Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Endorsed Items

Our Top 10 products in use EVERY day while boondocking or gate guarding.


All ads other than Amazon have been removed. Thank you for using my Amazon links like the one above for your online shopping.



4 rigs to no rigs

Riggin' down --H&P Flex 5

Riggin’ down –H&P Flex 5

It is the ebb and flow of the Eagle Ford. There is most likely an accountant in Houston that knows the real skinny – like what day and month and year it is.  Them that wear the shiny shoes keep up with all manner of doings that matter little out this way. Out here it is the drilling.  They drill on Christmas and the 4th of July.  They drill if it is your birthday and you partied too hard the night before.  They don’t stop drilling if your grandma dies. We had 4 rigs drilling here just a few weeks back; now we got nada. That is not to be sayin’ we ain’t busy.  Completion work, facility work, pipeline construction. Welders, pipefitters, automation experts and the septic pumper dude all pass by our door daily.  It is what it is.  It is what we have chosen to be……. and do.

…………….

If you bother to keep up with what me and Miss K got goin’ on you know one of my deals this year is to learn how to cast iron cook outside over real fire.  I am gonna cook something every week just so’s I can learn the licks.  If the cookin’ isn’t up to Miss K’s standards, Tuco the Dog has been a real soldier with helpin’ clean up the leftovers.  Dogs got a lower standard of eatin’ than most folks I know. Had a dog once that would eat the cat shit out of the litter box. I ain’t sayin’ Tuco the Dog is anywhere near that level of dog depravity but she is still just a dog.  I had two slices of bread in the toaster the other mornin’ early  and I had to run out to check a string of welders in.  When I came back in the Princess Palace it was all smoked up because the toaster had whacked out.  I am blaming it on the generator because I know it makes electric clocks run crazy.  Thank goodness we aren’t in SoCal or some other socialist zone.   Tuco the Dog now retreats to the farthest point from the kitchen whenever I start the pot rattlin’.  If we were in one of those PC locales, those PETA heads would probably be all up in my butt for animal cruelty.

BTW, this week’s recipe was swiss steak with poblanos and rice.  Mighty tasty.

Volcano stove cookin' a fat chicken

Volcano stove cookin’ a fat chicken

We started out this project with zero cast iron in house.  Right off, I picked up this Lodge 5-Piece Combo Set.  Let me tell ya how to meet everybody on the lease.  Set a dutch oven down inside a Volcano Stove out beside the driveway and everybody is gonna stop and ask ‘Whatcha doin’ Boss?’  Guaranteed.  Cast iron cookery is like eatin’ potato chips.  Since we got that basic set we have added more and more…….and more.

You know one thing I touted about these Lodge products is that they are Made In America.  That matters to me. Miss K will not set foot in a china-Mart.  Period. Non-negotiable.  The first few years we were hangin’ together, I would just scoff and blow it off.  china-Mart was GOOD because they had everything you needed in one fell swoop. It was convenient.  Sorta like going through the the drive-by window and tellin’ em to biggitize that Big Mac and fries.  It was way more convenient than cooking at the casa. Not so much now let me tell ya.

So one of the things you learn right off is maneuvering that cast iron lid is a mother. It is hot seein’ as how sometimes you got coals settin’ right on the lid. If you don’t do it just right you will get ash in your food especially if the wind is blowin’.  Vise grips don’t work, a bent coat hanger won’t work.  If you use an oven mitt or a tea towel, you are liable to smoke them.  Havin’ smoking things in your hands is just bad juju flat out.

