Tag Archives: popular

Everything Old is New Again!

Driving back from Southampton to Hampton Bays a few years ago, Ron and I came across an elderly gentleman who had some old treasures for sale beside the highway. He had an old and very rusted cast iron Griswold No. 8 Tite-Top Dutch Oven for sale. I hummed and hawed and we finally decided to buy it for $55 (that was before cast iron became incredibly popular, especially for an antique piece). I was just learning about the magic of cooking with cast iron at that time and wasn’t sure how I would clean it up, what I would cook in it, never mind how we would transport this heavy piece back to Cabo from New York. At the time, I also mistakenly thought that I’d paid too much for this old rusted pot.

I wasn’t in New York with Ron last summer, so I decided to take on the task of rejuvenating this old piece this year if I possibly could. I googled to find if there was any information on how to clean rusty cast iron and there was a great deal of resource material available, thank heavens. I chose one that looked simple and used natural cleaning ingredients. Here’s what it looked like when I started:

I made a paste of baking soda and water and spread it over the entire pot; bottom, lid and insert.

The next step was to pour white vinegar over each component separately and start scrubbing with a Brillo pad until the rust was lifted. It took lots of elbow grease, but when I rinsed everything off, the results were amazing!

I find the best thing to season (to seal the surface and give your cast iron a beautiful black patina) and maintain (apply after every use) my cast iron with is ghee (clarified butter) as it has a high smoke point and keeps the rust away. Here is the finished product:

I was thrilled with how it turned out! I wonder who owned it before and what delicious food was cooked in it. I love that the pot has some history! It was definitely worth the money we paid and I’m very excited to bake some sourdough bread in it very soon!

Santa Cruz and Capitola-by-the-Sea

While Ron and I were in northern California, we spent a lovely afternoon in Santa Cruz and Capitola, places where Ron lived and played in the past. Ron’s doctor is in Santa Cruz, so seeing him every year gives us a great excuse to come and play in these beautiful towns on the coast of Monterrey Bay.


Capitola-by-the-Sea has a permanent population of less than 10,000 people, but is a very popular tourist town because of its large, sandy beach, trendy shops and restaurants on the shore that connect to the fishing wharf. One of the places we love to visit in this charming town is Pizza My Heart (http://www.pizzamyheart.com), now a successful chain of by-the-slice take-out pizza, which reminds us of the great “pie” we enjoy while in New York. We picked up a couple of great slices from their flagship location on the water and enjoyed them with a couple of great glasses of wine from the Cava Wine Bar (http://www.cavacapitola.com) that specializes in wines from boutique producers in the Santa Cruz Mountains.


On our drive back to Santa Clara, we stopped so that Ron could show me one of the great iconic restaurants of the area, the Shadowbrook Restaurant (http://www.shadowbrook-capitola.com).   Originally opened in 1947 and with its red cable car access and terraced gardens flowing all the way down to Soquel Creek, this restaurant is famous for being one of the most romantic on the west coast and in all of America.   We were still full from our time in downtown Capitola, so look forward to bringing Ron’s Mom here on our next trip to thank her for all of the amazing meals she prepares for us.  We’re really looking forward to it.