Sunday, January 31, 2010

re-seasoning my skillets

Some will tell you that, if properly cared for, a cast iron skillet never needs re-seasoning.  What that "proper care" actually is- I've yet to discover.  I know some don't use soap on their cast iron due to the soap breaking down the oil that keeps it stick-free.  As for me and mine, we use soap.  Unfortunately, that means that once a year or so, I need to re-season my cast iron.

I have two main 13" skillets that I use on a daily basis.  I love to cook with them.  I found one and bought the other.  One is a Lodge and the other a no-name.  Both are equally good, but I prefer the no-name one.  I re-season them when food starts sticking.

Anyhow, to re-season my pans, I get them hot on the stove with some water in them.  Then, I use steel wool (I use fine) and go to work on it, taking off a good bit of the black.  I rinse well with hot water and then repeat the process.

Next, I get it hot again on the stove (a good 5 min) to be sure there is no water left on the pan.  Then, I cut off the heat and put on a HEAVY coat of Crisco and put that in the oven at 250 for about 15 min.

After 15 min, I pull out the skillet (use a mitt) and pour the excess oil out of the pan into the sink.  Then it goes back in the oven at 280-300 for 2 hours.

This is a long process, and you can repeat the crisco and oven treatment 2 or more times if you want.  The more times, the longer and better the non-stick effect will be.  Let it cool down between each treatment.

Finally, everyone's grandmother has a different method for seasoning a pan.  I've tried a few, but find this to be the most sure fire way to make it happen without the risk of burning the oil.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Air Rifles

Long time no write.  In case anyone was wondering, I'm still alive and kicking.  Enjoyed ourselves over Christmas and am back to the daily grind of life.

During the break, I had a chance to shoot a number of different firearms.  From several models of Glocks, to a revolver, to an AR-15 to an AK-47.  Despite all the fun I had doing that, I'd have to say that the most fun I had on vacation was shooting my nephew's Air Soft gun during a neighborhood grudge match of capture the flag.  He has a higher powered (400fps) AK look a like with full auto.  Man that is some fun- and good training.

So, anyhow it got me thinking about noise and of course, air guns are much more quiet- quiet enough to have a full on war in the neighborhood park without drawing anyone's attention.

The advantage of quietness, means I can practice shooting and using a scope in my back yard without alerting all the neighbors.

This can have advantage's in a less than total collapse situation.  For instance, you could hunt small game like rabbits, squirrels, and birds from a suburban back yard without having anyone be the wiser.

In a total SHTF situation, the air gun could be used for similar purposes when trying to conserve ammo, or don't want the entire surrounding population to know that you a) have a firearm and b)have fresh meat.  You would, of course need to carry a primary battle rifle in that situation- but the air rifle can help you stay hidden and undetected.

Additionally, if the government decides to confiscate all firearms, I may be able to hold onto this one- and use it undetected!

So, after considering the utility of a high powered air rifle in various situations, I've decided to add one to my inventory.  I am considering a Gamo Varmint Hunter.  Does anyone own one?  I've read good reviews and the price is about $200.  That's the most I want to pay for an air rifle.