From My Carolina Home

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Quick Sewing Project for Grilling

Labor Day usually means a cookout here, hot dogs with chili, bratwurst or burgers with beans.  I actually made this quick project last summer, and then got busy.  I am so easily distracted by shiny things and thrift stores.  I realized that I never posted it, so here goes, just in time for the last cookouts through autumn.  It is a simple idea, quick to make, and yet so very useful – a handle pad!! Since I have a glass top stove, I cannot use my cast iron on it. Using a cast iron skillet on the grill means the handle is too hot to pick up, but more important, when set on the tile table, you forget that the handle is hot. Having a pad on the handle keeps hands from burning, reminding you to be careful and that the pan is hot.  This one is heat resistant enough so you can actually pick up the pan with it, not like some hot pads that don’t insulate enough.  But, I usually have a hot pad in my other hand as the pan is heavy, especially full of food.

Cast Iron Handle pad 11

I experimented with the design and filling of the pads, and found the combination of heat resistant fabric, batting, Insul-Bright batting with a cotton cover worked the best for heat control.  I had some scraps of heat resistant fabric left over from my project of Re-covering An Ironing Board but you can buy this by the yard at most fabric stores.  Just 1/4 yard is more than enough for several handle pads. Cut your pieces 5-1/2 inches square.  Note – I made the first one with a charm square and it was too small.  That 1/2 inch makes a difference.

Cast Iron Handle pad 1

Arrange your layers like this, heat resistant fabric right sides together with your cotton fabric, Insul-Brite with the silver side facing the heat resistant fabric’s wrong side, and regular batting behind that.

Cast Iron Handle pad 2

Sew through all layers, about 1/2-inch from the edge, leaving an opening for turning.

Cast Iron Handle pad 3

Clip the corners, and clip some of the fullness out of the seam allowances.

Cast Iron Handle pad 4

Cast Iron Handle pad 7

Turn so the cotton fabric is right side out, with the heat resistant fabric on the other side.

Cast Iron Handle pad 5

Fold in half, with the opening on the side, and topstitch down the side about 1/4 inch from the edge (closing the turning opening) and across the bottom.

Cast Iron Handle pad 6

Easy, done in mere minutes.  You can make smaller ones for smaller skillets, but this size will work for most.

Cast Iron Handle pad 9

Just slide it onto the handle for lifting the skillet off the grill.

Cast Iron Handle pad 10

Then leave it on the handle to prevent burning a hand while serving.  I use it inside as well, when I start a meal by browning some chicken or pork then putting the skillet in the oven to finish.

Cast Iron Handle pad 11

I like corn on the grill, but sometimes I don’t have fresh ears ready for a grilled meal. I’ll use canned corn with a few dots of butter and still get that lovely grilled corn flavor. Marvelous with grilled pork and some grilled zucchini.

Cast Iron Skillet Holding Pad at From My Carolina Home

One note on cast iron, I season mine with olive oil after every use. I’ll clean the pan, then oil it so it doesn’t dry out.

Cast Iron Skillet Holding Pad at From My Carolina Home

Another tip on grilling, heat your grill first, then use a paper towel soaked in canola oil to wipe the grates. Food won’t stick to the grates. Remember hot grate, cold oil, no stick.

Perfect Grilling ~ From My Carolina Home

Your meats will have those wonderful grill marks like a great steakhouse restaurant.  Yum!!

Perfect Grilling ~ From My Carolina Home

Burgers and bratwurst are great on the grill too.  We like cooking out, can you tell?

July 4th Cookout at From My Carolina Home

Picnics have to have some deviled eggs, right?  Maybe try the last recipe you’ll ever need for Perfect Deviled Eggs.  I have enough variations in that recipe to keep you interested for years.

Perfect Deviled Eggs From My Carolina Home

The handle pads would make a great guy gift for the man who likes to grill.  Of course, picking a more guy-friendly print would be good. Pair it with a cast iron skillet, and my homemade seasoning mixes. The download for those recipes and more ideas for making Gifts for Guys is in my Craftsy store.

Cast Iron Handle pad 8

Are you grilling for Labor Day?



Oh Scrap!



Late Summer Cookout

OK, I’ll admit it, I am a clearance and thrift store hound.  Who doesn’t love a great bargain?  Especially a bargain on something you have never known you might want before!  Such was the case as I found these really interesting little dishes on the clearance rack at one of my favorite haunts.  They were 98 cents each.  I bought all eight.

Late Summer Cookout at From My Carolina Home

So, what are they?  They are dipping sauce dishes, mostly used in Asian cooking, but I had another idea.  I will probably use them in the future for something like egg rolls, but right now I am in cookout mode.  Summer is winding down, and my favorite time of year is right around the corner.  So, time for a cookout for two.

Late Summer Cookout at From My Carolina Home

I set the outdoor veranda table with the fruit and leaf placemats with matching napkins.  The wooden napkin rings were perfect for this setting.  Basic white plates, with the cherry salad plates on top.

Late Summer Cookout at From My Carolina Home

The colors went well with the placemats.  Adding glasses, flatware and salt/pepper completed the settings.

Late Summer Cookout at From My Carolina Home

The centerpiece was also a fruit themed planter, with the end of season Johnny Jump-Ups showing their last blooms of the season.  I used my little ceramic board to announce the menu.

Late Summer Cookout at From My Carolina Home

Boneless pork ribs were seasoned with garlic salt and lemon pepper.

Late Summer Cookout at From My Carolina Home

DH grilled them, and later said that not having barbeque sauce dripping on the grill was nice.  I filled the dipping sauce dishes and set them back on the table.

Late Summer Cookout at From My Carolina Home

I planned to use barbeque sauce in one of the wells in the sauce dish, but discovered that I had run out.  So our sauces were teriyaki, horseradish and worchestershire steak sauce.

Late Summer Cookout at From My Carolina Home

It was fun to dip the individual bites of grilled pork into the different sauces while enjoying the meal and the view.  I served the meat with sea-salt baked potatoes and a lovely salad with the last of my garden lettuce.  We found that the little sauce dishes worked better sitting on the plate as the salad was set to the side.

Late Summer Cookout at From My Carolina Home

It was a nicely cool evening, and we enjoyed a lovely sunset after our meal.  The rain cleared off, so the clouds were beautifully lit by the waning light.

Late Summer Cookout at From My Carolina Home

Have you ever used a dipping sauce for a meal at home?  Do you have any little specialty dishes like these?


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