by Tammy Taylor
My kitchen doesn’t have oodles of different sizes and brands of cookware. Back in ‘the day’ I was like probably most of my friends, rushing out to buy the latest and greatest cookware and food storage systems. But after awhile my cupboards were stuffed to overflowing and I could never find what I wanted when I needed it. So I culled back HEAVILY and donated a tremendous amount of stuff to Goodwill, keeping only the things I actually used. Let me introduce you to my absolute favorite item in my kitchen – my grandmother’s antique cast-iron skillet. (spotlight please…) Isn’t she a beauty?
This skillet was given to me by my grandmother many years ago. She received it as a wedding gift when when she and my grandfather married in 1934. Grandma was an amazing cook and this skillet was used almost daily in providing for her family.
By the time she gifted it to me it was perfectly seasoned and virtually non-stick. I only have one other skillet, a stainless steel one for when I’m not cooking savory dishes (like when I’m making homemade Chocolate Pudding, etc) but this cast-iron skillet is my go-to piece of cookware, especially for frying foods. I love that it’s oven safe as well so I also bake cornbread, cobbler and other items in it.
Keeping it properly seasoned is a snap. If I’m frying something I simply wipe out the interior after it’s cooled and then store it away. But I’ve learned that if I cook something messy in it I only need to use a scrub brush and hot water to clean the interior. (I’m not gonna lie, it was VERY difficult for me to come to terms with never using soap in the skillet as I was cleaning it!) After it’s been scrubbed clean I set the skillet on a hot burner until all moisture evaporates. When the skillet is completely dry I coat the inside with a thin coat of shortening before storing it away.
I’m amazed that this skillet has already seen so many years of faithful service, and I love that I’ll still be able to pass it down to my own children and they can pass it on to theirs! If you aren’t lucky enough to receive an old cast iron skillet from your grandmother, they’re easily purchased new. I found cast iron skillets on Amazon here. Seasoning a new cast-iron skillet is easy but nowadays you can even purchase your cast iron pre-seasoned. Properly cared for cast iron is highly durable cookware that you should be able to use for decades – and it only gets better with use. Now THAT’S an environmentally-friendly purchase.
Do you have a favorite piece of cast iron?
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