I have been wanting a cast iron pan for some time now. I think I first got the bug reading Sugar Pie Farmhouse... And then re-reading Laura Ingalls Wilder... And remembering how my grandmother often cooked in cast iron...
And there I was, in Vermont, holding a pan in my hands in this upscale kitchen store and asking the resident chef on staff if I could use it on a flat glass cooktop. (Yes, I could!)
I didn't buy that particular pan, but kept my eyes out for a more affordable one. And so did my mom, who happened to find a Lodge pan in Marshall's one day and bought it for me.
And then I got afraid of it. I wasn't sure what to cook in it, how to clean it, if I would drop it on my glass cooktop, where to store it.
Eventualy, I started cooking little things in it: Frozen breakfast sausage. Potatoes. Bacon. I rinsed it off and wiped it down after I used it (although being soap fiend/germaphobe, this is still an adjustment). I am careful on my glass cooktop. And I store it in the stove.
I love cooking in my little pan -- it makes me feel like Ma Ingalls. And it's supposed to be healthier, believe it or not: Not only does it serve as a source of iron in your food, it also eliminates ingesting all the flaky junk from old non-stick pans.
Oh, and it could come in handy as a weapon:
(Heehee. We LOVE "Tangled" in this house. Even the twins love "Tangled.")
I've been trying read up on my cast iron frying pan, and thought I would share a few links with you:
- Here's a great blog post on how to clean your pan.
- The Lodge web page has information on care, as well as recipes.
- Sugar Pie Farmhouse has a great recipe for Hillbilly Spaghetti Pie -- I am dying to make this! -- and there are also great tips on cleaning here.
- Information on cleaning and seasoning a cast iron skillet, courtesy of Real Simple magazine.
I'm sure there are a million more links, but this is a good start. Consider your "skillet" an investment and preserving a bit of history!