Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cast Iron Will

There are several foods I wouldn’t even consider cooking in anything other than cast iron. Cornbread. Collard greens. Country ham and red-eye gravy. Fried chicken.

In the South, well-seasoned cast iron cookware is a welcome inheritance (no doubt because of its sentimental value, and the fact that acquiring a good seasoning is a long and sometimes smelly process). I have two skillets, one from each of my grandmothers, that have no doubt spent their share of mornings on the eye of a woodstove frying eggs, ham, sausage and bacon. They are black as coal and smooth as silk from years of use.

In the last few years, it seems more people are taking notice of the benefits of cooking with cast iron—something we Southerners have known all along. This article from the New York Times attests to the fact that plain ol’ cast iron is just as good, if not better, than expensive, gourmet cookware.

For heat retention, durability and versatility, cast iron can’t be beat. From stovetop to oven to table, all it takes is a little attention. Here you’ll find some tips for the use and care of your cast iron.

From new twists on old favorites to just the simple old tried-and-true comfort foods, cooking in cast iron links us to the past. If you’re ready to get started, Southern Living has some tasty recipes to try. And if you want to read more about cooking in cast iron, check out this blog.

In these days of always-improving technology, it’s nice to know that something our grandmothers (and even great-grandmothers) used every day is still relevant. Cast iron cookware is one of those things that only gets better with age.

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