Skillet Stories: Cast-Iron Carry On

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My mother’s cast-iron skillet has been mine since she passed away in 2004. It’s my most-prized possession. She used that skillet every single day; it lived on the back burner of her stove and was always at the ready. In the mornings, I’d watch as she used it to cook bacon, eggs, biscuits, or pancakes. I’d stand on the kitchen stool beside her and she’d let me flip the pancakes, teaching me how to wait patiently for the little bubbles to form before flipping them. Afterward, she’d show me how to wipe out the skillet and clean it properly; telling me to never scour it or it wouldn’t be any good for making biscuits.

You see, my mother cooked three meals a day for us, and each one included homemade rolls, cornbread or biscuits, and dessert—every single day. There were the very rare occasions we went out to eat at a restaurant, but that almost never happened. The way I figure it, my mother’s cast-iron skillet was used at least three times a day for nearly fifty years. That would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 54,750 skillets of biscuits, cornbread, cobbler, squash, pork chops, cinnamon rolls, hamburgers, eggs, salmon croquettes, fried apple pies, pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, fried corn, gravy—the list is endless.

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