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We are at #50. Photo by the talented Sarah Lamb of S.Lamb Photography. Reprinted with permission.





“Hey Mom, I’m in Playboy!” Five words I never imagined I would ever say.

Not only am I in Playboy, Playboy paid me for a photo!

Okay, it’s not me; it’s The Pan Handler. A photo of one of our Griswold large logo #10 skillets, along with the url for this site, is featured in Playboy’s 60th Anniversary Issue, January – February 2014. The pan is one of Playboy’s “Best Practices: 60 Things Ideas & Actions Every Man Should Own Know & Do From The Essential to the Chivalrous To The Completely Frivolous.” The 60th Anniversary issue came out on mobile December 3, and will be on newsstands on December 6.

Playboy contacted me about a month ago seeking permission to use the photo, which they found on this site. When I was first contacted I thought it must be a joke; some kind of spam. I was pretty quickly convinced that Playboy was serious, though, when I had a phone conversation with a Playboy photo researcher. During our conversation, the researcher actually referenced “Hef” a few times. I was star struck, of course, and quickly agreed to their request to use the photo. They offered to pay me for the photo. Immediately after hanging up the phone I called my darling Mother and screamed, “Mom! I’m going to be in Playboy!” I did the same to my friends and family. It has been fun seeing / hearing the reactions and anticipating the article.

The pan is number 50 of Playboy’s 60 Best Practices. Here is the part of the article that features the pan (forgive the blur – I expect I’ll be getting a better .jpg soon):


The pan was photographed by the talented Sarah Lamb of S.Lamb Photography (thanks, Sarah!)















(You’d have to be darn lucky to snag a #10 large logo Griswold EPU skillet with no wobble that was painstakingly cleaned and seasoned and in excellent condition with an immaculate cooking surface  for $20, but hey, no need for me to quibble.)

The same day that Playboy’s mobile issue went live, the pan in the photo – the one I had listed as the “Sexy Playboy Pan” – sold. After all, everyone – not just Playboy men – needs a good vintage cast iron pan!



Happy December, all. And thank you very much to Playboy for featuring our pan in your article; we are thrilled to be part of Playboy’s 60 Best Practices!



Sarah Lamb of S. Lamb Photography is a hardworking young photographer who is also interested in vintage cast iron. Sarah travelled at her own expense with us to Tacoma Washington to visit Marg and Larry O’Neil and take photographs of their cast iron collection. Sarah’s photos are featured in our blog post about the O’Neil collection (and in the forthcoming Fall 2016 issue of Southern Cast Iron magazine).

Sarah’s photography work with vintage cast iron has also been featured in Taste of the South magazine (Jan/Feb 2015 issue), Southern Cast Iron magazine (Fall 2015 Premiere issue), and Playboy – yes, Playboy – magazine (Jan 2015 60th Anniversary issue). When we are overloaded with work, we have paid Sarah to photograph some of our product for listing. Sarah has also photographed – gratis – many events for The Pan Handler LLC, including our cast iron cooking extravaganza and our first cast iron cooking competition. The beautiful background photograph for the header of our website was also taken by Sarah.

Sarah has created a gorgeous 2017 vintage cast iron calendar with photos taken primarily from the O’Neil collection. If you enjoy vintage cast iron and you would like to help support a hardworking young entrepreneur working to build her business (not to mention help to pay for some of Sarah’s travel expenses incurred for the article about the O’Neil collection), you may view and purchase the calendar by following this link to the shop on our website or at Sarah’s website, Here is the link to purchase at Sarah’s website. Another way you can help and support Sarah’s small business is to like and share her business Facebook page, which you can find here.

Photos (all taken on rustic wood background) include:

January: Assortment of Antique Gem and French Roll Pans February: Griswold no. 100 and no. 50 Heart Star Pans March: Assortment of Toy Waffle Irons April: Assortment of Griswold and Lodge Enameled Skillets May: Griswold no. 8 Skillet w Milled Bottom and Three Inset Rings June: Assortment of Birmingham Stove & Range Skillets July: Griswold Cast Iron Sundials August: Assortment of Cast Iron Donut and Bun Molds September: Assortment of Martin Skillets, Martin Griddle, Wooden Tamper October: Two “ERIE” (by Griswold) no. 8 Spider Skillets November: Assortment of Bundt Pans December: Assortment of Griswold cake molds: Santa, Rabbit, Lamb

All profits from the sale of the 2017 vintage cast iron calendar will go directly to Sarah, whether purchased via or via Sarah’s website.

