High dollar cookware can’t beat a worn cast-iron pan

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, October 27, 2016

“O hushed October morning mild,

Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;

Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,

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Should waste them all.

The crows above the forest call;

Tomorrow they may form and go.

O hushed October morning mild,

Begin the hours of this day slow.”

~ Robert Frost, excerpt from “October”

If there’s one thing new cooks need to know about cookware it’d be that over-priced French and Italian copper sets got nuttin’ on a good old, well-seasoned, black, cast-iron pan. One that has seen many a plate of fried chicken, Grandma’s cornbread, pineapple upside down cake, and just about anything you can imagine.

One call does it all, ‘tis said, and in this case, one pan does. If you own a good, old, well-seasoned, black, cast-iron pan, you can fry, bake, sauté, cook, get a dose of iron for your health, and protect your house all in one shot. A hefty iron pan on a burglar’s noggin is the ultimate homeowner’s protection plan. Or at least the threat of such.

A black iron pan keeps life simple. You don’t have to have all those fancy copper pans hanging overhead, a pan for this and one for that. No polishing involved, other than a wipe after use. Now, you have to remember, you do not (repeat DO NOT) soak cast iron in water. Wipe clean after use, lightly oil, and respect it. I store my pan in the oven. And never, ever, drop one on your foot.

Over a period of years, it becomes a glossy black pan that tells a story of being well loved, of remembered gatherings at the table. I remember my mother’s iron pan: she had a big one for (real) cornbread (not those box mixes) and a small one for fixing one egg for me. Those pans had rich patina, a smooth lush shine. Sorry folks, you cannot buy a new iron pan looking like that, no sir-ee. You gotta season it first with oil, heat, and a bit more oil. After a few hundred uses, you’ll start to see a fine glossy black pan with stories to tell. High dollar cookware can’t beat it.

Saluda Tailgate Market is open on Fridays through Oct. 28 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the city parking lot off Main Street.

Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday with dinner served from 5:30-7 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church. All are welcome; donations accepted.

Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) benefits from your donations or time as a volunteer for their many community projects. Contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit their website at saludaclt.org for more information.

The Saluda Historic Depot (HistoricSaluda.org) is open Thursday through Sunday, 12-4 p.m.

The City of Saluda and town businesses will host a Halloween Stroll on Main Street, Oct. 28, 3-6 p.m. Our police department will be on hand to help make this a safe and fun event for families!  

Saluda Center Potluck and Bingo scheduled for Oct. 31 has been canceled.

Saluda United Methodist Church’s annual turkey dinner is Nov. 12, 5-7 p.m. at Saluda School cafeteria.

Saluda’s Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration’s Second Annual Holiday Bazaar will be Nov. 19, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the parish hall, 72 Charles Street.

Happy October birthday to Cissy Thompson, Patricia Case, Joan Barker, Gary Corn, Aaron Bradley, Amanda Burrell Anderson, Lisa Orr, Marilyn Prudhomme, Bubba Dawson, Kirby Jackson, Mary Ann Asbill, Sheila Billeter, Carol Thompson, Mildred Hipp, Dean Bradley and Susan Wheeler.

Thank you, dear readers for reading this column. It’s my goal to make you feel as if you were enjoying a ‘Saluda Time’ visit watching drifting leaves and blue sky. Please feel free to contact me at bbardos@gmail.com or 749-1153. You may also visit bonniebardosart.com for more writing and art, or find me on Facebook.