Monday, May 05, 2008

Cast Iron

I am just now discovering cast iron. I have had a cast iron pan since I my initial collection of cookware materialized suddenly on my eighteenth birthday, when I was thoughtfully given tools to accompany my somewhat awkward lurch toward adulthood. I wasn’t exactly a blossoming chef at that point with all signs pointing to food, so it must have been the adulthood thing. Either way, everyone is supposed to have one. They are icons of the kitchen and of kitchenware, appearing on greeting cards with cartoon fried eggs.

It’s odd that these objects have remained so mysterious to me for so long. I don’t remember using any heavy black pans before recently. It’s even odder that I have been collecting pieces for a few years and stacking them up, blankly staring at the heavy, unseasoned pile and quietly lugging them along when I move apartments. I like to think that I just wasn’t ready, and subconsciously knew that somewhere down the line I would be. Cast iron seems to have had some recognizable value to me, maybe because of its weight, maybe because of its myth. It seemed like even if I didn’t use it, it was still sitting in safe storage earning interest unless it became entirely rust and returned to the earth and didn’t matter anyway.

Besides that first pan, any other pieces of cast iron I have came from garage sales or from the street for free. Apparently some people can’t wait to get rid of them. I snapped them up.

So now I have seasoned. I have rubbed. I have fried and baked and I even gave one away all ready to go. They are shiny and smooth and dark. Food doesn’t stick to them, and they get as hot as I want. Some pieces are strange and exotic like the one that is squareish and has two perpendicular ridges I’m not sure about. Others are classic and deep, with symmetrical pour spouts on either side. My new favorite is shallow, slender and elegant. I’m thrilled, and I hear it gets better.

1 comment:

adam said...

how's a kid get a hold of one of these...?