I will forward orders to Sarah for mailing. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.













Boy, did we have fun!

I had decided to add more “in action” cooking shots to the site and listings, to show how some of the pieces are used. And what better way to do that than to have a party?

I had six friends over for the cast iron cooking extravaganza. Everyone pulled out old tried-and-true recipes and made a dish or two in cast iron. The very talented Sarah Lamb, of S.Lamb photography, was on hand to take pro shots for a magazine piece that is in the works. Sarah is also the talent behind the famous Playboy sexy pan photo. More and better photos of the party will be forthcoming from Sarah, along with recipes for many of the dishes detailed herein. 🙂

Sarah, Linda, Bonnie, me & Maisie, Doug, and Mike.

Linda and I started out on Friday night by making a ton of rosettes and patty molds in my Griswold deep fat fryer. We used all of the Griswold molds and rosettes, as well as the Griswold patty mold bowls. We also used a myriad of the Handi Hostess molds; I’ve been on a bit of a Handi Hostess bender, though I haven’t yet listed any of the sets for sale.

Griswold deep fat fryer heating; Patty mold bowl with batter.

Oil should heat to 365 for perfect patties.

Griswold patty bowl; Handi Hostess aluminum molds and Griswold cast iron patty molds.

Handi Hostess molds and Griswold molds and handles. Lil’ Frankie in the left rear.

















It took a little while to get the hang of it, but once we did, we were on a roll. We must have about 100 shells and rosettes. I haven’t had time to fill them yet, but have ideas and product and hope to get to it soon. Thinking chocolate, berries, pudding, jams and jellies, crab salad, cream cheese…the possibilities are pretty much endless!

Linda hard at work!

Frying away!

Just a small sample of our bounty.

Handi Hostess cast aluminum rosette molds in the forefront.

Griswold cast iron patty mold.

Fresh off the mold.

























I did also give the Griswold deep fat fryer a try earlier in the week; I used the Handi Hostess “Lil Frankie” set to make mini corn dogs. I used a recipe I found on the web that had a little more “jazz” than the Handi Hostess recipe; they were fabulous and decadent albeit messy. I don’t often eat hot dogs and even less frequently deep fry anything, so it was quite an fatty fried adventure. Linda agreed that they were very tasty – we both think they’d be a huge hit with kids.

Coming out of the deep fryer.

Frying the lil’ Frankies in the Griswold deep fat fryer.

Dipped in batter; ready to fry!

Corn bread batter.

Hebrew National Beef dogs, cut into thirds and dipped into the batter.




















Back to the cooking extravaganza. Saturday started early with me making a tart in a cracked #9 pan. This was an interesting revelation for me. So often people (me included) are terribly disappointed when cleaning a pan and a crack is discovered. I think that often such pans are discarded as worthless. This little experience proved, however, that pans with defects can have new life! You just have to think outside the box.


Cooking up the bacon bits in my Griswold Iron Mountain #5 cast iron skillet.

Shiitake shrooms in Linda’s Griswold small logo #8.

Tart before popping into the oven.

Yummy veggie and bacon tart with Gruyere cheese slivers.

The pan worked great for baking the tart. I roasted some Roma tomatoes, sautéed some shiitake ‘shrooms and asparagus, cooked up some bacon, made cream fraiche, added eggs and goat cheese and thyme, popped on some Kalamata olives, topped with Gruyere cheese slivers, and heated the whole thing up in the oven on a pastry.

Voila – it was fabulous!

I cooked up the remainder of the asparagus in a skillet, hit it with some seasoning salt and lemon zest, put a

Sautéing asparagus in a Griswold 8.

bit of parmesan shavings on top and … yum. That was my breakfast and a tasty start to the day.

Asparagus with lemon zest and parmesan.








Mike was the first to arrive. His job was to make a roast and Yorkshire pudding. He selected the fabulous Griswold No. 5 oval roaster & trivet for his roast, and it was a perfect fit for the 4-lb prime chuck roast he had selected. After working some magic and dredging and tying the roast, he popped it into the roaster along with some vegetables and secret spices. This was the first time I have seen a roast cooked on the stovetop.

