Saturday, April 6, 2013
Cauldron Rescue 911
Recently I found this sad, neglected and rusty cast iron Dutch oven at a yard sale and of course my first thought was: Cauldron!
I can rebuild it...I can make it better than it was before. Better...stronger...faster.
Seriously, how hard could it be?
After the first twenty minutes of work, I began channeling my inner Miyagi and started switching arms to scrub. "Scrub on, scrub off. Scrub on, scrub off." I was gonna be so buff after this experience. After an hour, the kids grew bored with Mom's special project and began clamouring for attention. Gradually the rinse water became less orange and more black. A good sign. A couple of hours later, as my arms were cramping up, I began to ask myself how much I really needed a new cauldron.
The most important part of reseasoning any cast iron is to get all of the rust off. Every damned bit. In the case of the Bionic Cauldron (as I had taken to calling my garage sale treasure) this meant a LOT of scrubbing using steel wool and various kitchen abrasives.
Finally there comes a point when all good witches have to say "Good enough." Besides, I still had laundry to do. The rust was cleared and patches of iron gleamed dully through. I proudly showed the family. They were underwhelmed. Whatever. Dear spouse eyeballed the scrubbed product saying "you know, I bet I have a tool that would have cleaned that more quickly." Huh, I hadn't thought of that. Oh well, brute strength is all the tool I need. Dremels are for suckas.
Now all was left was the seasoning. That's the fun part. I coated my clean new cauldron with vegetable shortening, inside and out, and placed upside down it in a 350 degree oven for a couple of hours. The house kind of smelled like a fast-food restaurant afterwards, but it was worth it! After a final cleansing and blessing with incense, my glorious new cauldron is healed!
(Follow up on the Bionic Cauldron--the inaugural task of my glorious new cauldron? Spouse made chili in it. If nothing else, that alone would clear any negative spiritual residue.)