Cooking-Day 23

My favorite pan is a deep iron skillet with a lid. Empty, it weighs close to ten pounds. I bought it from an elderly Mexican-American gentleman for $3.00. He was moving to assisted living. He no longer needed his fried chicken pan, and he wanted to sell it to a real cook. I must have passed the test.

The pan is special for its origin, but also for its utility. The heavy iron conducts heat better than any other. At high altitude–on a mountain camping trip–it will bake cornbread atop a Coleman stove. At home, spaghetti sauce simmers with almost no flame. Another cook might complain that it’s too heavy to heft from burner to oven. But the way I see it, that’s the pan’s grace.

The skillet’s usefulness will surely out live me. Someday, I’ll pass it on to another real cook.

Cornbread for My Brother, George

  • one pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • one half teaspoon ground cumin
  • one half teaspoon chili powder
  • one half teaspoon Kosher salt
  • one onion chopped
  • small can diced green chilis
  • one package cornbread mix (I like Jiffy)
  • one egg
  • one can creamed corn

Brown the meat in an iron skillet. Add onions, chilis, and spices. Cook until the onions are soft. In a separate bowl combine the cornbread mix, egg, and creamed corn. Pour the mixture over the meat. Spread to the edges, but do not stir. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes in a 400 degree oven. A knife inserted into the middle should come out clean. Cool for fifteen minutes. Slice into wedges. Serve with salsa.

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About Elisabeth Crisp / @crisplyspoken

I write funny stories about serious subjects.

Posted on August 23, 2012, in Joined at the Heart, Recipe, Writers Write and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Sad to say my wrists can’t quite handle the weight these days. I miss using the cast iron cookware as often. They are pretty special.

  2. We love cooking with our cast iron Camp Oven…..roasts, bread (damper) scones. We take it on all our Outback trips…

  3. I love finding odd, random, unique items. Getting it for $3 is bad either. ;)

  4. Thank you so much for the recipe! I love finding new ones to add to the collection. I loved the post too!

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