Monte Cristo Skillet – and Your Cast Iron Memories

This delicious recipe is at the bottom of the post. Hope you get to try it soon!

Be sure and share your special Cast Iron memories in the comments below!

(more details at bottom of post)

Today I’m thrilled to bring you a guest post from the good folks at Martha White, along with a fun announcement! The National Cornbread Festival is coming up! The cornbread festival is held each year in the neat little town of South Pittsburg, Tennessee, and this year Martha White has asked me to be a judge. So I get to participate in the festival AND taste all of the yummy entries, to boot! The festival is a weekend long family event with all sorts of fun activities taking place, including tours of the Lodge Cast Iron Factory. Click the Cornbread Festival logo at the bottom of this post to visit the official homepage and learn more.

I’m really looking forward to meeting more of the Southern Plate Family! We have a page over on Facebook where folks can RSVP that they are coming so if you plan on coming out for the fun this year so click here to head on over there and let me know so I can look forward to seeing your face and keep you posted on times and location of the Southern Plate Family meet and greet.

I’m also hoping some of you will enter the competition. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a member of the Southern Plate family won it? I happen to know that y’all are a group of extremely talented cooks – who cook for the love of family and friends – and I can’t imagine a dish tasting better than one made by one of you. For the official rules of the competition, click here. To go ahead and enter, click here.

This Monte Cristo Skillet was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2006 National Cornbread Festival. It caught my eye because I recently had my very first Monte Cristo Sandwich and absolutely loved it. Southern Living sent me to Charleston to do some presentations for the Taste of Charleston Festival. Have you ever been to Charleston? Oh my goodness gracious, is that a beautiful town! With every sight and sound I became more determined to bring my family back there someday so I could experience it with them (It is hard to enjoy a trip without the folks you want to share it with beside you).

As I’ve started traveling from time to time I’ve taken a queue from my adventurous counterparts at SL and started making it a point to try something new in each place if possible. In Charleston, I had my first Monte Cristo Sandwich and it was right up my alley. I ate it in the cafe of a beautiful hotel right downtown. The flavors were a unique combination for me: Ham, cheese, battered and toasted bread drizzled with a sweet fruit preserves and sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. It was part lunch, part breakfast, part sandwich, part dessert, and all the way good!

So when Martha White offered to guest post I got to nosing around for what recipe I thought would appeal the most to everyone and as soon as this skillet came before my eyes, my heart just settled on it.

This recipe is quick to throw together and feeds six people. I like strawberry preserves with mine but feel free to use whichever you like best. I also omit the turkey and use additional ham in it’s place. Lunchmeat ham works just fine!

Monte Cristo Skillet –

Monte Cristo Skillet –

Ingredients

  • 1 (6 oz.) package Martha White® Cotton CountryTM Cornbread Mix
  • Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked ham
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons honey mustard, divided
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup Smucker's® Currant Jelly
  • Powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. PREPARE cornbread mix according to package directions, except bake in a 10 1/2-inch cast iron skillet (cornbread will be thin). Remove cornbread from skillet; cool and cut into cubes. Wipe out skillet with paper towels; spray generously with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. HEAT oven to 350°F. Place cornbread cubes in skillet. Top with turkey, ham and cheese. In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon mustard, salt and pepper until well blended. Pour evenly over ingredients in skillet. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until set and lightly browned.
  3. MELT currant jelly by warming slightly. Add 1 tablespoon honey mustard; whisk to blend.
  4. REMOVE skillet from oven. Cut in wedges, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with currant jelly and mustard sauce.
http://www.southernplate.com/2012/01/monte-cristo-skillet-and-national-cornbread-festival-news.html

Love Your Cast Iron?

Be sure and pick up this month’s special Cast Iron issue of Taste Of The South. It is filled to the BRIM with delicious recipes for your cast iron skillet, gorgeous food photography,

and those sweet people even put my name on the cover!

I don’t know who is more tickled, me or my mother!

In this issue of Taste of the South, Paula Deen, Myself, Lucy Buffett,

and many others share some of their special Cast Iron cookware memories.

These skillets, pots, and pans aren’t just cookware for us, they’re part of our heritage.

I’d love to hear if you have any heirloom cast iron memories in the comments below!

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Comments

  1. says

    I have 2 cast iron skillets,one from my mom and one my son found when he was hunting. He said it was burried in the earth, just the handle sticking out. I cleaned and reseasoned it. I use my skillets for just about everything, from frying to baking. Now if I could just find a good old dutch oven.

