Who gets the Cast Iron?

By Keith N Fisher

I used to joke about the number of Dutch ovens I own, by saying I’m going to buried with them and I’ll make sure my enemies get to be pall bearers. I still think its funny, especially when you see my collection.

I had occasion to go through some goods left over in an estate the other day. There were two 12-inch Dutch ovens. One deep, and one shallow. I couldn’t determine the maker because I had limited time. The seasoning on those ovens was good and thick. Someone used them with loving care.

With the thickness of the seasoning on the estate ovens, I imagined an heir opening the lid and thinking he would have to scrub that gunk off forever, just to get it cleaned. It had to be that way, or the ovens wouldn’t have been for sale.

Of course I clean my ovens inside and out and I like a thinner seasoning, but the experience caused me to reflect on wills and estates and who gets what. There is a tale about George Washington’s mother, Mary Ball Washington mentioning, her cast iron cookware in her will.

In consideration of that, I wondered who would get my cast iron. I suppose my daughter would ultimately get it, but I’m not sure she cares about it, like I do. Maybe I should reconsider the old joke?

Actually, I like the idea of putting it up for auction. My Dutch oven friends could come to the wake and examine my pots. Then, the auction pulpit could be my open casket. Proceeds would pay for my family’s trip around the world.

Now, that leads to another question. How much is seasoning worth anyway. Most people think of used, in terms of cut rate prices, but after cooking with it for a lot of years, Cast iron becomes better. That makes the seasoning invaluable. Say hello to your cruise honey.

I once listened to a story about a man who cooked dinner for a neighbor and left it in the oven. After a few days, the neighbor came back carrying his Dutch oven. “I want to thank you for that wonderful meal,” the neighbor said. “I’m so grateful, I wanted to do something special. It took several hours, but I think I got most of the black off.”

I made stuffed pork roast on a rack of apple wedges for a cook off once. Jesse’s comment on last week’s blog made me want to try it with pork chops. I’ll let you know how it comes out.