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Cast Iron Cookware0


I grew up on cast iron cooking. I can remember my parents picking up a great Dutch oven at a farm sale shortly after we moved to eastern Kansas in the mid-1960s. That Dutch oven cooked up the best spaghetti sauce and stews.

Cast iron cookware has been around for a long time. From the Middle Ages on, it was a regular cooking utensil in fireplaces and hearths. By the mid 19th century, thousands of American pioneers lugged cast iron in chuck wagons across the country as essential cookware.


Cast iron cooking is enjoying a comeback in a big way. A quick search on brings up over 70 cookbook titles — everything from a Dummies® guide to savory Japanese offerings.

My friends and I get together for dinner about once a month. More often than not the main course comes out of a cast iron skillet. Last time it was pizza with sun-dried tomatoes, onions, broccoli, oil-cured olives, artichoke hearts and fresh mozzarella. And last night, my skillet made a quick tasty round of sautéed onions and peppers with kielbasa served on toasted ciabatta.

Sitting up in the back of one of my kitchen cabinets is that Dutch oven my parents picked up when I was 6 years old. It’s rusted a bit so we haven’t used it for years. But I recently read how you can remove the rust from cast iron cookware, so it’s a good thing I’m a sentimental packrat!   


text by Ann D. Travers





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