  2. Cheryl says

    I too have my grandma’s cast iron skillets, one of which is mainly used for cornbread. (BTW — our family cornbread recipe is VERY close to Christy’s!) I too have had others come in my kitchen and scrub at it — AHHH! Fortunately, it is so old and well-seasoned that it didn’t take too much work to recover it :-) I wouldn’t trade it for any other pot/pan in the world. I can’t imagine how many pans of cornbread it has made over years — oh, the stories that skillet could tell!

  3. pamela says

    I have two regular iron skillets, 1 small that I use for cornbread at my house, large pan is to much. I have 2 dutch ovens, one with a handle and a cornbread stick pan. They were ALL passed down from my grandmother and great grandmother. I wouldn’t give anything for my iron skillets. Now I want to add a griddle and a wok! I just don’t get it when people want to bake cornbread in a cake pan…..that is not cornbread! And Fried Chicken is NOT fried chicken unless you fry it in an iron skillet!

  4. JUDY says

    Christy, Just had to reply when the subject is cast iron skillets, I am a midwest born gal. But was raised by southern born parents.And was taught to cook southern style. Cast iron skillets were just a natural way of cooking to us.And I wouldn’t trade my southern teaching heritage for all the finest cooking classes!! And i wouldn’t trade my cast iron skillets for the best nonstick cookware out there!

  5. Lana says

    I have a cast iron skillet passed down frm my MIL and several pieces given to us as wedding gifts. After 33 years of marriage they are well seasoned. My favorite memory involving a cast iran skillet is my Dad frying chicken in my Mom’s 12 inch skillet over the campfire every time we went camping when I was growing up. You have not had good fried chicken until you have had it fried over a campfire! Wait until you have a nice big bed of coals and put the skillet right on the coals! I know all our neighbors on the campground were drooling!

  6. Lisa says

    I don’t use much of anything other than cast iron! I have a chicken fryer, all sizes of frying pans, and several dutch ovens. When I pull out the little dutch oven, the kids get excited because they know that I only make cobblers in it! Most of my iron is way older than I am!

  7. Vikki Ivey says

    Christy, PLEASE do a post on cast iron skillets!! A true dummy’s version in fact. My mother had one when I was growing up, but we always scrubbed it each time with steal wool to keep it clean. I hated using it because food always stuck so bad to it and it was so hard to clean. It also liked to rust, which is another reason we scrubbed it each time. Years later, I had someone give me a couple cast iron fry pans, which I ended up giving away because I didn’t want to deal with the rust and sticking food like my mother did.

    I’ve since heard that you’re suppose to season them, but I have no idea how to do this. Nor do I know how to cook with one or how to care for (clean and store) them. Also, why do people like to keep one only for bread and one only for chicken, etc.?

    I would love to learn, but have no idea where to start, (and how long does it take to get it seasoned and cooking correctly?). So like I said, a real dummy’s version would be great. I’m sure I’m not the only one out here who is ignorant on using cast iron.

    • ladyjane says

      Here’s my instructions for curing cast iron. I love mine, use it all the time. My set has wooden handles that screw into the pan(s) and can be removed to use the pan(s) in the oven then screwed back in to remove the hot pan.

      Never saw another set like it and it’s great.

      NOTHING does fried chicken like cast iron!

      * Prepare your pan by scrubbing it with hot soapy water, ensuring there is no food residue or rust, and dry it completely.
      * Warm the pan up slightly, and apply a coat of melted shortening to the inside and outside. Liquid cooking oils are not recommended.
      * Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and put your cookware in upside right, on a foil-covered cooking sheet, to catch any drips. If you use a non-covered baking sheet, it will require a good scrub afterwards – the foil saves on the cleanup.
      * Bake for approximately 20 minutes. If it starts to smoke, reduce the temperature by 10-15 degrees until it stops. This may increase the time by a few minutes, but will not hurt the cure.
      * Drain off any excess grease, and put the pan back in the oven, this time upside down, for 1 to 3 hours. A re-seasoning may only require half of that time.
      * Turn the oven off, and let the pan cool down naturally before removing it.

    • bevery says

      Im with Vikki— I want a Cast Iron Skillet class for dummies. Don’t assume we know ANYTHING. I am so scared of cast iron skillets for some reason. Someone gave me an iron skillet for a wedding present and it is slick coated on the inside though. Will it still work like a cast iron skillet? I still have to spray it with pam…its not totally non stick. ANway, I digress…just want a cast iron tutorial, please. :)

    • Judy Y. says

      YES!!! Please, Christy!! vikki’s experience with cast iron mirrors mine exactly and I would really like to take mine out of the closet and use then. They have a soapy smell that gets worse when they get warm, everything sticks and they are probably rusty now too.

