It is possibly one of the worst ways to be welcomed into the parenting 'club' (BTW I never did receive my membership card?) We were tired, exhausted, stressed out zombies.
|Even all dressed up for New Years, you can see how tired we are. Babies have been home for 3 weeks at this point|
We aren't in a position financially to replace this cookware and I thank my mom for slowly building up my stash again when every Christmas I am spoiled with a great piece she probably got from Marshells in the US. But there the few great pots and pans that I don't want made out of expensive enameled cast iron but plain ol'million year old cast iron. In fact, in some cases, I don't even want to buy it new.
I have a cast iron Dutch Oven (go ahead....laugh...I'll wait) that was my moms, that is now mine. It is probably over 40 years old. The glass lid was broken many many years ago but the pot lives on...making endless pasta sauces and roasted potatoes on the BBQ. It's one of my favs. 40 years ago it probably cost less than $20 (if my mom bought it new!) and now might cost around $40-$50.
Why Cast Iron?
- Cast iron is naturally non-stick. Unlike Teflon pans, the longer you have it the more non-stick it gets as the cooking surface gets a patina. Just look after it properly *see below for care instructions
- Highly durable. Since it does not scratch, there is no need to use plastic utensils, and there is no fear of using your silverware to stir or scoop. It lasts for so long that many people still use cast iron cookware inherited from their parents and grandparents.
- Retains heat (always coast on waste heat) You can use it for high-heat cooking, like searing, or for mid-range heat, like sautéing.
- It's free of toxic chemicals like PFOA and PTFE that coat many non-stick frying pans.
- It's cheap! Cooks looking to replace non-stick cookware often consider stainless steel. However, a high-end, 12-inch stainless skillet runs well over $100, while a similar-sized cast iron one costs less than $30.
- There are health benefits. You can actually boost your iron intake from eating food cooked in cast iron cookware. This vital mineral is crucial for maintaining energy levels, and it helps strengthen immune systems. If you suffer from low iron as I do and know how hard it is to get it up, every little addition to help improve your numbers helps
- Cast iron cookware can be used over any heat source. Take it camping, throw it on the BBQ. Loose power? You can use it in your fireplace!!
- Food cooks beautifully. Using a cast iron skillet you can create restaurant-quality, homemade fish sticks, potato pancakes and French toast, complete with golden brown, crispy exteriors. Contrast this with non-stick cookware, which makes browning nearly impossible.
- Besides the stove, you can use a cast iron skillet in the oven, at any temperature This comes in handy for making corn bread, frittatas, and flat bread.
How to season cast ironSeason your pan with a rich fat like animal grease. Don't eat animals? That's fine—use coconut oil. Coat the inside of your pan with the fat of your choice. Bake it for about 2 hours at 120C (250F), wiping off any excess and cool. There are a few different techniques to doing this. I don't find one to be better than another.
How to clean cast ironNever, ever wash cash iron with soap!
This will remove all your seasoning and food will stick. Instead, simply wipe clean or, scour with hot water and coarse salt for messy jobs. Cook it dry to prevent rust.