Monday, April 19, 2010

Cast Iron and Cornbread

As I wander about exploring this new area we've landed in, I just can't resist diving into the local antique and junk stores. I've been on a quest for a long time now to find old cast iron pans since, as I've bemoaned previously, none were passed on through my family. I've hit stores from California to Alaska and back and, sure, I've run across them here and there but most dealers understand the treasure that they're selling and want to catch a sap like me who will be willing to slap down sixty bucks for a dutch oven...missing its cover, no less! Outrageous, I say, so I move on and the treasure hunt continues.

Well, let me tell you that I recently hit the motherlode! I guess it stands to reason that in this area of homesteaders and ranchers, cast iron is as ubiquitous as cowboy boots and bison. To me, though, it was as if I was a miner and I had just hit a huge vein of gold. When, in poking around one of the local stores, my good sport of a husband casually strolled over to me with a corn cob cast iron pan in his hand and asked, "Isn't this what you've been looking for?", I swear I almost fainted. And when I took a look at the price tag and it was less than ten bucks, I let out a whoop that shook the rafters.

I pranced around that shop with that pan clutched tightly in my hands and couldn't believe my luck as we uncovered more and more cast iron jewels just begging to be taken home, cleaned up and put back in service. Ok, sure, we live in a motorhome with a kitchen the size of a postage stamp but, c'mon, who am I to say no to a hardworkin' piece of historic cookware that just wants to get back in the game?

So, I packed those suckers up, got a good arm workout to boot, and headed home to try them out. Umm, let me just say, it was everything I've ever dreamed it to be. I made cornbread in the corn cob pans and paired it with a hearty bean stew and Erik and I gobbled it up, licked our fingers.... and dove in for more. Oh, man, is there anything better than hot-out-of-the-oven, crispy, fluffy and mouthwatering cornbread....drenched in butter? Ok, yea, yea, there goes the diet and I'll have to run from here to Missoula and back to work it off but whateva! It was SO worth it and, hey, let's not forget I burned those calories hauling those babies home.

So, I am FINALLY the proud, new owner of ancient cast iron and couldn't be happier with my new kitchen accoutrement. Don't get me wrong, I'm still on the prowl for my holy grail of cast iron... a small dutch oven WITH a lid that will fit in my motorhome's Easy Bake oven but, for now, I will bask in the glow of knowing that if my life depended on my making skillet biscuits or crispy cornbread, I am SO on it.

Now, on to the next issue...where the heck to store all of them... Hmm, maybe Erik will make some room in his bicycle equipment storage bin. I mean, really, cast iron or a bicycle tube? No contest if you ask me!


. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

You are a lucky dog. A cornbread-crumb-licking dog! I wish I was one, too.

MoonstruckinMontana said...

Ha! You're right, I am. C'mon up to Montana and I'd be happy to whip these babies out, put them through their paces again and give you a little taste of yellow, buttery heaven.


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