    • Stephanie says

      Oh Yeah! Thank You Vikki. I am another women that was brought up on the cast iron cooking but I have to idea on seasoning a cast iron and I have wanted to learn the talents of cooking in a dutch oven and cast iron. Its one thing to respect the seasoned cast tion but another to know the proper way to season it correctly. Any help would be appreciated. Love you Christy.

  8. says

    What fond memories this brings back with my grandmothers. I was raised by my fraternal grandmother. There are several which I use for cornbread, upside down cake, chicken, good fresh fish from the cabin on the lake and of course the dutch oven which has held pot roasts, chili,etc.. My favorite is no longer useable as it had a copper patch in the bottom and finally cracked open. My grandmother Grayson was born in 1893 and this skillet belonged to her mother. Yes I surely have a soft spot for these skillets and the memories that return with every use.

  9. Debbie Fields says

    I have cast iron passed down from both my grandmothers. I have skillets in several different sizes (one is square), a griddle, dutch oven, corn stick pan and a muffin pan. They are treasures I would not part with. My husband and I do not share the same preferences for cornbread so when I bake it (usually when having pinto beans) I make one skillet the tried and tested Martha White Recipe and the other skillet with a bit of sugar added to the batter so he can have his sweet. It is always a joy to turn over tha skillet of cornbread and have it drop right out of the skillet.

  10. says

    I don’t think we get that version of Martha White’s cornbread mix here in Texas. I’ll look next time I’m at the store.

    I have two cast iron skillets that are used a lot. The little one is used to make cornbread for the two of us. I used to have my grandmother’s cornstick pan, but it is missing. Must have been when we moved or something.

    My husband didn’t know about washing the skillet with soap and scrubbing the heck out of it. He knows now, bless his heart.

  11. says

    Looks so yummy, Christy….and I’ve had cast iron skillets since we first
    got married almost 40 years ago. After leaving for the weekend we returned
    to find our hgh school aged senior placing the skillet in the dishwasher, and he couldn’t figure out why it turned orange!! But that came off with a good clean and we are still using it.

    Love the cake pops ad. I’ve bought those and would love to get that for my
    grand-daughters, they love them too!! :)

  12. Lyn says

    I lost Phyllis’ comment about her cast iron skillet, but I wanted to tell her that there is lots of info online about the company and even a few listed on eBay. Looks like her skillet came from about 1918 or thereabouts.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/martin-industries-inc
    It was in 1905, just after the turn of the 19th century, that two brothers, W.H. Martin Sr. and Charles Martin, founded King Stove and Range Company, a small cast iron foundry in Sheffield, Alabama. The foundry made coal and wood heaters, cooking stoves and ranges.

    The Martins expanded their business in 1918, when they purchased a financially sinking stove foundry in Florence, just across the river from Sheffield. The brothers incorporated the acquired business as Martin Stove and Range Company, a separate business from King Stove and Range. There they made coal and wood stoves as well as gray iron castings. The foundry also turned out cast hollowware, iron skillets, and clothes-pressing irons known as “sad” irons.

    a couple more links
    http://antiqueshoppefl.com/archives/rnuhn/cast%20iron0709.htm
    http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/02/16/heavy-metal-the-science-of-cast-iron-cooking/

  13. Melba says

    I have several cast iron skillets that I use often, but my favorite is one that belonged to my Mom. She made many-a delicious meal with it, It was washed after each use, but never put away. It always sat on the top of the stove, ready for the next use. Nothing cooks like a good ole iron frying pan!

  14. Tammie says

    I love cast iron. My grandmother taught me to cook in cast iron and I have a cabinet full. By the way, the Cornbread Festival is in South Pittsburg, Tennessee – just across the Alabama state line. I’m so glad you will be there. I’ll finally get to meet you!!

  15. Michelle Schreck says

    I was taught to use cast iron by my dear Granny. The first thing I made on my own was a pineapple upside down cake. Nothing tastes like the ones made using this recipe. Oh my YUM! caramel ooey gooey goodness. My Granny always washed her cast iron, it actually stayed silver, not the black after being well seasoned. Funny thing, it works like magic anyway.