So you need a dutch oven lid lifter and it is an odd lookin’ little rascal.  Looks like something you would see pinned to the wall at Cracker Barrel.  Ole timey Americana stuff.  You just flat out cannot get by without one so I Amazoned up this one.  ( Lodge A5 Camp Dutch Oven Lid Lifter ). It came in a package with the Lodge label on it and I figured it was all good.  Lodge is heavy duty into this Made in America dealio.  I don’t blame ’em one bit.  They got some good company history and there are few enough honest to God companies still puttin’ out good things for well over a hundred years.  It is great marketing.  First time I used the lid lifter I noticed a little gold sticker on it and sure enough –  Made In China.  I had a serious WTF meltdown;  like I found out my BFF was just a slimebag.  I felt stained and violated.  I went back to Amazon and read some reviews and there are several that feel the same.  Hell, it works and it was a decent price so why bitch? Because it matters to me and obviously others feel strongly about it as well.   Maybe it was just an oversight on Lodge’s part to not specifically say ‘Hey, all our stuff is made in South Pittsburg, TN USA except for this little ol’ lid lifter.’   Maybe they just feel it is not a big deal and are blowin’ it off.  That would be a marketing faux pas of the tenth degree in my book.

…………….

Two winter years we been down here in this general area of South Texas.  3 Januarys ago, we were out around Iraan and Balmorhea which is not quite the ends of the earth but close still yet.  Miss K and me are what I would call healthy folks.  Yeah, we got our little niggling health issues but nothin’ that would keep us abed on any regular basis. We just don’t do sick.  Last December, after the first good hard freeze up north in the Hill Country we both got up one day snottin’ and coughin’ and runnin’ at the eyes.  Neither one of us are allergic to anything that I can put a finger on. Hell, we would be sore hurt of that was the case with all the dust blowin’ we gotta put up with on a daily basis.  This was some sorta different animal all together.  So we did the smart thing and tuned up John Girard, the most excellent San Antone weather man.  He told us right quick it was Cedar Fever from the Mountain Cedar tree.  Well, I had never heard of such a thing.   For one thing, we ain’t go no mountain cedar trees within a hunnert miles and for another thing who ever heard of bad allergies in the dead of winter?  I shoulda guessed it would have to be some kinda odd bad ass mammer jammer to lay us two old tough hides low.  What happens is the cedar trees release their pollen after a hard freeze and then the wind blows it off down toward the border and right down on top of us.  A moderate mountain cedar level is 500. Monday it was 31420. That is thirty one thousand and change friends and neighbors! Holy cats!  We live and die by the weather so any day John says we got winds outta the north, allergy pills are the first order of the day with the first cup of coffee. This too shall pass in a few weeks.

 

End Note: Sin for Sin by Miranda Lambert from the Revolution cd.  Sometimes a whiskey voiced Texas blond is just what the doctor ordered.

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.9/10 (14 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
4 rigs to no rigs, 8.9 out of 10 based on 14 ratings
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...






17 comments to 4 rigs to no rigs

  • David

    Hey Andy,

    We have been collecting cast iron since way before I took up bowling, through scouts and re-enacting, etc. The Lodge Outlet at Sevierville, TN has been a frequent destination.

    I make a famous pineapple upside down cake.

    One good addition is a 12 inch lipped lid Dutch oven with legs. You put the coals on the ground and free up your Volcano stove for something else. We have an 8, 10, 12, 12 deep and a 16 inch. Also the lid rest is a very handy companion to the lid lifter but it probably has a gold sticker too.

    Other re-enacting style fire tools, irons and grates are good for cooking over fire.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • Andrew

      Hi David
      I have the 12″ deep dutch oven with feet and both lids. How much do you use a 12″ skillet?

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      • David

        Andy,

        We use the Lodge 12 inch skillet at home all the time. With the lid to sauté and steam veggies or fry chicken. Not as often outdoors due to size and weight packing for camping. We have a couple smaller skillets we use for that.

        We only take the Dutch ovens when we are planning a specific meal or desert. Our 12 inch regular depth is the one we use the most. Only over the fire simmering a stew or something. Always on the ground with coals when baking. The 16 I’ve only used a couple times. Kind of like a bigger bowling ball, it’s impressive but may not be practical for every day use.

        I will try to send a couple pics to your email.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
        • Andrew

          Thanks David.

          I am dealing with some stringent space limitations in the Princess Palace.

          VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
          VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Bryan

    I get pretty much the same reaction when I put our dutch oven on the tripod outside. I haven’t quite got the baking thing all hammered out yet. Low flame and hot coals are definitely the way to go when cooking with one of these. I found that a fun thing to do to learn control is making popcorn. Popcorn is cheap and if it gets scorched its easily disposed of.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • Andrew

      Hi Bryan,

      Odd thing — I have never enjoyed cooking and maybe that is why I am more of a cook mechanic than I am a chef. I do get satisfaction from being able to produce a very edible meal from the barest means. As you know, that is my goal.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • David

      Bryan,

      For baking in a Dutch oven, on the ground over coals is best. Briquettes offer the best control but plain old coals from the fire are great. Maybe 8 or 10 on the bottom, 10 or 12 on top for a 12 inch oven. Many recipes will tell you how many briquettes to use. I rotate the oven and the lid for more even cooking. You can either put food for baking directly in the Dutch oven or in a smaller pie pan inside, usually raised slightly with small pebbles or a trivet.

      I have stacked 3 or 4 high using the coals from a lid for the next one on top several times.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  • Ken

    Welcome to Cedar Fever. Dang stuff caused me to move to the south plains. Either in hospital or cooped up in the house all of January and most of February every year. Daughter found some stuff called CEDAR X t’other day in San Antonio. Works wonders. Comes as either sub lingual drops or a cream you rub on your wrist. (honest)

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • Andrew

      Hi Ken

      it is an ass kicker sure enough. So far we are getting by fine with OTC allergy meds. I have heard of people that had to be hospitalized because of it.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Andy, In Girl Scouts we learned to dig a hole big enough to hold the dutch oven and coals. We would build our fire the set the oven down in it and put some previous removed coals on top of the lipped lid. This kept the fire in a contained place and the ash from the coals from blowing all over the place. Our leader would put an aluminum sheet pan over the top covered with dirt to keep the heat contained. The food was delish! The next time I go to a Medieval Fair I will get with the smithy and have him make me a lid lifter for my dutch oven, made in the USofA.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • Andrew

      Miss K is all over these pipeline welders for the same same.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Rob

    I use cast iron for all the pans, in the house & out. I like Revere Wear for the pots.
    When we moved to the RV I gave my 12′ pan to the daughter with the most kids and kept the 10″ chicken fryer & both the 10″ fry pans (my favorite has sloped sides, new in a store from Lodge for around $20). I have a smaller pan with sloped sides that’s great for a fried egg or two, I found that at a flea market.
    A roommate left the chicken fryer back in 1980 or so & I have no idea as to it’s age but cast iron does the job day in & day out.
    We have 3 different sized (8″,10″,14″) legged dutchovens & 10″ flat bottom one for the stove or oven (that’s over 40 yrs old).

    People say that using soap & water are bad for cast iron, I’ve been using them for over 30 years and am still waiting for something bad to happen..

    For moving the the lids & the pot, I use a claw hammer…

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • Andrew

      “For moving the the lids & the pot, I use a claw hammer…”

      (smacks forehead)

      I am such a dumbass

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  • Miss Kathy

    We have two sets of welders here. This week I’m gonna bake some CC cookies and see what I can get welded up. There’s just NO excuse for Lodge to cheap out like that.
    I watched a documentary a few nights ago called “Food,Inc”.
    They detail some of the reasons I don’t frequent that (wally) store.
    Also, Smithfield is on the bogey list.
    Buy local, look at where your food is grown. Buy American. It does matter.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 2.0/5 (1 vote cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • joel

    “I have never enjoyed cooking . . .”

    Want to be healthy? Cook.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/01/michael-pollan-paleo-diet-inquiring-minds

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Nancy Klune

    I have two wood handle hayin’ hooks that would make great lid lifters.
    I KNOW I don’t have to explain what a hayin’ hook is to you.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • Andrew

      Nancy

      I don’t remember the last time I saw a square bale.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>