Cast iron really is the best thing to cook on, in my opinion.
So imagine my delight when I found a lovely ten inch cast iron skillet at the thrift store one day. Used cast iron delights me even more than new cast iron. I like the idea that something is old and still perfectly, delightfully good to use. I like the durability. I like knowing that countless generations of my ancestors cooked on castiron: Colonial and pioneer alike.
So, I've had this small, ten inch skillet hanging on my wall as decoration because it had crud on it. Mystery, thrift store crud. You know, black build up. Most likely food, but there's that thought: what if it's NOT food. Or what if it belonged to some weird cannibalistic sicko and this is Bubba crud. My brain goes in these directions.
So I googled on how to clean a cast iron skillet. The cure for the crud is fire. Lots of it. Hot heaping coals of it. All night long heaping coals. The kind only to be found on a camping trip.
Well, the first night out, of course we made fire. Foundered ourselves on s'mores and various types of wieners hailing from various teutonic european cities originally. All in the woods, in the mountains. Pure bliss. Trees are such gentle creatures and I can't get enough of them.
So, the cast iron skillet went into the fire. We built the fire around it, on it, in it, shoveled embers into it. It glowed, it set the tip of a stick on fire when I touchd it. I thought about theosis and played with the coals. Pure bliss.
Next morning, there sits my humble skillet. It passed the test. Gray with ashes. It had not cracked. I retrieved it. Gave it a quick rinse at the camp pump and admired the result: shiny, black metal. Not a bit of baked on crud to be found. No germ could have survived that fire.
So, I proceeded to cook a bit of bacon in it, and them some eggs. The eggs hardly stuck at all. Needs a wee more seasoning, but that will come in time. I'm so thrilled. Now I have a big skillet and a small skillet. Never again will I wonder if I should pick up a teflon skillet for cooking an omelet.
Now, you, too, can be on the lookout for cast iron at the thrift store, knowing that refurbishing it is as simple as a wood fire and some hot coals.