  16. Pat Acker says

    I love my cast iron skillets, grill pan & dutch oven. My skillets were my mother’s. She had them when I was a little girl and I got them when she passed away. I know they are over 60 years old and still cook great. I saw where a few people didn’t know about seasoning them so I am sending a link to The Lodge Company website where it tells about taking care of your cast iron. Enjoy!!!

    http://www.lodgemfg.com/use-care-seasoned-cast-iron.asp

  17. says

    Hi Christy,
    I am a cast iron lover!! I have 2 large one’s, one was my mother-in-laws, one was my mothers. then I have a med. size one that is not used as often, a small one I make cornbread in everyday!!!! My husband say’s the best in the world!!! Do you think maybe he could be a little prejustice after 51 years? Also have a large square one that belonged to my grandmother,ans a dutch oven of my mothers. Cast iorn cooking taste like Great- Granny cooked it!!!
    Maryanna

  18. Pamela Franklin says

    My mother collected many things and for the longest I didn’t understand the cast iron collection. She lived in an eighty year old house with a tiny kitchen and the cast iron hung above the stove. Friends counted and reported that there were 27 pieces hanging on the wall! When she passed away we made sure all the grands had pieces to love, cherish and USE. I have my favorites and use them almost daily. I understand it now.

  19. Carol Driver says

    My Dad was in the Army when I was growing up and we moved around a lot. Whereever we moved, two cast iron skillets, 2 two qt Revereware pans & a percolator were among the items we carried with us. When we arrived at a new location, Mother was ready to prepare a meal. My Dad died 3 yrs ago, but my 90 yr old mother still uses the two cast iron skillets and Revereware pans. I cannot imagine preparing a meal without cast iron skillets. Someday, I hope to be able to call her skillets mine.

  20. ANN says

    We cook nearly everything in cast iron skillets .Mine are old belonging to family members .
    I had to cut done on fats in my diet years ago .The skillet was my best friend .I fry everything in the oven .Preheat the pan with oil .Then add veges,potatoes or just any breaded vegetables .If frozen thaw a few minutes in the microwave and then batter .Do not over batter with meal .Sometimes I mix my veges and cook them together .Spray the pan with cooking oil before adding veges ,then on top .cook at about 400 or 450 .Turn once –do not stir they will be mushy .spray the top again with oil .I like to add chopped onions when you turn them .They are so good and not greasy .

  21. Joyce Bacon says

    I have 4 cast iron skillets. An 8″ for cornbread, a 9″ for most everything, one 9″ for fudge only and a 10″ for fried chicken. I also have a dutch oven that I use for beef stew, soups and as a deep fryer. I learned to make fudge at the age of 9 in an iron skillet. It’s the only way it turns out for me. BTW, all the pans except one of the 9″ belonged to my mother or my grandmother.

  22. susan says

    OH I do so love my cast iron skillets. I have several sizes and shapes but ONE is my all time favorite! This particular one is square and was a wedding gift to us in 1968. The woman who gave it to us helped raise my husband after his father died; My mother-in-law was left with four children ages 11 and under, and this woman was a Godsend to the family. She cooked, she cleaned, she ironed…and she had one arm. This skillet is my ‘Sook’ skillet, as that’s what the children called this wonderful woman.

  23. says

    I too love my cast iron. Did you know that it also hols health benefits? I have gone to the doctors several times and they always brag on my iron levels. One nurse argued with me that I had to be a smoker that she had been a nurse 40+ years and had never seen a person with as high of iron levels as I have and not be. Well I can tell you never have and never will smoke. The doc came in and I told him of our conversation and asked him about it – as we discussed — I don’t eat dark leafy greens or anything like that and I told him I cook almost nightly in cast iron – he said well there you go! Small portions of the iron leaches into the foods and it is good for us!
    Happy Cooking To You All!!!

    • Barbara Middleton says

      If you have hemochromatosis, an genetic inability to rid your body of iron, you CANNOT use cast iron. This is because it leaches into the food and you absorb it. I have this condition and even though I was raised on cast iron cooking and love it, I sadly cannot use it.

  24. Nina Mills says

    I can’t believe you’re doing this post today on cast iron cooking. I just this morning made my pineapple upside down cake in my cast iron chicken fryer. I always use I stick butter, or you can use I stick of ICBNB. I cup of packed dark brown sugar. Melt the butter on medium heat in the skillet, add brown sugar.drain one 15 oz can crushed pineapple, using any juice in cake mix instead of part of the water. Stir until mixed. I top with pineapple cake mix( made on the side in a seperate bowl) and pour the cake mix on top. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
    When you pull the skillet out if the oven, I have a large plate that I lay on top on with much care, flip the skillet and plate over.
    Not as pretty as using pineapple rings, but much tastier. Also, the cast iron takes care of my weight lifting for the day!!

