"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Don't Cast Your Irons Aside

Do you have a few cast iron skillets sitting idle in your kitchen cupboard? Have you used them in the past decade? Well, before you put them out for a yard sale this spring, why not dust them off, re-season them and start cooking like grandma used to. Yes, they are heavy ... but in their defense, they retain and can take the heat (unlike today's non-stick pans). From stove top, oven, broiler or campfire, cast iron is a sure bet. My grandma 'B' used black cast iron skillets and cooked everything from squirrel :) (no kidding) to fried chicken and in between. Libby 'B' was quite the homemaker with skills of canning her garden goods, making feather beds, raising lots of kids, and cooking up a storm when we visited her. Just ask my pop.

This past year I've been itching to get my hands on a Dutch oven (DO) to cook in outside by the campfire. For Christmas I received a cookbook with all the how to's and what not to do's listed, along with many tall tales and bonafide recipes. To start practicing for when the snow melts and I can once again find my backyard, I'm planning to use my flat bottomed DO inside this winter. It won't be the same, but practice makes perfect. The photos show my newly seasoned DO and a newly acquired 12" beauty of a skillet after their final seasoning. Also shown is the aforementioned cookbook.


Trish said...

Growing up in a Southern home Cast Iron Skillets were a must have! How else could you fry the best Chicken and make that scrumptous Cornbread? I am going to haul out my 12" Sillet and season her up and start the family tradition all over again...both my Gramma's and all my Aunts kitchens were
stocked with them. What a lovely memory to start my day with!

Pat said...

Gotta pass on those iron skillets, they are just too heavy for me to handle. I know they are great, but I'll have to leave it to Hal to use, he loves them!

Northeast Iowa Mom said...

Oh absolutely, I love good cast iron! Use your DO in the oven until things warm up. Perfect. And make some cornbread in that frying pan!

WV: cosigen. Sounds like the name for a new Alzheimer's drug or something.

Jim said...

HI M&M, you are looking good for being up there in all that weather! Are you getting a little of that pretty Seattle snow over where you are? I hope so because that is part of why you moved so far north.

Mrs. Jim make corn bread in her cast iron skillet. Never wash it with hot water to melt off the grease layers or anything like that as it ruins the flavor of what you are cooking.
She has several and threw a few away. :-)

I will be scarce until the end part of January unless I can find a cheap Internet Cafe on the QM2 or in Grenada. It is getting cool here so we had to go. We did get new bathing suits last Sunday. ;-)

Jada's Gigi said...

I'm with Trish...iron skillets are a must have! Especially in the south. Love, love mine
Nice holiday pic of you and the hubby. Please come out of hibernation before spring! :) Happy New Year!

Deb said...

I love cast iron --although I have to make sure I'm having a "good" day because they're way too heavy for me to handle otherwise.

Dawna just got all new cast iron cookware for Christmas --and she just ordered some fancy forged rack on which to hang them all in her kitchen. I told her she needs to move to the prairie...

Now ALL you need is the ultimate, piece d'resistance...the cast iron PANCAKE PUFF PAN!!!

Maggie Ann said...

Your post reminded me, I just bought a Crock Pot cookbook last night, it drew me like a magnet..grin. But it must have been left in the car and its snowy and COLD out there. I used to have a cast iron skillet. I never got the hang of using it things always 'stuck'. It might not have been seasoned enough. Don't they say you can pick up some iron in your food by using cast iron. Boy, does that sound wacky to type out! Is it true? Our dd left for home 2 days before Christmas or was that one? I've been so busy, you know how it is. Homes take a lot of upkeep...and when company is coming, I really go into high gear with the dusting and all. Can't help myself, grin. Happy New Year to you and your family!

Mrs. Mac said...

Maggie ... I have heard that you can get your daily iron from using cast iron pans ... not sure if that's true. Sounds possible.

Iowa Mom ... you got me started years ago with two skillets I purchased from you before you moved. I still have them ... but I tell you, that 12 inch skillet it the 'bomb' ... it can take up permanent residency on my stove top for all I care.

Pat ... I can imaging they'd be heavy for you to use ... but Just have Hal haul them out for you once in a while.

Cheryl, not sure if I'm ready to come out of hibernation ... or if it's even possible. We've now had seven feet of snow ... an all time record for Dec. since records were started in the 1880's. Spokane has had nearly five feet. Their normal snowfall is 30 inches for the entire snow season.

Mr. Jim ... enjoy your warm weather. With Texas being so chilly (what is it ... in the 60's ;)you have to move on to warmer weather, eh?

Deb, I actually used to have a pancake puff pan made of cast iron. This was before I knew the magic of proper seasoning. The batter stuck horribly and I gave the pan away. They are actually a Danish treat called Ableskievers (sp)?