Navigating the seasons.

I learned something recently.

One hot Chicago day after a string of frigid weather landed me with a bad seasonal cold, one that just wouldn’t go away.  After John came down with a variation of it, we decided to go to the doctor to make sure we weren’t passing something back and forth.  Much to the surprise of my stuffed-up nose, I wasn’t actually sick, at least not in the traditional sense.  Here, I had a mean case of seasonal allergies!  What?!  I have never had allergies that involve wheezing, coughing, a brick of a nose and exhaustion, but I think the doc was right because I feel just awful after a nice long springtime walk with Todd these days.  And maybe it’s not a surprise; thinking back over the years, my legs have gotten very itchy at times for seemingly no reason, and the past few days, I have woken up in the middle of the night itching like a mad woman.  Looks like I just might have found the culprit.  Focusing on the connections learned is the only way to restore gratitude, otherwise… I just want to pout.

I have a new compassion for anyone who gets seasonal allergies.  They are absolutely no fun.  I booked an appointment with Dr. Thomas Cowan next Monday to sort out the long-term reasons why I am getting hit with them.  I read THIS article on Dr. Cowan’s website, linking seasonal allergies to weak adrenals, which makes sense.  Looks like I might be spending a bit of time building mine up over the next year or so.  I probably won’t be in Chicago next spring, but I do get a small reaction to the California springtime in addition to the itchy legs, so I might as well chip away at the underlying reason.

In honor of seasons and all their diverse challenges and delights, I thought I’d share how I like to season a cast iron skillet this week.  I’m a big cast iron fan.  If you ever wondered how steaks get a nice crispy crust, the answer is cast iron.  What makes a delicious burger?  Cast iron.  There’s not a meat that doesn’t flourish when tackled by the manly cast iron pan.  Fish, too.  I use two basic techniques to not only protect the pan, but build its coating over time until it functions somewhat like a non-stick pan.  Let’s focus on seasoning this week…

Click HERE to learn How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet


  • Beautiful photos!

    May 2, 2011
  • We use our cast iron skillets all the time – such great tips!

    May 2, 2011
  • If you’re struggling with allergies, I HIGHLY recommend that you go out and by a netty pot. It’s like a little tea pot you fill up with salt water and rinse your nose out with. It’s kind of a weird thing to do at first, but after a while you will find that it relieves most of your allergy symptoms without having to take any kind of drugs. It’s saved me and my husband countless times. We do it in the morning–and if we’re really bad–once at night. Do it every day for a month and you’ll see a huge difference!


    May 5, 2011
    • Molly Chester

      Hi Brooke, I do love the neti pot, and it really does work for me. However, these chicago allergies took me beyond the neti’s abilities…. geez. Oh well! I am actually feeling better now. Thanks so much for the great suggestions! xo Molly

      May 8, 2011

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