Cast Iron

July 25, 2013

18  comments

individual cheesy pasta bake in cast iron skillet - Fairhope Supply Co.
I have several small 6″ skillets. This one holds an individual serving of baked pasta.
Everyone knows that when it comes to live oak trees, wine and cast iron; older is better.
I’ve rightfully come into several skillets of varying sizes, but the two I use most, sometimes three times a day, belonged to my Grandmothers. The large skillet is from the maternal side, and the medium is from the paternal clan.
cooking in cast iron - Fairhope Supply Co.
Both pans are seasoned to perfection. I use these heavy pans for everything from brown sugared bacon to red pepper stir- fry. A simple swish in the kitchen sink in–between uses keeps the flavors pure. The perfect purveyors of heat, every dish cooked in cast iron comes out even and tasty.
cake in a cast iron skillet - Fairhope Supply Co.
Here’s a cake I made in the large cast iron skillet.
My husband’s family never used cast iron cookware (bless his mama’s New York  heart), and the first month we were married, I caught him feverishly scrubbing one of my skillets with STEEL WOOL! He quickly learned the art of proper cast iron care, and also gained a new appreciation for the art of a proper hissy fit.
You do what you have to do for the sake of the family’s cast iron.
Anyway . . .
upside down cake, Fairhope Supply Co.
Another large skillet creation last Christmas, this time, Pineapple Upside Down Cake. 
Nothing melds that brown sugar and pineapple juice together better than heavy cast iron.
My boys love fried okra cooked in the cast iron, and I’m glad to cook it for them. And someday, I’ll be thrilled to pass my collection of cast iron to my future daughter-in-laws, as long as they use it to cook my sons some perfectly seasoned, hot and crispy okra.
Although . . . I’m just modern-enough of a belle to think maybe it’s time my sons learned to fry their own okra.
frying okra in a cast iron skillet - Fairhope Supply Co.
Especially if there’s a chance their future wives come from a non-cast iron kind of family.
Because God help us, then we’ll have bigger fish to fry.

This article recently appeared in it’s original version at Gulf Coast News Today. 

Sharing with: The Charm of Home, French Country Cottage, Mockingbird Hill Cottage, Common Ground, Six Sister’s Stuff, Boogieboard Cottage, Cedar Hill Ranch, Savvy Southern Style, Nifty Thrifty Things, Dwellings, No Minimalist Here

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  1. Hilarious! I have several from my grandmother. My son married a girl from a non cast iron family (Canada) so I hope they know the value when they sell off all of my stuff.

  2. You are too much. I adore cast iron but Joe does more. I recently bought hime an enormous square vintage chicken fryer. Not that we are going to fry a chicken in it but I had to get it. Washing it with steel wool..I never wash mine.

  3. Your cast-iron culinary creations look delicious! I wasn’t lucky enough to inherit a cast-iron skillet. How long does it take one to be seasoned?

  4. Steel wool on cast iron? Yikes! I have a no. 8 cast skillet that was my mom’s and a round flat griddle. Both are old and awesome. I agree that nothing makes pineapple upside down cake like a cast iron skillet.

  5. You are a stitch! I can relate to so many of your posts, but this one especially hit home. My sons are marrying age but…I wonder if it will ever happen. They LOVE to eat (like mama fixes) & not many young girls today cook let alone know the importance of cast iron. Can you imagine mom? is what I often hear LOL.

  6. I’m originally from NY and my mom, who was a fantastic cook, always used a cast iron skillet. I could never get the hang of it and hated that the pan was so darn heavy. I admit that I’m a nonstick girl all the way. Also, I tried fried okra for the first time at Lamberts…all I can say is that it must be an acquired taste. :/

  7. Okay– how about a post on proper cast iron care? I have one that was my grandmother’s and don’t use it much because there is conflicting info out there on caring for it. No soap, no water, rub with oil, put in oven, stand on your head… Would appreciate your system!

  8. Yes, I’ve been standing on my head now for a long time – Hahaha. You crack me up!

    But you are right. I think there are so many different ways to cure your cast iron – it’s all confusing! I say, just slick it up with oil and s-l-o-w heat it, then c-o-o-l it down. I know some people who heat it in the oven, others in a fire pit. Go ahead and try it your way and let us know what works for you.

    Hope

  9. I’ve lived in the South all my 61 years but have never gotten the hang of cast iron skillets (or how to fry chicken or okra). They always look “dirty” to me…I can’t seem to bear to put it away with just a “swish”. Your photographs of the food you cook in your skillets are just beautiful.

  10. I have just one iron skillet. It was one of my grandmother’s. I don’t use it very often since it is just me and it is so heavy to move around.

  11. I grew up in South Carolina and have a cast iron skillet from my grandmother and large one I bought forty something years ago. After you finish cooking, heat the pan so that it’s hot then pour water into the pan. It should hiss and steam and maybe scald your hand if you’re not careful. It will loosen all the food that’s still stuck in the pan. Scrape it with the flat side of a spatchler (mispelled, sorry) to be sure it’s clean. Then rinse it out with hot water and dry it immediately. I leave it on top of the stove until the next day, making sure that its completely dry before putting it away. If I’ve cooked meat or something spicy I put in a couple of drops of dish soap and quickly scrub it with a brush. My pans are so well seasoned, they do fine. Never leave water standing in them. If you have to wash a cast iron to the point that it loses the seasoning, no big deal, just cook bacon in the pan and leave the grease sitting in it for a couple of days. Putting the greasy pan into a hot oven, turning the heat off and leaving it until it’s cold is a good way to season or re-season a cast iron as well. I can’t bring myself to brown meat in anything but cast iron. Really the only thing I cook in a teflon pan is fried or scrambled eggs.

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