Every cook has their favorite tools in the kitchen. Some of these tools are favorites because we use them daily, some are favorites because of where they came from and others are favorites because of who we associate with that item.
The favorite this week is my cast iron Dutch oven. My dad started my fascination with cast iron cooking when I was a kid. One of my favorite memories focuses on cast iron cookware comes from a rare winter ice storm and cooking in our fireplace.
I was probably 9 years old and we had a massive ice storm – everything was covered and we had no electricity for several days. Cooking was not an issue as my parents have a gas stove but heat was as all we had was a forced air wood stove. We kept a roaring fire going to keep us all toasty and warm. Dad took a cast iron Dutch oven and made a pan of biscuits, popped them into the fireplace and in about 20 minutes we had the best snack. We made many many batches of those biscuits during the ice storm. It wasn’t just the food though; while we sat around snacking we also played card games, monopoly, and checkers. We were unplugged before unplugged was important and we loved it.
Now my Dutch oven is in constant use; it isn’t Daddy’s Dutch oven but it is almost as good because he bought it and gave it to me. Every time I break out the Dutch oven, I know something good is about to be made and with it memories. Whether it is cobbler, pie or biscuits; gumbo, red beans and rice or simply a pot of soup, that trusty cast iron pot makes it better.
So thanks Daddy, not just for the gift of cast iron but for the memories.