Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cast Iron Skillets, what’s old is new again…


I’ve been reading lately about the resurgence in cast iron. The sales have increased dramatically, and I like to think it has to do in part with my beloved Pioneer Woman, who uses it weekly on her FoodTV show.  So, it seems that mom grandma really did know best.  Of course I was raised with mother using cast iron daily, and I veered away from it, as a young bride, it just wasn’t cool to cook with cast iron.

When the boys were young, hubby and I used to go to auctions that had new Sears merchandise closeouts and he bought me a set of orange Le Creuset cookware for next to nothing.  Of course I was clueless as to how expensive it really was, I bought it at an auction after all.  I used it for years, finally giving it to mother and replacing it with Magnalite and Calphalon.  Then when we moved to the condo ten years ago, I decided I needed stainless steel, and Ryan scooped up the Magnalite.

The boys have used cast iron for years now, as well.  John never uses soap on his, he just uses water to clean it and it never sticks.  He makes the most amazing green beans with bacon and onions in his, something about the iron just gives it an indescribable flavor.  Ryan has Mother’s favorite iron skillet, it was the one thing of hers that he really wanted.  And yours truly, I’m loving it again as well.  I always kept a small orange Le Creuset iron skillet from all those years ago, I’ve used it all these years, it’s my “go to” when I make cornbread.

You just can’t beat cast iron, and Lodge makes a really good line of preseasoned cookware.  It’s inexpensive, it gives food a wonderful flavor,  it’s simple, basic, and it performs so well.  Amazing that it took me forty years to figure out that mother really did know best.

And I have a Jan’s helpful hint for you.  If this post has you thinking about cast iron, and perhaps you have an old piece stuck away in the attic that was Grandma’s, and it’s really icky but you can’t part with it, well it’s a no brainer to bring it back to life.  You just put it in your self-cleaning oven, turn it on, and like magic, the heat from cleaning the oven will bake off every piece of crud, grease, and ickiness that’s on the skillet.  Then you just coat it with oil, stick it in the oven for a couple of hours and you have a better than new reseasoned piece of cast iron.

It’s  a good thing, pinkie swear it is.  ~ jan


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