Wit & Wisdom: Cast Iron
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Wit & Wisdom: Cast Iron

BY Michael Haun Video
BY Amanda Uher


I hope you are beginning to see the purpose in hanging onto, and even collecting some historical items from the past, certainly your own families past. That old fountain pen, Grand-dads pocket knife, a tool, or journal, a family Bible, even old cast iron.   

I started gathering antique skillets a few years ago, some from the turn of the century. Certainly those cast before 1940 there were not to hang on the wall. To cook in. I love the range to oven,  using them on an open fire, on the grill, the only way to do a cowboy steak.      

My sister mailed to me this one of my moms, it was made before 1900 Mom made fried peach pies in this pan or is that peach fried pies.  Call them whatever I have two more.  

I have this huge early 1930s lodge skillet that was my wife’s dad.  He used it to fry fish. so do I.  

Every time I cook with these skillets I  feel like I am cooking with history

I have about 25 pieces in my collection.

One for cornbread, one bake salmon, cobblers,   

I search estate sales, garage sales, out of the way antique shops, people have given me a couple just because the pan was rusty and covered with grunge. It was on its way to the dump… don’t do it…  

I recondition them, Re-season them and re-institute their purpose by preparing a full course dinner or sometimes just making a sandwich.  

A sandwich, however, should never be just a sandwich. A cast iron grill cheese a Ruben or this BLT with cheese and Egg should be a work of art.  

My family calls this one the BLTEC  bacon lettuce Toma egg and cheese.  

But right before you put the top on the bottom or the bottom on the top, lay an over easy egg right in the middle of everything.  

The story here is more than just good food or a good seasoned cast-iron pan. There is a connection to my past, My family, my history, our raising chickens and gathering eggs, growing Big Boy Tomatoes and fresh Lettuce in our garden  My uncle even raised pigs.  All this makes my sandwich a story. Does the sandwich taste better, I can’t prove to you what’s in here and here. My answer is you bet it does.  

To me these skillets make everything taste better, I get a good dose of iron, and nothing crisps the edge of food like Castiron. The maintenance and upkeep is way simpler than you think. Everyone says to be careful with that… Honestly, if they were note fairly tough they would still be around today.   

Send us a photo of that skillet you rescued, or the one that was passed on to you. Or maybe you have a recipe that connects your history /share it  don’t forget to write  

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