Growing up, I remember everything my granny cooked was in cast iron. My mom used modern pots but she did use her cast iron skillets for frying eggs, smothering potatoes and making my favorite, pain perdu (pan-per-doo), French for loss bread, aka French toast.
She also made what we called “fritas.” She would take a can of biscuit dough and cut each biscuit in quarters and drop the little balls of dough into hot grease to fry them. When they floated to the top and were the perfect shade of brown, they were done. We loved to eat them dipped in Steen’s cane syrup (made in Abbeville, LA) and occasionally powdered sugar.
Cast iron is great for not only stove top and oven cooking, but is high temperature outdoor cooking also.
The memories of my daddy frying fresh caught catfish followed by fresh cut fries from red potatoes in a cast iron pot over his butane burner makes me feel like I am at home again. Of course there were frog legs in that pot from time to time, but I just could not bring myself to eat them…if they do “taste like chicken.”
Cast iron is heavy and requires some TLC, well maybe lots of TLC. I can understand how it’s been put aside, often found in the back of a cabinet, still always treasured, even if never used. The conveniences of our modern day lightweight, dishwasher safe cookware has stolen the spotlight.
But if you have a piece around or you come across one, give it some TLC and it will love you back for generations to come.
XOXO, Hope Maria
(Photo source: October 2014, Southern Living Magazine)