I had a chance to speak with my Dad this weekend. Usually, my Mom, Dad, and I conference call it together, but my Mom had a prior engagement on Saturday and that left a couple of hours for my Dad and I to make a go of it ourselves. We ended up talking about a wide range of subjects, ranging from financial matters (including the history of the mortgage interest tax deduction), job issues, and (thanks to this article) cookware.
The talk of cookware brought out a true nugget of life growing up in the Land Of The Confederacy. Grandma Geek, my Dad's mother, used to cook almost daily with one or more cast iron skillets; hash, corn bread, fried chicken, collard greens, dinner or supper, cast iron was the workhorse of the stove top. During all this daily use, residue would build up. Once every month or two, Grandma Geek would make my Dad build a fire in the back yard, and put all of her cast iron cookware until it almost glowed red. This effectively created the effect of putting the cast iron in the cleaning cycle of a self-cleaning oven; everything on those pans was burned away to small bits of ash. Of course, nothing cooked with those cast iron skillets came out quite right for about a week afterward -- until a new coat of "seasoning" built up.
This story has particular significance to me because it is part of one of my few memories of Grandma Geek. I met her maybe half a dozen times in my life. I can recall her in the kitchen of her house talking about how she used to make my Dad go out back and clean the cast iron. I don't know why I held on to this particular memory... but it is one of only a few that I have of her.
on 2007-05-14 at 10:02 p.m.
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