  25. Deb C says

    I grew up eating chicken fried steak, and fried chicken (with the cream gravy made from the drippings) fried in a cast iron skillet. Mom always used her 10 inch to bake the cornbread in for the dressing. Now, I’m the proud owner of her skillet. Wouldn’t take anything for it!

  26. Janel Howard says

    My mouth is watering just reading about all thie good food which has been cooked in the cast iron skillets over the years. I have a large skillet and a small one. We will have been married 55 years in June and I’ve been using both skillets all these years. They are all I use when I bake cornbread. YUM! Thanks for sharing the recipe today. I’m anxious to try it.

  27. says

    Christy,

    My mother straight from Germany used her big cast-iron frying pan for everything! In it she always made the best roast whole chickens I have ever eaten, turkeys, fabulous pot roasts, “farmer’s breakfasts” as she called them (chopped bacon, fried potatoes, chives and eggs, all scrambled together with a bit of garlic powder and Lawry’s seasoned salt) and almost everything else she cooked inside an oven or on the stove top. When my mom died a few years ago at age 80, I had to have that cast iron pan. For me it symbolizes a lifetime of wonderful food and wonderful times at my mom’s table. I am with everybody else in wanting a “assume nothing” guide to seasoning and cooking with cast iron!

  28. Ruth Steele says

    Am another southern girl who grew up eating food cooked in cast iron cookware. Ihave spent most of my life in a small town across the state line from South Pittsburg , TN had family that worked in the Lodge factory there. When I turned 16 a uncle started giving me pieces of Lodge Cast Iron as presents. I started housekeeping with them 39 years ago and still use them. Uncle slao saw to it that my girls had Lodge Cast Iron to start their cookware collections. Our whole family loves it and doesn’t believinh in using any other Cast Iron; Lodge is the BEST. Look forward to seeing you at the Cornbread Festival.

  29. Dona says

    It seems we always have had a cast iron skillet. My mom and dad used one all the time. We still use cast iron skillets today. We have 3 of them. I love cooking in them. They are timeless and last forever! I just recently made glazed carrots in mine. I even cooked the carrots in the skillet. Mine were given to me by my mom and father-in-law. My children enjoy using them as well. It is our “pan of choice”.

  30. Diane C. says

    My parents are from the north. We moved to Huntsville when I was in 5th grade. I’ve been in the south now for many, many years. I never really knew about cast iron until reading your blog and purchasing your cook book. I now have 6 cast iron skillets that I purchased from several antique malls and online. I followed the directions from a guest post on your website on how to season or re-season. This past weekend was my Birthday, which I spent with 2 girlfriends that came to visit from out of town (we stayed at a hotel) When I arrived home on Sat. afternoon, my husband made dinner which included corn bread made in one of the skillets…..it came out perfect. He is such a blessing to me and the cornbread was amazing!! :) Christy, thank you so much for bringing “the south” to so many of us. You are a blessing to so many.

  31. Nancy Bell says

    I have a small, a medium, and large cast iron skillet as well as a corn stick pan. When I decided a year ago to invest in an induction cooktop, I was thrilled that I could use my cast iron on it or I think that would have been a deal breaker! I have fond memories of my dear Aunt Macel cooking her famous peach cobbler in her cast iron skillet (as I do now) and of my Mother making peanut brittle in hers (also as I do now.) I absolutely will not make cornbread in any other pan!

  32. Donna in Middle Georgia says

    For those of you who want a cast iron skillet, but you don’t want to mess with seasoning it. You might check out the ones they sell at Cracker Barrel because some of them are already seasoned for you. I have one that was pre-seasoned, and I have enjoyed using it.

  33. says

    We have a skillet, and a dutch oven that belonged to my grandmother, which I displayed with other pots and pans from the past, but my husband loves to cook and try new idea’s, and was reading about cast iron cooking, so I let him take my grandma’s dutch oven, clean it up and season it, today he is cooking beef and noodles in it…….. I forgot how yummy things tasted, coming from cast-iron.

