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Cast Iron Pans

What’s not to love?

Cast iron is simple – sort of like unbleached flours and whole grains in our food and all natural fibers in what we wear.  We have to advertise, now, that these items are less processed because we’ve gotten so used to deeply processed things that simplicity is rare.

Cast iron pans are the lowest denominator in a world full of cooking complexity.  They transfer heat really well while you’re cooking, especially on a gas stove or over a campfire.  They have no disgusting highly-chemically based surface treatments that wear out, flake off over time, or emit potentially deadly toxins when overheated.  They are cheap, and made in the USA!

They clean with some hot water and a little elbow grease and clean better as they become more seasoned. If damaged or left to rust they can be sanded and used again (so grab one from the next yard sale you see).  They add tiny bits of iron into our diet – an element we really need and many of us are lacking due to our love/hate relationships with dark leafy vegetables. They improve with age and use (I wish we all would).

The one potential downside is that they are heavy, and perhaps when I am older and greyer and maybe a bit weaker I may see that as a problem, and have to reselect my skillet of choice.

For now, I like that I have to work a bit to move the skillet off the burner, but I also realize that because it’s cast iron, I can leave it there and just turn off the heat – the mass of the iron will keep the food warm, without burning, long enough for us to dish up and settle down to eat, and maybe even have seconds. Yum.

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