Cast-Iron Ceiling

Cast-Iron Ceiling

May 11, 2015

I’ve always liked this one, from five years ago. The best gags just write themselves, it seems. If you follow the link above to GoComics, you’ll see it inspired quite a lively discussion about the proper care of cast-iron cookware. When I was a younger man, I was easily dazzled by shiny trinkets and owned a lot of stainless-steel pots and pans. I still have them and use them, but along the way I developed an appreciation for the cast-iron stuff. It’s great for browning! And if you’ve read this far, you probably know as well as I do that it has to be the old stuff.

60 responses to “Cast-Iron Ceiling”

  1. No, you’re wrong about the old stuff. Cast iron clad with ceramic is the best. Doesn’t have to be treated with kid gloves, is heavy to spread the heat, and browns beautifully. Of course, it’s very expensive. Fortunately, I bought mine years ago before it got to be so dear.

    • @Patricia Logos – I found my first ceramic-clad cast iron pot in the outgoing recycling bin when I lived in an apartment building. The fancy French brand. Nothing at all wrong with it, maybe it was just too heavy for its previous owner.

  2. In addition to the cast iron pots, pans, skillets, bakers, and Dutch ovens I’ve collected over the years, some of which were salvaged, heavily rusted, and cleaned and restored by me (I love doing that), I inherited my Mom’s collection, who in turn had inherited some of her Mom’s. Not that I was concerned about wearing out any of it…

  3. I watched a video entitled something like “cast iron is simpler than you think!” and it was like ten minutes of “rinse, dry very very thoroughly, put it in the oven to make sure there’s not even a molecule of water left on it, scrub with oil, put it in the oven again, scrub with salt…”

    I came away from the video with the conclusion that it was harder than I’d thought, and the benefits were nowhere near worth it.

    • Nah, it’s really not that complicated…unless you choose to make it that way. My late sister once picked up a cast iron”corn stick” baker for me at an estate sale. The baker was entirely covered with rust. The next day it looked brand new. And still does.

  4. My late mother was born in 1921 on a farm outside of Horse Cave, Kentucky, and her mother taught her how to a true country cook. I can still taste the fried chicken that Mom made in a cast-iron skillet with bacon grease.

  5. Today we’re “pressured” on two sides to stay away from cast iron:
    1) Convenience — Can you drop it in the dishwasher? No? Why use it?
    2) Hygiene — What do you mean it needs to be coated with oil? Don’t some bacteria live in oil? What about viruses?
    My grandma didn’t have either of those concerns, and though she’s been gone over 25 years I still drool at the memories of her breakfasts. Lunches! Suppers with endless desserts!!!

    • The answer to #1 is, of course, which is more convenient: putting it in the dishwasher or wiping it off with a paper towel, and maybe a few drops of oil. For the second question, by the time the pan’s hot enough to cook with, any viruses will be dead from the heat.

      • I didn’t say the reasons were valid! 😉
        Very few families have home-cooked, made from scratch, anything today. I hope for some that’s changing with being shut in and having a cash crunch. The second reason is clearly invalid, but, given the hysteria over the virus, I doubt most people have any real understanding of the basics of hygiene today and are just fearful of anything that hasn’t been sterilized by a medical technician wearing a hazmat suit!

        • On the one hand, I agree with your thoughts on the dearth of actual cooking, and with your hope this mess will at partly cure that.

          On the other hand, it really irritates me that all these born-again bakers are making impossible for those of us who have always cooked to find flour & yeast! After 3 weeks of looking, I finally managed to buy the last bag of self-rising flour at one store, and the last bag of bread flour at the other Monday. I have enough yeast for tomorrow’s Italian bread, and that’s it; neither of the stores I shop at weekly have been able to keep it in stock for a month now.

          • I tried to post a link where they have yeast in stock, but it disappeared. Maybe it will show up tomorrow. But the site is called

    • I have several “friends” via twitter that are Chefs on the Food Network. A few that actually send me messages. They all cringe at #1. Pans, knives and other items are better when they are hand washed. But I have to admit that I am an Arlo. I LOVE to cook but hate the clean up. I offer to help my wife, but she will often sneak in and re-clean everything that I have tried to wash. But it is only fair, when she asks to help with the cooking, I tell her to grab a glass and pour some wine in it and be ready when I say “Dinners Ready”. Fortunately I am a good enough cook to warrant such behavior. Or maybe I am good enough because she doesn’t have to do the cooking. “-P

      • I really miss the actual cooking shows Food Network used to run, and I have made many of their recipes, to great effect.

        But I also always lament that I would their stuff much often if I,/i> had a crew to do my,/i> clean-up, too……….

      • I really miss the actual cooking,/i> shows Food Network used to run. I have made many of their recipes, usually to superb effect.But I also always lament that I would do so much more often if I had a crew to clean up my mess, too………………………….

