Thursday, January 19, 2012

Your friendly Iron Skillet Chef

I'm proudly displaying a recent culinary achievement, a very nice breakfast frittata that was a big hit the other evening around the house. I was a hero for at least an hour or two after that, then things went back to normal.

I trust that my readers understand the old axiom that if one knows how to cook and gets in the kitchen and does it, there are some wonderful benefits the chief of which is that you get to eat what you want.

Consider above, however, the cast iron skillet. It was my mother's. Now it's mine, all mine.

Iron skillets are making a comeback these days. Surprisingly, they have achieved some degree of coolness with younger folks. There are cast iron cookwear outlet stores which have an impressive variety of pots, pans, fryers, griddles, bakewear and other stuff.  

I'll pass on the fancy pannini griddles and stuff like that and stick with the old standard, ten inch skillet above. Astute observers will note that this one is not the run of the mill two inch deep skillet but a four inches deep. My mother used to fry chicken in it, among other things. A much younger Plodder may have had his first subliminal emmanations of a call to the Baptist pastorate while watching the various chicken appendages sizzle in this very pan.

Dear old Mom's skillet has been seasoned by about seventy years of use. While cast iron skillet manufacturers will advertise a new skillet as being "seasoned," don't believe it. That claim is hogwash. If it's new, it isn't seasoned. There are no real shortcuts to having a nicely seasoned cast iron skillet apart from inheritance or a lucky find at a yard sale.

It is safe to say that no frittata ever touched my skillet before this week. If my mother was familiar with the term I doubt she would allow it to pass her lips, much less occupy her skillet.  Her idea of food for the skillet was decidedly American, Southern, and cholesterol heavy. I recall a nice dish she used to cook that had chicken livers, bacon, and onions in it. Mighty good.

I am fully aware of the risk I took by using my mother's cast iron skillet to cook a frittata in it. I am hopeful that I haven't desecrated it. It was mightly good. I'm optimistic that dear old Mom would have been pleased.

So, get you a nice cast iron skillet and get in the kitchen and use it. It soothes the soul.


Anonymous said...


I am impressed and proud of you. I can't wait to retire. Just 8 more years and I'll be firing up my antique black skillet.

Blessings, Ron Hale

Stephen Fox said...

Skillet looks like it could fry some good catfish.
How good can you make slaw?

Anonymous said...

Fish have been cooked therein, bro.

I'm not much for slaw.


Anonymous said...

Frying pans...who knew!