What Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet Taught Me about Marriage

My sweet husband and I will be celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary in June.  When I first got my degree with a major in family studies, I knew that I probably wasn’t ready to become a marriage counselor, which is why I chose my major to begin with.  I, in fact, had never had a long-term relationship at that time and would not meet my husband for another three years.  But now that I’ve been blessed with (almost) 20 years of marital experience, I feel that I’m at a point that I can hand out a tip about marriage every now and again.  So what has seasoning a cast iron skillet taught me about marriage?

estate sale find: cast iron skillet

Estate sale skillet.

You’ve got to Season it to Make it cook

First of all, you’ve got to season that cast iron skillet so it’ll cook right. I actually got a cast iron skillet as a wedding gift, but I didn’t know you had to season it. And now I don’t have it any more (more about that, later.) Just like a good ol’ skillet, you’ve got to start out on the right foot. I’m not a big fan of Cinderella romance novels because all of those gooey feelings come and go over time. A good marriage is made of sterner stuff. Like friendship, respect, trust, and similar values.

400 Degrees can Kill Virtually any Pathogen Known to Man

So I hunted and recently found a “new” cast iron skillet at an estate sale for just $12. (Woo-hoo!!!) I asked Doctor Uncle (a biochemist and professor) how to get the germies off the skillet. He told me that if I bake it at 400 degrees, no creepy-crawlies will survive. So, I’d say that you need to keep the heat in your marriage, and it will keep away any unwanted invaders.

Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet isn’t what You Think

Do you have to add paprika, salt/pepper, and thyme to season your skillet? (As they say in this part of Alabama, “Naw!”) No, because I thought I’d try this. At 400+ degrees, those little powders will smoke up your kitchen. Seasoning means to coat the skillet with oil and bake it for an hour or so. Because I didn’t do this to my wedding skillet, it got all rusty. Not a good thing. I ended up selling it at a yard sale, warning the buyer, “Fair warning, it’s rusty.” But the lady didn’t seem to care. Now I know…all she had to do was clean it and it’d be as good as new. Lesson learned.

Check Your Pantry for Expiration Dates

My Crisco shortening had an expiration date of October 24, 2015. Do you know what that means? Not only did I let that shortening expire, but it moved with us from our old home! How did that happen? Because I wasn’t paying attention. A marriage can “expire” unless you are mindful of it. Like a garden, it needs cultivation. Try do keep doing nice things for your sweetie. Go on dates. Go on trips. Get counseling if you must.

Marriage is Precious

Do whatever you have to do, because a marriage is a very precious thing. More precious, obviously, than a cast iron skillet. But like a little cast iron skillet, the more you season it, the better it cooks!  What do you think?  Can you add any marital advice?

skillet and lard

Hundred-year-old lard.


What I learned from Being Sick

It’s not pretty, when an extrovert gets sick.  Especially when they get laryngitis.  It’s like their lifeline has been cut off.

I know from personal experience.

Last week, I got a nasty sinus infection, and one of the first things that went was my voice.

Oh, it was fine for a while.  I mean, everyone needs a little down-time every now and again.  So, I snuggled into my blankets, gathered my tea bags and coffee mugs, and was prepared to wait out the illness.

I was sure that the illness would blow over in 3 or 4 days.

Except, it didn’t. In fact, it got worse.

My face began to hurt because of heavy sinus pressure. And then my nasal passages became blocked.

Eventually, I went to the doctor and received a shot.

And here’s what I learned…

Be Thankful for Good Health

After my little stint with the plague, I value my health so much more. I am usually in very good health, and it’s hard to believe that something as simple as a sinus infection can bring a healthy person down.

Be Thankful for Modern Medicine

Sure, I’d probably get better on my own–in something like 10 days or so. And I hate shots, but I was willing to do anything to feel better quickly. I am so thankful for the good medical care and the wonderful medical practitioners in the United States!

To Visit the Sick

As an extrovert, I can tell you that it’s extremely hard to be out of the loop for about a week. Now that I’m on the mend, I’m ready to talk to anyone–the mailman, the lady behind me in the grocery store, the police officer who stopped me for speeding (just kidding, I made that up!)…

Being sick helps me to remember those who truly do have health problems and reminds me to visit them…especially shut-ins.

Being sick is no fun, but it can really give you a new perspective. And just to give you fair warning: if you see me in the grocery line in the next couple of days, don’t be surprised if I lure you into a long conversation!

Spring at the Cabin

Hi Everyone, it’s spring at the cabin…or at least it feels that way. For the last day of spring break, Lefty, Princess Buttercup, and I went to the cabin to enjoy the great outdoors.

farm life

Barn from hillside.

We roasted hot dogs over a camp fire, Lefty grilled for lunch, and then we just hung out and explored.

I went to the “mountaintop”–actually it’s probably more like a ridge–and practiced taking photos with my Nikon D7000. I tried several lens, and worked on aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.

It’s so much fun to visit the southern part of Tennessee. There are lots of barns, farmhouses, and pretty landscapes.

What do you think?


thorn bush with flowers

Can anyone identify this thorn bush?


The “waterfall.”

forest hillside

Hillside forest.

wild violet

Wild violet shot with macro lens.

bare tree

Bare tree on top of mountain.

can you identify this shrub

Another unidentified shrub.

small farmhouse

Little farmhouse on the way home.

large Tennessee farmhouse

Big farmhouse on the way home!

So, which photos are your favorites? I really like the rusted tin roof of that one barn, the waterfall, and the pretty wild violet…and always the beautiful blue sky!