A Love Letter To My Cast Iron Skillet

by Katy on June 9, 2016 · 24 comments

The following is a reprint of a previously published post. Enjoy!

Hello, gorgeous. I’ve been thinking about you.

We’ve been together almost twenty years now, and your allure beckons as much as the day we first met. I got you on the rebound from the furniture-selling Van Gronas. The classified ad in The Village Voice was officially for a couch, but your hefty beauty stole my heart. That couch is long gone. But here you are, still with me, still nourishing my secret shameful need — extra iron in my diet.

Other pans have come and gone. Le Creuset with flashy colors that soon appeared dated. Non-stick, with its possibly carcinogenic lining. But your matte black surface, so silky, so smooth, so — dare I say it? — sensuous. Your hotness never goes out of style.

Sometimes I think I may have loved you too much, but a slow gentle caress with an oily rag revives your former loveliness. If only that were all it took for my youthful beauty to return. Like Dorian Grey, you appear to never age.

(Botox, Katy? No thanks, I’ll just rub my face with an oily rag.)

Other pans may tempt me, but I know we will overcome all obstacles. Our love is that which ignites the heavens. Like Romeo and Juliet, Bogey and Bacall, Charo and Captain Stubing.

If I have not said it before, I’ll say it now. I love you! You had me at iron fortification.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth June 9, 2016 at 2:33 am

Lol what a great post! I feel the love and i understand it. I’ve had my iron skillets for 35 years and also have a couple of my mom’s. There’s no telling how aged those are, but they are still as smooth as a baby’s butt. Just beautiful!


Lucy June 9, 2016 at 3:59 am

I totally love mine too. I have 4 of different sizes. A tiny one of my father’s (born 1906), which my mother thought was too small to do anything with. It fits a single egg perfectly. Next up in size is an 8 inch from the thrift store, a nice old one that I was shocked to see there. Next up is a 10 inch from my aunt, my father’s sister (born in 1899). Last, the 12 inch from my grandmother, my mother’s mother (born 1898). Treasures!


melanie June 10, 2016 at 10:48 pm

Wow, they are so special! And amazing!!


Mrs. Picky Pincher June 9, 2016 at 5:36 am

I’m always tempted by those fancy Le Creuset pots and pans, but there’s truly nothing better than a $40 quality cast-iron skillet. 🙂 I can’t think of a better way to sear a steak. I used to be intimidated by their cleaning and care, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really not that bad.


Carrie June 9, 2016 at 6:11 am

HAHAHA!! That’s great! I’m going to show my cast iron skillet some love today. Your love story made me envious! lol


jennifer June 9, 2016 at 8:35 am

I have my grandmother’s cast iron skillet. I love it so much and think of her every time I use it.


Susie's Daughter June 9, 2016 at 10:47 am

Me too!!!


Janne June 9, 2016 at 11:16 am

I love my cast iron skillets and pans, too! I use them for everything, and bake most of my no-knead bread in my iron casserole inherited from my grandmother. I always say that if I have perfectly toned arms at a ripe old age, it will be from handling all my iron pans. How’s that for a frugal workout!


That Other Jean June 11, 2016 at 1:39 pm

I love the way they cook pretty much anything, but my arthritis does not, at all. I finally gave my giant cast iron skillet away to a pair of sociable newlyweds, where it is greatly appreciated and continues to make spaghetti sauce for masses of people. Lucky for me, I can still use the smaller ones.


Susan K June 9, 2016 at 1:30 pm

You’re fabulous.


Sandy June 9, 2016 at 2:20 pm

Charro and Captain Stubbing! I literally laughed out loud when I read that! Bravo!


Marcia June 9, 2016 at 5:22 pm

That secret little extra iron in the diet is the reason I can no longer use mine. I have several, the largest I can barely lift when full of food. My iron gets TOO high if I use them. (Not good for heart disease but can’t remember the exact reason anymore.) I am saving them for someone who will love them like I do. Doesn’t seen to be my daughter–maybe my granddaughter, although at 24 she isn’t doing much cooking yet.


Chris June 9, 2016 at 5:29 pm

Just realized that my cast iron skillet was bought nearly xx years ago – can’t admit to the # of years – lets just say it was one husband, moves from Chicago to Vermont to Chicago to Mpls (several apts and 2 houses) and 2nd husband ago and it is still going strong. What amazes me is that for more than one of those moves I carried boxes from one apt to another – I do think the Chicago-Vermont-Chicago time I stored it with friends. Besides a handful of books, it has been with me longer than anything else…..


Stacy June 9, 2016 at 6:51 pm

I bought my first one at Goodwill just this past weekend. I gave it a good cleaning and I’m excited to start using it!! This blog inspired me to try one after hearing all the great things. Maybe love is in the air here too. Lol


Katy June 9, 2016 at 7:39 pm



Madeline June 10, 2016 at 5:25 am

I am so glad to hear from other women who have a love affair with their pots and pans! I love my Le Creuset AND my cast iron pans..they see me through every single day.I spend a lot of time int he kitchen and it’s nice to have the right tools that make my heart sing every time I pull them out of the cupboard.I like the various colors of my LeCreuset–I have orange and the original blue, and I leave some on my stove cause I use them daily AND they add some decor to the kitchen.. cheerful,happy color. I have a tiny little cast iron pan, good for one egg for for heating up soup or a leftover without the microwave.I got it at a thrift store and it is so perfectly seasoned!! My 10″ I bought for myself and the 12 inch was a Christmas gift. P.S. I bought my set of LeCreuset for $100 for 4 pans!!!!In 1988, at a JC Penney’s outlet store!!!!!!!! How did THAT happen!!???


Lauren June 12, 2016 at 7:43 pm

What a good deal!!!


Marianne June 13, 2016 at 3:53 pm

Wow good deal indeed!! I bought a LeCreuset at Home Goods years ago (4 qt) for $40 and I thought that was a steal. They had 2 of them and I am still sorry I did not pick them both up. I could live with just using that one pan for ever.
I am not a fan of cast iron…never was able to get the hang of cooking with them. But I love enamel cast iron.


Vickie June 10, 2016 at 1:08 pm

What a beautiful ode to iron fortification and hot cooking. Bravo, Katy, well done!


melanie June 10, 2016 at 10:52 pm

I think I’m going to have to divorce my stainless steels…


Tracy June 12, 2016 at 11:56 am

My son just informed me that the cast iron large pot with lid and frying pan we had given him for his apartment got rusty and he throw them away. I was a little upset with him about this but there is nothing that can be done about it now.


Katy June 12, 2016 at 10:16 pm



Bee June 12, 2016 at 2:12 pm

Made a yummie fruit cobbler today using my wonderful #8 Wagner cast iron skillet. I purchased mine at an estate auction for $5 many years ago — a good purchase indeed!


Jill June 22, 2016 at 10:48 am

Charo and Captain Stubing! LOL!


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