Saturday, November 29, 2008

Iron Skillet Search

All I wanted was an iron skillet. I just wanted one lousy iron skillet well that and a Kitchen Aid Mixer. (!83D9B59407F3C62F!844.entry)
I didn’t bring one to Montana with me and the Condo doesn’t have one. I use my iron skillet for so many things. I cook pies in it. I bake bread. I make pancakes. I grill cheese sandwiches. I sauté with it. I brown with it. I fry with it. Yes all of these things are done in my iron skillet. This is the same iron skillet that my mother lovingly handed me before I got married and explained to me that not only was it a cooking device it was also a weapon. This is the same skillet that my first husband put in my dishwasher like an idiot and I made him build me a big fire in the barbeque grill so I could re-season it. I left my beloved skillet back at home and have yet to find one here.

I know I could go to a camping store or to Squalmart and get one. I don’t want a new one. I want an old one. I want one that has been through the whole breaking in period. I don’t care if it’s rusty. Rustiness is easy to cure; it is the newness that takes forever. I instead ventured out into the cold rainy Saturday with Kahuna leading the way on my search for an iron skillet.

The first place we hit was the Salvation Army store. I have found some of my favorite kitchen gadgets or replacement pieces at the Salvation Army store. This store was very well done and very large in fact I think the building used to house a Squalmart. This particular store had an enormous section of really hideous Christmas sweaters. It had snow skis and bindings. It had camp stoves and gold mining pans. It had racks of hats and purses and miles of shoes and boots. It had furniture, books, vinyl records and eight track tapes along with the players with which to play them. It had some great old china and some pretty unusual glass ware. It even had some hideous looking pottery. It did not have any iron skillets. It didn’t have any skillets or frying pans or griddles of any kind. It was a skilletless thrift store. I was terribly disappointed but not entirely discouraged.

Kahuna knew of another thrift store so we headed through town until we parked in front of what used to be a sporting goods store. I have to admit of all the thrift stores in which I’ve ever foraged for bargains this was by far the nicest. It was all organized and neat. The only complaint I had was that it smelled like Pine-sol and dry cleaning fluid. It made me sneeze but then again everything makes me sneeze. I used to make fun of my mother for having wadded up Kleenex balls in the pockets of every jacket she ever wore. I now have wadded up Kleenex balls in the pockets of every jacket I wear and most pants pockets and purses oh and I sometimes put them in Kahuna’s pockets. I am a giver that way.

This thrift store also had a huge rack of truly hideous Christmas sweaters. No I mean really bad over the top sweaters. I honestly thought about buying a couple of dozen of them and sending them out as Christmas cards but even I’m not that demented. I found the kitchen department and again they had all kinds of dishware and glassware but no iron skillets or again skillets of any kind.

This got me to pondering. Now I’ve lived on both coasts and several points in between. I have visited thrift stores in all of those places and in those thrift stores there were always iron skillets. I totally understand why. I mean do you keep this skillet that you have to season and hand wash or the one you scrape the left over food out of and stick in the dishwasher. I guarantee that 95% of people out there toss out the iron skillet. Yeah they stick those suckers in the thrift box and send it on its way; except the people up here don’t seem to get rid of theirs.

I started wondering why? Is it because this is more rugged and rustic? I picture hardy frontier women standing in their kitchens with an iron skillet full of biscuits sliding into their wood fueled stove while they hand pump water for the coffee. Could this be the answer? I don’t think so. You see I have come up with a completely plausible and believable reason. I told you they can be used as a weapon. They can also be used as a shield. Think about it. We are up here in BIG SKY country. Where do meteors come from? The SKY. Do you see where I’m going with this? They keep their skillets to wear on their heads to protect themselves from an errant meteor.

If you happen to be on a flight from California to Montana and you see a woman carrying an iron skillet and a Kitchen Aide Mixer on the plane. Take a moment and say hello.


Girly Stuff said...

I always wondered what was up with the iron skillet. My granny kept one full of grease. She was the best cook ever. I guess that was one of her secrets. She made great fried okra and catfish.

I never thought there would be a day she didn't cook. It was one of the saddest things I saw happen. She lives in an assisted living place now that has a tiny kitchenette that she never uses. Mom and I found her skillet during one of her moves. Don't ask what we did with it. You wouldn't like our answer.

terri said...

I think I need to get out my iron double griddle and give it another chance. I think I never got it past the new stage and therefore never appreciated it the way you appreciate your iron skillet.

Cynthia said...

okay, I cannot due iron skillets.

They are creepy to me.

But I do Pampered Chef stoneware which my husband keeps pointing out has the same creepy factor.

Men just don't get it!

And yes, Lucy watches A LOT of Little House on the Prarie. On YouTube. How is that for old fashioned meets new fangled?

Cynthia said...

I meant I cannot DO iron skillets.

I was never good at getting things done that were DUE, either, but that is an entirely different conversation....

Mrs4444 said...

We love ours and will probably never part with it. Well, maybe if Mr.4444 kicks the bucket before I do; I'd be too lazy to clean it, and he's the one using it most of the time anyway. My favorite use (no, not for domestic disputes): pan-fried walleye!