cooking with cast iron

Terry’s grandmother died in December 2001 and Terry brought home a lot of things from her house in northeast Oklahoma. Among the things we placed in our storage unit were her cast iron frying pans. Really dumb idea.

Cast Iron Casseroles coverEventually we decided there was no point in paying for the storage unit and we either brought things home or got rid of them. The cast iron we brought into the kitchen. Smart idea.

We use the cast iron regularly. Terry always uses the pans for scrambled eggs, and I use them for my boneless fried chicken breasts. We do value them.

Recently, however, we found a way to kick their use up a notch. Standing in line at our cast iron casserolebusy but marvelous new Sprouts market I saw a publication called Cast Iron Casseroles. It has got a lot of recipes for cooking meals in your cast iron skillet. And they are good recipes. I have made a few and added several to my database. Many are one-skillet while some require another pan or two.

It’s nice to add new cooking techniques to the repertoire.

The book is published as a periodical and above the UPC code it notes “Display until January 30, 2017.” So perhaps you might run across it at your local upscale supermarket.

write if you get work

I’ve been working on building my web and writing business for a while now.  I have had a couple of gigs here and there, but not what I really would like.

write ifyou get work stock photoThen I had an email from a former manager of mine. She is working for a small firm that works on customer referrals and success stories. They do a lot of one-page customer success story write-ups. Would I be interested in giving this a shot, she asked. I absolutely would, I responded.

I was given a transcript of a customer interview and some general guidelines. I wrote the piece and turned it in. When I heard back I learned that I had made a couple of bonehead errors. But they also liked my work enough that they are going to give me a second assignment. And I got paid.

It’s a promising start.



saying goodbye to an old friend

I let go of an old friend last Wednesday. I sold my internet domain, which I had owned since 1996: twenty years. It was not an easy decision.

I have had many offers to buy the domain over twenty years, all of which I refused. Some were more serious than others, but I turned them all down.

Terry and I used the domain for our email for most of that time, even when we did not have an active web site. After we moved to Hemet I rebuilt the site to promote my web and writing business.

Not long ago I received an email from a domain broker asking if I would sell. He made me a fairly generous offer, but I refused. He persisted. In the end his client more than quadrupled their original offer. It was, in Godfather terms, an offer that I could not refuse.

And so I let go.

At least I won’t have to explain any longer the meaning of (Cobb + Christie, plus the fact that Terry was a physics major at Cal State Fullerton).

Please come visit me at my new domain: You can email me at

domain transfer letter

Sacred Music Friday: Come, ye thankful people come

First Baptist Church Asheville North Carolina. Sunday morning worship with the adult choir and brass ensemble.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours!

Embed from Getty Images

Amazon shipping policies

If you are an Amazon customer, depending on were you live you might have noticed more of your packages arriving via the United States Postal Service (USPS). For a long time Amazon used mostly UPS and FedEx. More recently Amazon has developed a partnership with the USPS. Interestingly, that partnership includes Sunday delivery.

AmazomWhen Terry and I lived in Gilroy, just south of Silicon Valley and a bedroom community thereof, Amazon had no Sunday delivery there. Here in Hemet, at the far eastern reaches of the Inland Empire, Sunday delivery is a regular thing. It’s not something I request specially. As an Amazon Prime customer, if I order something on Friday with free two-day delivery I get it on Sunday. It’s not like I’m ordering things where one day would make a difference. A case of car-sized Kleenex (because I can’t find that at the grocery store or Target any longer). A pair of sweat pants.

I think the difference between the two areas has to do with the proximity of Amazon warehouses. In Gilroy the closest Amazon warehouse was 85 miles away. Here there are multiple warehouses within a 50 mile radius.


our kitchen tools

kitchn logoToday’s entry was inspired by the blog kitchn, not to be confused with Food Network’s The Kitchen. Recently their blog posted an opening for a part-time writer, so I thought I’d apply. Not that I have much of a chance of getting the job. The listing was gone from their web site the next day. But they asked me for 250 words on “Tell us something you’re excited about in food right now .” I thought, “Why let that go to waste?” So here it is.

Your tools affect how you cook. I love my Calphalon frying pans. But I also enjoy using the cast iron frying pans that my wife inherited from her grandmother. The two cook differently and have different characteristics.

I also have an electric pressure cooker. The pressure cooker is nice from a “start it and forget it” perspective. But it also requires careful attention to ensuring that you have sufficient liquid to bring the cooker up to pressure. In the same “start it and forget it” category is my slow cooker. I have an older model (the original Crock Pot brand!) that cooks at a lower temperature than today’s models. Depending on what you are cooking, the slow cooker is often more forgiving with respect to liquids. It is also flexible when it comes to time. If you’re running late an extra forty-five minutes usually won’t hurt the dish.

More recently, I bought a NuWave oven. The NuWave is great for grilling types of activities. It also reduces the cooking times for many foods. I especially like it for cooking fish, especially firm fish such as halibut. I have successfully used it with chicken recipes that call for grilling.