Friday, March 5, 2010

7 Quick Takes


I have a cast-iron skillet that I use regularly, but I was having a horrible time keeping it nicely seasoned. Even though I did all the good wash-with-water-0nly-and-heat-till-dry-and-oil thing. 

But then I stopped oiling it with vegetable shortening and start oiling it with real lard. My skillet? Is now staying beautifully seasoned.

Only downside is the faint aroma of too-hot pig fat.


I think the spam-bots would have more luck with me if they stopped addressing their emails to "Mr. Jessica Snell".


As I keep trying to study Spanish, I'm amazed at the difference between my receptive language facilities and my productive language facilities. For instance, here's a sentence I read recently that I had no trouble understanding (forgive my lack of accent marks; I haven't yet learned the keystrokes for them):

-Veo que eres idiota, ademas de ser lo que seas-

Could I understand it? Sure. Could I come up with it myself? Not even close to possible. The first part maybe, but if I had tried to say "whatever else you may be", I wouldn't have been able to even come up with "ademas" and there's no way I would have come up with "of to be it that you might be" (which is the literal translation - as far as I can tell - of "de ser lo que seas"). Nope.  

Man! I have such a long way to go.


I'm checking out a local umbrella school as a homeschool option next year. It would let me school Bess at home four days a week, and then one day a week she would get to go to school and do P.E. and music and stuff like that. It'd also give us an opportunity for field trips and other extracurriculars with other homeschoolers. I'm kind of excited about this and hope it works out! Anyone out there have experience with something similar?


Yesterday, I was working on my novel and my hero did something completely unexpected, proving himself much more heroic than even I thought he was. I can't tell you how happy that makes me. It's been over twenty-four hours and I'm still tickled pink. This is why I love writing: because as awesome as it is to read a book that picks you up and carries you away, it's even more awesome to read a story that does that same thing but that came straight out of your own fingertips. The fact that it can still pick you up and carry you away, still surprise you and leave you baffled . . . I don't know. It's just a high like no other. 


When in doubt about how to occupy your kids, give them each a wet rag and let them loose in the kitchen. You'll have to go in afterwards with towels, but it's amazing how clean it'll get and how happy they'll be.


Um, seven, seven . . . um, here! Something funny! ("I'm sorry, are you speaking Scottish now?")

For  more quick takes, go visit Conversion Diary.


Enbrethiliel said...


Oh, I love that video! =D The first time I watched it, I screamed with laughter at Tennant's "Doctor who?" comment!

Jenny said...

Oh, good to know about the lard. I love my cast iron pans, but yes, hard to keep seasoned...

Amber said...

Re #1, I've been using a non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening with great success.

Re #4, I'm thinking about it too. I have a friend who is doing the one I'm considering and she's been pleased with it. It is either that or an Evangelical HS group (and I don't relish being the only orthodox Catholics of the bunch), the status quo, or trying to somehow get something going on my own. If only everyone wasn't so spread out, I might have a chance... but as it stands, I'm thinking the public HS charter is worth a try. I hope it works out well for you!

Ma Torg said...

I've had good luck just using olive oil for my skillet.

Martianne said...

You might try cleaning your cast iron with salt; it makes a big difference for us!

Amy said...

Hey Jessica, How is the umbrella school different from a co-op? We're involved in a co-op on Fridays for PE, music, art, etc. and it is wonderful for me and Gracie!
Also on a side note, just wanted to say how much I love your Touchstone article. After following your blog all this time, don't think I've ever written to tell you what an influence it had on me. I'm using it in a talk I'm giving at Eastern Unv's Theological Society on the church year on Tuesday!

TwoSquareMeals said...

Nothing beats lard for seasoning cast iron. I'm Southern; I should know. I cook almost everything in cast iron.

I may try nukber 6 very, very soon.

Jessica said...

The umbrella school is a program run out of a private school. In California, you homeschool either by registering yourself as a private school, or by joining a private school that will do the paperwork for you, but let you school at home. So, in this case, the public school does the paperwork and provides classes on Fridays for all the students. They also provide you with meetings with other parents and mentor teachers, and core groups for field trips and socialization and such.

At least, that's what I gather. I'm going for a tour in a couple weeks.

Jessica said...

Amy, thank you! I'm honored!