I love kitchen tools, but I don't really find a need to purchase every tool that appears to be a necessity. I have been married for twenty one years and have probably been cooking for fifteen more years on top of that. You would think I have a vast storehouse of the most sheik gadgets purchasable.. but I don’t! I have a good set of knives, my cast iron skillets, a small food prep food processor, a large capacity Cuisinart food processor, my KitchenAid stand mixer, some high quality stainless steel cooking pots and pans, utensils, measuring implements, mixing bowls and baking dishes. And I still have room in my cupboards. That's not to say that I don't have a wish list, because lets face it.. every cook adores Le Creuset cookware.
But if you are new to cooking and would like to purchase some kitchen tools that are good quality, life lasting and won’t cost you an arm and a leg, let me assure you, it is attainable!
From time to time I will share with you some of my most treasured kitchen tools.. tools that are indispensable in my kitchen for the time they save me and for the money saved by not having to make duplicate purchases.
Today I want to introduce you to my most prized kitchen instrument, my cast iron skillet. This particular skillet was purchased at the Long Beach Antique Market off of Bellflower Blvd. I bought this skillet nineteen years ago and it is still pristine and seasoned perfectly. What I was looking for when I bought this iron was a flat smooth surface without dings, deep scratches or chips. This one had previously been used and had a good seasoning on it, but I still cleaned it real well and re-seasoned it as if it were brand new. I was told to bring a marble with me to check the evenness of the surface. You are suppose to roll the marble on the interior and see how it moves, if it goes to one side and stays, it is uneven, if it rolls gently and stays for the most part centered, you can gather that you have a pretty even surfaced cast iron skillet.
A few rules, but not to go in depth hear, don’t scour your cast iron, you will scrape all of the seasoning off. The beauty of a cast iron skillet is in the little oil that needs to be used when cooking. It makes for a wonderful light cooking companion. The seasoned and coated surface that accumulates more and more with each use prevents foods from sticking and makes cooking sautes and seared meats and vegetables simple and lower in fat than using pans that need high quantities of oil and butter to aid in turning foods easily.
Never put your cast iron in the dish washer nor use cleanser on it. If you must wash it for sanitary purposes use very little mild dish soap and rinse well with hot water. Just a note, if your pan is seasoned well, you should be able to rinse it under warm water and wipe it clean with a paper towel. I am always the one in my house to clean my cast iron skillet, actually, I protect my baby so much I won’t even let my teenagers near it when they are cooking! After I rinse it and wipe it down, I put a little olive oil on a paper towel and wipe my cast iron skillet on the inside and top rim. I then put it on the stove with low heat for a minute and then turn the heat off. I store it my skillet alone with a paper towel resting on the inside. I NEVER put my skillet away damp. It will rust if moisture stays on it.
One last thing, I purchased my skillet at the flea market price of $5.00.
For more info:
Temecula Valley Arts,
Crafts & Flea Markets
San Diego County Guide
to Second Hand Shopping