  6. Unfortunately I cannot use the cast iron anymore, because of rheumatism, those pans are just to heavy to handle for me. But they were indeed the absolute best for frying and baking pancakes. But luckily I’ve obtained a nice frying pan which has almost the same qualities. And my ceramic stew pans.

  7. Another nice thing about cast iron cookware – it helps non-meat eaters get enough iron in their diet without having to resort to huge and constipating iron supplement capsules. Cooking in cast iron, particularly when the ingredients have an acidic component such as tomatoes or citrus, adds iron to the recipe in a form that is more easily absorbed by the body than is the iron in supplements.

  8. Re: today’s cartoon – Poor Janis! I had a sunburn in my late teens that I got while wearing a bathing suit. I was sitting out by the water after swimming for an hour or so (in the afternoon sun in Oklahoma, near a car that probably reflected extra rays on me). I thought I was protected because I was covered up by a towel. I found out that evening that a damp towel is no protection from UV. I was so sunburned that I had trouble sleeping and I couldn’t tolerate underwear for the next two or three days. Loose, light coverings were not comfortable but were not excruciating like anything with an elastic component. Thank goodness for the sunscreens available today!

  9. Arlo needs “The Ringer” cast iron cleaner. (Search for it on-line.) I’ve had one for about 3 years. It really works. Also, I always wanted something made from chain mail. 🙂

  10. I noticed that flour and yeast disappeared from the local markets’ shelves before TP did. And Thursday, the “organic” market we often stop at on the way out of Tulsa had not a single pack of bagels on its shelves. Guessing that people are not patronizing Starbuck’s and the bagel shops like Einstein’s as much as they did pre-Rona.
    Read something from an interview with a plugged-in restaurateur this morning. The James Beard Foundation, of which she is a trustee, and the Independent Restaurant Coalition surveyed 1400 restaurateurs. Their gloomy but probably accurate conclusion: As many as 80% of independent restaurants will not make it through this. Details below, if you can stomach them. (No pun intended.)

  11. Here in Utah my friends and I have made a point of getting carryout or drive-through meals from local independent restaurants. I’m fortunate to have a stable income at this point in my life, so I’m doing what I can to keep local businesses alive… and avoid having to clean up the kitchen!

    • Yesterday I attended a birthday gathering at a local watering hole here in downtown Saint Petersburg at the foot of the under construction new pier. The pub had their tables separated from each other and displayed the required warning signs and such but it seemed to me that hardly none of the attendees were worried about the virus at all. People were moving tables and chairs closer to each other. Every person I knew and every new person that I met shook my hand when I offered it and there was lots of hugging as well.
      I would estimate that about half of the people walking by wore masks but virtually no one at the bar was.
      I took heart.

  12. Five days of Janis in (and partially out of) a two-piece swimsuit, topped off by Janis in a nightgown. ‘Bout time for another Janis-in-the-bathtub one, eh, Jimmy?

  13. Jackie pointed out to me that I neglected to mention that she too has a nice collection of cast iron cookware dating back a couple of generations. So if I ever break any of mine, there will be backups. 😀

  14. And for those wanting flour for bread, I noticed Sams Club here in Tulsa has their 25 lb bag of bread flour for just under $7. So if you have a membership, check your local store because you can’t order it online.

  15. In our area (MN just West of “The Mill City”) flour has been off the shelves for awhile – if there is any it is one pound bags.

  16. Sunday’s “2nd honeymoon” strip is VERY naughty. It starts with Janis touching up her roots (‘cause that’s the way it is these days) with her hand mirror and then Arlo takes it in another direction while reminiscing about the honeymoon. Hmmmm. I can think of a couple of things. Nobody commented?

  17. I can guess what on Earth brought that up, Bonnie. And yep, pretty naughty. Also disappointing that Janis didn’t “get it”. The reference. I mean. I can actually think of more than one reason why she may not have noticed the ceiling of their room. Those reasons are a bit naughty, also. 😉

  18. Have mentioned, I think, early 00’s, there is/was a Holiday Inn in Elgin, IL, just off the tollway. No mirror in the ceiling, but a full wall on the R side of the queen-size was a mirror. We [at least I] found that interesting. Don’t know if it’s still H.I., but to me/us, it’s remains the “Mirror/Elgin.”
    Were there visiting newlyweds that are now exes. Motel was incidental, but the visit [to a reception* designed successfully to outdo the wedding festivities in Bemidji] was insightful, and not much after that was surprising. *In a different, unnamed suburb.

  19. I was less interested in or bothered by the mirrors in the casino/hotel in Wendover NV than I was by the stale tobacco odors that permeated the building, including the nonsmoking wing. There was no escaping it.

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