often be very subjective.

Continue reading