Today I’m going to take a quick break from the New Mexico series to briefly record my newest weird adventure. Specifically, I’ve fallen in love with cast iron pans.
My first Dutch Baby...no, really.
Well, one pan, anyway. And Dutch Babies. Definitely Dutch Babies.
Here’s my story. A while back, we went for a visit to the tiny Texas town of Marfa. We went with our kids and grandkids. The town itself was fascinating (it is, believe it or not, an art colony in the middle of nowhere), and the visit with our son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren was terrific.
But...we were staying at an AirB&B. The hosts provided the usual assortment of pots, pans, and cooking stuff...including an enormous cast iron skillet. The kids used it to cook a bit during our visit (they are both skilled amateur chefs), and, as per norm, I volunteered to do the dishes afterwards. I do a lot of dishes in lieu of cooking. If you knew my cooking, you’d know why.
But I had to get advice about how to clean the cast iron thingee because, as I say, I’d rarely seen such a thing, much less used one. I always thought they were too big, too heavy, and probably a little dangerous. An excellent blunt instrument for, you know, whacking intruders (insert here the sound of a musical dong! as the home invader gets knocked loopy)...but cooking? No. Surely you jest.
Me and my pan...
Still, I got to confess, cleaning the thing proved far easier than I thought it would be, and then, as time went on, and we headed back to our house, I got to thinking about cast iron...and what you use it for...and why...and well, I got interested.
So, I finally headed off to a local bargain store and bought the smallest and cheapest cast iron pan I could find--a seven inch skillet from Hawok Cookware. I seasoned it and, yesterday morning, I actually cooked something in it -- A Dutch Baby, which is kind of like a three way cross between a pop-up, a very thick pancake, and an egg dish.
To my enormous surprise, it turned out pretty good. I didn’t poison anyone, nor did I incinerate the house...which are the usual results of my attempts at cooking...and it tasted, well, not bad at all. I was amazed. Martha was amazed. Heck, if we still had a dog, he would have been amazed.
As a result, I guess I’ll be making more Dutch Baby breakfasts in future, and, in fact, trying other forms of the dish, particularly “savory” Dutch Babies, which contain meat and vegetables, and are consumed at lunches and dinners.
Anyway, I just wanted to share one of my very, very rare successes at a stove. I’ll post a few pictures of me with my pan and Dutch Baby below, plus some links to material about cast iron cookware and Dutch Babies.
But, stay tuned, more New Mexico coming up.
1. About the Dutch Baby: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_baby_pancake
2. Some places to get recipes for the Dutch Baby, classic and savory:
3. A video on making a breakfast Dutch Baby: https://youtu.be/6gpoV6zCHkQ?si=VOvC6sP-O6k1R4qw
4. On seasoning cast iron cookware:
a. Lodge is probably the biggest name in American cast iron at the moment. And the company has an excellent page on seasoning your cast iron before your use it for the first time: https://www.lodgecastiron.com/discover/cleaning-and-care/cast-iron/all-about-seasoning
b. Also, the FAQ of the cast iron community on Reddit is very helpful. Definitely give it a look: https://www.reddit.com/r/castiron/comments/c4o0t3/the_rcastiron_faq_start_here_faq_summer_2019/
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