Friday, November 25, 2011

Cast Iron Craziness

While I was putting away all the pots and pans from Thanksgiving, I got "re-interested" in my cast iron pans.  Jason's grandma came out to the house and she was talking about the old cast iron she had when she was young raising all her kids in Oklahoma.  She said her skillets had a number on the top of the handle.  Jason and I have spent many summers garage saling to acquire the collection we now have.  And I am always on the lookout for more cast iron for my sisters and brother. 

I don't think anything I own is a collector item.  I do get curious every once in a while and try to figure out if what I have is worth anything, even though it wouldn't really make a difference, since I would keep it and use it anyway.  I'm just weird, and I like to look things up on the Internet instead of do other things like cleaning and laundry.  Anyway... here is my "collection".

This is the bottom of the pan that I have with a number on the handle, like Jason's grandma had.  It really needs a good cleaning and I have been putting it off.

The numbers on the bottom of the same dirty skillet.

The number on the handle.  Jason's grandma got all excited when she saw that.

We got this set at a garage sale for $15 I think.  They were brand new Wagner's. 

Another garage sale find.  A couple bucks I think.

This dutch oven is my baby.  It took me a year to get it clean (mostly because I put it off, and ignored it, and spent months being intimidated by it).  When we found it back in the corner, in an old barn, at a yard sale, it was covered in rust and really pitted.  Absolutely no markings and really heavy.  I soaked it in Coke, in vinegar, scrubbed it with SOS pads, bristle brushes, and Jason took a brush on a drill to it.  Finally... clean enough to season.  I seasoned it twice and then cooked a whole package of bacon in it and put it through the oven again.  It made the best stew and dumplings we have ever had a few weeks ago.  I still have no idea who made it or how old it is. 

This is the bottom.  No markings.  If you can see the side, the whole thing, lid and all is hammered.  It is so pretty now that it is all clean!

My last skillet. This one is huge, and I use it all the time.  I brown two pounds of burger at a time usually, with onions and garlic and then set half aside for the next dinner.  This thing handles it all, no problem. 

It also has the heat ring, which I just read about on Griswold's site
So, there you have it.  Whether you care or not.  This is mostly what I cook with.  These and the crockpot, since weekdays are usually hectic. 

My next project is to clean that ugly skillet at the beginning.  Along with a sauce pan that my sister got at a garage sale for super cheap that I am super jealous of.  To show my love and fight my jealousy, I am going to clean it for her, since she has been letting it sit on her porch forever (like I did with my dutch oven) and it is driving me crazy.  I know, I am a cast-iron hypocrite. 

If I learn more about all this cast iron stuff, I will share.  I used to follow the Black Iron Blog, but he quit blogging.  That made me sad because he knew a lot.

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