**Please note: To see the photos contained within a post, you must click on the title of the post to open it separately. Why? I don't know. I just know that it needs to be done to see the pics. :)
One of my camping friends, who loves to make breakfast for our camping group, asked me to bring the largest cast iron pan I had with me to camp this weekend. I have a group of excellent friends who really enjoy tent camping. We just finished enjoying a weekend of tenting and hiking in beautiful Minnesota fall weather.
Knowing I had to bring a huge pan for Doug, I sought out and acquired a #20 pan. It was made with a Griswold mold but it is not a “true” Griswold as it does not carry the Griswold logo. This pan was made after Griswold closed its doors in 1957.
The big #20 pans are also called “hotel” pans; presumably because they are so huge that they are perfect for cooking for a crowd. 20″ in diameter!
Doug was thrilled when he saw the big pan, and immediately announced he was going to purchase it from me and hang it on the wall in his man cave when it was not otherwise in use. Doug made a wonderful breakfast for the group in the pan; it was perfect for cooking outdoors for the group. One pan cooked a one-pot breakfast for all of us!
Thought you would enjoy seeing some photos of our feast; made in a #20 Griswold-mold skillet. Potatoes with onion mushrooms and spices, bacon, scrambled and fried eggs. Nothing like a hot camp breakfast in cool weather. It was delicious – thank you, Doug!
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.
Linda and I headed south this weekend, and split a large collection of Griswold (and some miscellaneous pieces) that I purchased with another collector. I now have pieces now that I have never seen before; many are rare and quite scarce. To the extent I can part with them, watch for listings to come.
Today I picked up over 150 Griswold pieces including the Griswold loaf pan and lid, fish skillet and lid, Santa, large foot-forward lamb, Quaker square skillet and lid, square hinged skillet and lid, and so much more. The photos don’t even show the half of it. It was a good weekend!
I am a dog person. No doubt about it. I said goodbye to my darling 15-1/2 year old Wheaten Terrier Tara (aka Miss Thing aka Tarapup) in January. Tara is my namesake on eBay (I am tarapup on eBay), and we were very attached.
It was clear to me almost immediately that I needed another doggie.
So, meet Maisie. Maisie is a Maltese and was born 2.20.14. She is 12 weeks old in this pic.
I’ve been busy. 🙂
I was talking to cooking instructor Jan Zita Grover recently. She was interested in finding the lightest #5 skillet that I had in stock so that she could show her students the difference in weight between vintage and modern cast iron skillets.
I took a look at the #5 skillets that I have in stock. Turns out the lightest is a Griswold slant logo with heat ring. It is a full one pound lighter than a Lodge of more recent manufacture. And this is an 8″ diameter skillet; imagine the difference with larger sizes!
Since I was making the comparison, I figured I’d take a few photos of the cooking surface of the old Griswold and the newer Lodge. Check out the difference. The Lodge has that “pebbly” kind of surface, while the Griswold #5 is smooth as satin.
And finally, note the difference in the size of the wall of the #5 skillets. The Griswold has lovely thin walls; the Lodge has clunky thick walls.
Jan Zita Grover wrote a handout for her cooking surface about the “whys” of the weight of cast iron skillets of recent manufacture vs. the lovely old skillets. She has graciously allowed me to reprint it here. Enjoy!
But Cast Iron Is So Heavy!
c Jan Zita Grover, 2014
When my classes start, I ask participants to buy an 8-inch (formerly known as a #5) skillet to use. Folks who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis often find contemporary cast-iron skillets, even at this modest size, difficult to hold. My advice to them: Buy an old (pre-1960) #5 skillet instead of a new one. Almost invariably, they find their problem is solved.
Well, before Asian competition for the steadily decreasing American market in the 1960s–2000s, U.S.-made cast-iron cookware was made by hand: honest-to-goodness human beings guided the molten iron into sand molds, took the pans from the molds, moved them to the other side of the shop, where other human beings milled them to baby-skin smoothness. Those old Wagners, Wapaks, Lodges, Griswolds, and PiquaWares are now so many cast-iron fossils, relicts of an era when cast-iron cookware was human-made—and significantly lighter.
Robots, it turns out, aren’t very adept at handling lightweight cast-iron pans: they break it. So the cast iron cookware made more recently in this country and Asia has become thicker and heavier. Folks in my classes marvel when I bring in a 105-year-old #5 skillet: smooth as butter, weighing in at 2.5 lbs. (37.9 oz.). Compare that to a contemporary cast-iron #5 skillet: unmilled, thick-walled, weighing 3.2 lbs. (50 oz.). The old pan weighs roughly 25 percent less than the newer, robot-made one. And for most people, it’s aesthetically more pleasing: thinner, smoother, redolent of age and cooking history.