Friday, March 16, 2012 - 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 have a special cooking utensil? Has it been passed down in your family? Or...will you pass on any kitchen utensil to your kids...?


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

What a great thing to inherit! I use my grandma's metal measuring cups and they are indestructible.

David Batista said...

Special kitchen utensil? Passed down through my family? Bwa-ha-ha! Oh, that's rich! :)

I haven't even one cast-iron cookware item in the kitchen, let alone many like you do. I would like to get one, except I have no idea how to cook with one. The most expensive of our pans are the cephalon ones which seem like they'll outlast the nuclear apocalypse, but probably still not as durable or reliable as cast-iron.

Thanks for the info on this. I learned a lot that I didn't know beforehand, especially the olive oil remedy.

The Happy Whisk said...

Ah, great minds think alike. There is nothing to me, anyway, like cast iron. Just did a post using cast iron for chicken.

Happy Jogging this weekend :-)

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