Mike hard at work prepping the roast.

Ready for the stove top!

Mike sautéing onions prior to adding the roast.

Linda arrived next, with Sarah following shortly thereafter. Linda and I busied ourselves by changing wardrobes and posing in picturesque settings while holding my chicken pan (a request of the magazine for the article). Sarah took a lot of snaps of us and the pan. Linda and I then set out to collect a sampling of pans and bring them to a room with good natural lighting, so that Sarah could start photographing part of my collection.

The very talented Sarah Lamb of S.Lamb photography, assisted by Maisie.

In the meantime, Bonnie and Doug arrived. Doug’s job was fried chicken (in my faithful Iron Mountain  chicken pan, of course). Doug had prepared the chicken the previous evening. Bonnie was to make a vegetable side dish.

Doug’s prepped chicken.

Bonnie’s veggies ready for roasting (Griswold #12) and sautéing (Iron Mountain #5).

Bonnie got to work making a beautiful roasted vegetable dish in a Griswold #12 skillet. Bonnie roasted parsnips and turnips, carrots and onions and peppers and garlic, and dressed it all with capers, spices, lemon and oil, and fresh herbs from Mary M’s garden. The veggies roasted uncovered in the oven, and she sautéed the grape tomatoes in my trusty #5 Griswold Iron Mountain skillet.

Linda then started making a pineapple upside-down cake in her small logo grooved handle #8 Griswold skillet. The last time Linda made a pineapple upside-down cake was with her much-loved “Nana” when she was a child. It meant a lot to Linda to duplicate the experience that she had such fond memories of with her Nana.

Linda’s pineapple upside down cake, pre-batter.

I have some great shots of Linda’s face as she popped the cake out of the pan; a few of the pineapple rings didn’t easily separate from the pan and she was worried the recipe was a failure.

The pineapple upside down cake cooling.

It was not; it just required a little extra prying with a fork.

Oh no! Oh no!

And…how is it?

Added some maraschino cherries and it was a beautiful and tasty treat! In the photos, you see it pictured on my Mom’s cake stand; that stand was a wedding gift to my Mom and Dad in 1946.

Mary M. arrived a little late, after having had a few unplanned mishaps at the grocery store. She passed out fresh parsley, thyme and rosemary from her garden, and got right to work making some fabulous cranberry orange muffins.

Mary M hard at work making cranberry-orange muffins.

The recipe was from a Williams Sonoma cookbook. As Mary forgot the nuts, we decided that when we reprint the recipe, we can say it was “adapted from Williams Sonoma.” 🙂 Mary cooked the muffins in a Griswold #10 cast iron muffin mold. They were delicious!

Delicious and done!

Ready for the oven!

Cranberry orange muffin batter.












We couldn’t wait for the main dishes to be completed; we ate the muffins right as they came out of the oven.


Doug started frying the chicken in my favorite pan – my Griswold Iron Mountain chicken pan.

















I am a fan of fried chicken, but not an expert by any means. Doug told us that one of the secrets to good fried chicken is to not crowd the pieces as you are frying.

As Doug was frying the chicken, Mike removed the pot roast from the roaster and used an immersion blender to blend the vegetables and other magic ingredients into a gravy.

Working quickly, he then whipped together Yorkshire pudding in two Griswold No. 18 6141 cast iron muffin pans.

Yorkshire pudding.







We then sat down and had a feast. The roast was probably the best I have ever had, and the vegetables were a perfect healthy complement. The chicken was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, just as it should be. The pineapple upside down cake was to die for; Linda said it was almost as good as her Nana’s. I contributed two bottles of 2005 Turley Zinfandel; we all had purple teeth and filled tummies by the time we were done.

Games and merriment followed; a good time was had by all!




the pan handler country living november 2014 vintage old antique collectible cast iron bakeware cookware cooking pans pan skillet gem muffin cake bread for sale

First Playboy, now Country Living. Can you say “opposite ends of the spectrum?”

Some of our cast iron bakeware is featured in the “Collectibles” column of the November 2014 issue of Country Living magazine. We are pretty excited!

Thanks, all, for helping us build our little biz dream into a reality. 🙂

Reprinted with permission.