When I was growing up, Sunday afternoons were made for drives from Arkansas to Mississippi.
Coldwater, Mississippi to be exact. It was where my grandparents lived.
Sunday afternoon dinners were always pot-luck style. Nothing fancy. We’d simply use paper plates. And our sweet tea was always served in red Solo cups.
Sometimes we would run out of ice. So the cousins and I got to scrape the frosted ice off the top of
the non-defrosting freezer. We considered that to be a treat.
There was always any food you could want. Fried chicken. Macoroni and cheese. Peas and beans.
Ham. My Aunt Dee always made dressing. And there were always deviled eggs. And desserts. Have mercy,
y’all. My people have always believed in desserts.
My sweet Grandma always made cornbread.
She always made two pans; she would joke that one was for me and one was for everyone else.
Cornbread has always been one of my top love languages.
And the difference in Grandma’s cornbread and just any cornbread? A cast iron skillet.
I never understood when I was younger the true difference a cast iron skillet makes in cooking. I just always knew
that I wanted my cornbread made in one.
For the first time in almost 40 years, I own new-to-me cast iron skillets. Ones that I don’t believe had ever been used.
So, my longtime friend, Crisco and I met and prepared them.
How to season a cast-iron skillet
- Wash skillet well in hot soapy water.
- Dry thoroughly.
- Spread a thin layer of melted shortening or vegetable oil over the skillet.
- Place the pan upside down on a middle oven rack at 375°. (Place foil or baking sheet on the lower rack to catch drips.)
- Bake 1 hour; let cool in the oven.
- Make a pan of cornbread and enjoy!
Over time and use, your cast-iron skillet will eventually lose its sheen and non-stick superpowers. The steps above can also be used to bring back its luster and protect it from rusting.
Do you use cast-iron skillets? What are some of your favorite dishes to make in them?