Friday, March 16, 2012
Fry...day - Cooking with a Cast Iron Pan or two or three or five
My grandmother didn't pass many belongings down to me. How could she? There were nine kids just on our side of the family. But she did leave me a couple of my favorite belongings and I still have them today (nearly 40 years later).
She left me my Hope Chest (or what people today call a cedar chest). The "Hope" was supposed to be that I would get married one day. And, she wanted me to be prepared to run a household. She encouraged me to start saving my linens and special wedding lingerie inside the chest. Of course I was supposed to have pots and pans and other wonderful wifely gear too. The only problem was that I wasn't so good about following through with her plans. I didn't embroider my linens like she'd hoped, or crochet my blankets like she'd taught me, I didn't even sew my special wedding night lingerie but she did leave an incredible mark on me.
I saved her cast iron pans and I still cook in them today. I even cook pan-pizzas in those cast iron pans that she left me, which is one of the wonderful things about these pans. They can go from the stove to the oven . . . no problem.
HEALTH BENEFITS of cast iron:
1) You can use less oil when you cook on cast iron.
2) The cast iron can leach a little iron into your foods, which is very healthy for you.
3) There is no need to use any chemicals to clean cast iron.
Those are just three of the reasons that I have Aebleskiver pans, skillets, a dutch oven, a griddle and even a crepe pan that are all cast iron.
The great thing about cast iron is that it cooks everything evenly and clean up is easy. You simply rinse the pan clean and if it gets too clean you simply apply a bit of olive oil and cure it by heating the pan in the oven or over the burner.
The only bad thing about cast iron is that the pans are heavy. The only time it really matters that they are so heavy, is when I'm trying to cook crepes. It's difficult to roll the batter around the pan when I'm holding it up. It's easy for my husband (but his arms are much stronger than mine) he simply holds the pan up and lets the batter slide around the surface.
How 'bout you...do you have a special cooking utensil? Has it been passed down in your family? Or...will you pass on any kitchen utensil to your kids...?