  34. Jean says

    I have my grandmother’s iron corn bread stick pan. Also, 4 iron skillets, a saucepan and a Dutch oven. Pineapple upside down cake in the iron skillet-made many of these. I made the Pecan Pie in the iron skillet just recently. ( It was in Southern Living).
    I bought the “Taste of the South”

  35. Mary says

    I know, I know…never EVER wash your seasoned cast iron skillet with anything but water. OK Mom – I get it. But I really didn’t until I was on my own and trying to make the 2 best things in the world – fried chicken and cornbread. Neither taste as good in anything but cast iron and neither stick as bad when cooked in a cast iron skillet you just scrubbed. Holy smokes. Mom really IS smarter than me afterall and I know she’s looking down at me from heaven and laughing her behinny off!

  36. says

    I am the proud caretaker of my Grandmother Ogg’s cast iron Chicken Fryer. It is 12″ in diameter and 6″ deep! The lid is so heavy I have to pick it up with two hands, so you can imagine how heavy the skillet is! I can tell you that this cast iron skillet makes the absolute perfect fried chicken….far better than any deep fat fryer ever did! I am 70 years old, so you can just imagine how old it is! I have been known to fry fish in it along the river bank while camping….of course, I was younger then!

  37. Kali says

    I have a lot of cast iron skillets and I LOVE them! it worries me that im 23 and know how to clean them and season them and a lot of older folks dont know how to do that! I’m real grateful to my dad for teachin me all those cooking skills now! :)

  38. Grace says

    Does anyone know how to get rust out of a cast iron breadstick pan.
    Someone gave me one that was rusty and I would love to use it but I am not
    sure how to clean it to get the rust out. Someone told me there is some way using salt. Thanks for the help if anyone knows how to clean rust out.

    • annie says

      If it is just surface rust, scrub it with an SOS pad until all the rust is removed. Then you can re-season it as you would a new one. Remember, the oil from seasoning the cast iron is the life of your pan. NEVER soak cast iron in dish water, just wash well and always poor a little oil in it and wipe it down with a paper towel before storing. Just my 2 cents!

    • Stephanie says

      I google everything. However, I did watch someone clean up a cast iron skillet on the Today show (quite awhile ago) using oil and salt and paper towel. Pour a puddle of oil and salt and scrub. FYI..I season our cast iron w/bacon grease. I keep a jar in the fridge. Hope this helps.

  39. Debbie says

    When my precious grandma died, my uncles asked me if I wanted anything from her home. The first thing out of my mouth was her cast iron cookware. I have a large deep skillet and a crepe pan that she made Swedish pancakes. I can still picture her at the stove making mountains of crepe pancakes. They were to die for. I also remember her fried chicken that must have been the best in the world. I will never forget those precious memories.

  40. Hope says

    As any good Southerner knows you just can’t cook some stuff in anything other than cast iron. When I became engaged and registered for all the stuff to “set up house-keeping” I wanted to register for some cast iron skillets but my Mother talked me out of it. Then on the day of my shower my Mother presented me with her ENTIRE cast iron collection, seasoned and ready to use! Needless to say, I cried. One day I hope to pass it on to my daughter as her wedding gift.

  41. Kathy MacDonald says

    I have 3 cast iron skillets I live them.. They were my Mom and Grandma’s. I use the smaller one for cornbread which I am making tonight. I have a deeper one I use for fried chicken. The other one for fried potatoes.

  42. Troy says

    My wife always adds comments to your forum, but I love your recipes too. In fact, I bought your cookbook for her birthday! Anyway, I have fond memories of my dad making milk gravy and cornmeal gravy in the same iron skillet we have in our cupboard today. My mom used to cook on an old wood cookstove, and had all the cast iron accessories including a large skillet that would hold 3 cut up chickens at one time! Now that we have an old wood cookstove I hope to use the skillet more!

  43. says

    I LOVE Monte Cristo sandwhiches with strawberry preserves, too. Especially home made. :) I have my husband’s Grandma’s cast iron skillet. I Love it. They just cook so much better to me and the flavor seems better, too. My mother always always always made her cornbread in her skillets….and everything else. ;) Best cornbread ever.

  44. Shelia says

    My grandparents used a cast iron skillet but my mom was never interested in using one. Several years ago I asked for one for Christmas and my younger brother bought it for me. He didn’t realize how heavy it was and bought it first on his trip through the mall. He sure was happy to finish his shopping and get to the car after lugging that thing all around! Since my brother is no longer with us I especially treasure my skillet.

  45. Maggie says

    Thanks for this! I LOVE monte cristos!!! This post makes me think of my grammy. She is still around, and used to make me strawberry- rhubarb cobbler in her old cast iron skillet. YUM!!! She doesn’t bake anymore (she’s almost 90), but I think of that cobbler from her cast iron skillet often. I don’t feel I can make it as good as she did. Thanks for the memories :)

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