**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. :)

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I subscribe to Cook’s Illustrated, and try to make at least one recipe from each issue. From the May and June 2016 issue, I chose Dolsot Bibimbap. This was my first-ever effort at making a Korean rice bowl, and actually the first time I have ever tasted one. And my goodness, it was delicious. I had two guests for dinner, and all  three of us loved this dish. We ate heartily, and had enough for three additional servings, which I packaged up for lunch for all of us. It was almost as good the next day when I had it for lunch. 

I made the rice bowl in my Griswold Iron Mountain #12 cast iron skillet; the size was just about perfect for this substantial dish. I could probably have used a #14 pan and it also would have been fine. Or, I could have made them in individual #3 or #5 pans and served them in the skillets at table. Next time!

Dolsot Bibimbap, slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated May & June 2016 issue

You can find more information about Dolsot Bibimbap from Cook’s Illustrated here.



1 c. cider vinegar 2 T sugar 1-1/2 t salt 1 cucumber (I used an English cucumber), cleaned, cut lengthwise into quarters and thinly sliced 4 oz (2 cups) fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and drained

Chile Sauce:

1/4 c. gochujang (red chile paste – I found mine at World Market, but you can also find it at Asian markets) 3 T water 2 T toasted sesame oil 1 t sugar


3 c. short grain rice (I used the shortest grain I could find from the Asian section of my supermarket) 3 c. water 3/4 t. salt


1/2 c water 6 green onions, thinly sliced white and ~2″ of green tops 3 T soy sauce (I like Lee Kum Kee Premium soy sauce) 5 small garlic cloves, peeled and minced 1 T sugar 1 T olive oil 1 small bag shredded carrots (about 2 cups) 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced. 10 ounce bag baby spinach


2 T plus 2 t olive oil 1 T toasted sesame oil 4 large eggs


Prepare pickles: whisk vinegar, sugar, and salt together in medium bowl. Add the cucumber and bean sprouts; toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. My pickles marinated about 4 hours; they were delicious! Prepare red sauce: whisk gochujang, water, oil, and sugar together in small bowl. Cover and set aside. Cook rice. I used my well-loved rice cooker. Works every time! Keep warm. Prepare vegetables: While rice is cooking, stir together water, scallions, soy sauce, garlic, and sugar. Heat 1 t oil in size 12 or 14 cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Add carrots and stir until coated. Add 1/3 of the scallion mixture to carrots. Stir until coated and slightly softened and liquid is evaporated, about 3-5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer carrot mixture to small bowl. Heat 1 t oil in now-empty #12 skillet. Add mushrooms and stir until coated with oil. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are tender and moisture has evaporated; about 3-4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to second small bowl. Add 1 t oil to now-empty #12 skillet and heat. Add spinach and remaining scallion mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until spinach is wilted but still bright green; about 2 minutes. Remove spinach from pan with slotted spoon and place in third small bowl. Prepare Bibimbap: Wipe out #12 skillet with paper towels. Heat 2T oil and 1 T sesame oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the warm cooked rice and press down into a layer on the bottom of the skillet. Cook without stirring for about 2 minutes. Transfer carrots to pan and layer smoothly atop rice in pan. Transfer spinach to pan and layer smoothly atop carrots in pan. Do the same with the mushrooms. Reduce heat under pan to low. Cook eggs: Crack eggs into bowl. Pour bowl contents into second smaller skillet (I used my #8 Griswold slant logo with heat ring) which has been pre-heated at medium and coated with a small amount of oil or butter. Cook to desired doneness without stirring. Slide eggs onto bibimbap mixture in #12 skillet. Drizzle about 2T chile sauce over eggs. Serve! Bring your big skillet to table and place atop cork trivets. In front of your admiring guests, take a wooden spoon and first stir / break up the vegetables and egg mixture, being careful not to disturb rice crust. Then, take your spoon and scrape large pieces of the rice crust and mix into vegetable and eggs. Serve in individual bowls or on plates. Pass pickles and extra chile sauce to add as desired.



Yay! We recently acquired 70+ gorgeous pieces of Griswold cast iron cookware. Anna, Linda, and I are working pretty much ’round the clock to get the pieces cleaned, seasoned, photographed, and listed so that the inventory is available well in advance of the 2016 holiday gift-giving season. I know you don’t even want to think about the holiday season yet, but as a retailer, we start planning months in advance.

Although we never know until the pieces are cleaned and seasoned, I believe that many if not most of the pieces will be near-mint or better. That belief has been borne out by the ~10 pans from the lot that we have cleaned and seasoned so far.

We will be putting the pieces up as they are completed.  A few from this lot have already been posted and more will be posted this weekend (in fact, in the past week we have posted 31 new listings..but who’s counting?) We hope to have many if not most of these beautiful pieces on the site before November 1.

Watch the site for the new inventory in the coming weeks. In addition to other sizes and types, we have many Griswold large block and slant logo number 8 and 9 skillets, a few number 12s, and loads of (my favorite!) Iron Mountain (by Griswold) pans, including some wonderful chicken pans.  As you know, every piece is one of a kind. Our minty and near-mint Griswold pans typically sell almost as soon as they are listed. If you see one you like, you’re well-advised to snap it up!

Happy shopping, Griswold hunters!

Showing circular area on bottom of pan.

This is a cool pan. It is one of the “second series” of ERIE pans; manufactured by the Griswold Mfg. Co. in Erie, PA between about 1886 to 1892. The pan is a size 9; it measures 11-1/4″ in diameter and it is 2-1/4″ tall. It has an outer heat ring.

One of the interesting things about this pan is that there is a subtle yet distinct circular area on the bottom where it appears that the pattern for the skillet had been “buttered” to cover up a marking on the pattern. It is in the middle of the bottom – you can see it in the photo below.  The second series pans were made before pattern numbers were placed on ERIE skillets on the bottom; it is interesting to speculate what might have been in the center of the pattern of this pan. You can see more photos of the pan on its listing; here. 

I wonder if this lovely pan could have been made from a Griswold ERIE spider skillet pattern? The spider skillet is not known to have been made in a size other than 8. It’s such a distinct circle…it’s fun to speculate about what it was hiding, in any event!

Have an opinion? If you’d like to weigh in, shoot me an email via the “contact” form. I’d love to know your thoughts on this mystery!

Showing circular area on bottom of this pan.

ERIE spider skillet owned by Marg and Larry O’Neil, Tacoma WA. Photo (c) and courtesy S. Lamb Photography. Note the similarities of the characteristics of the two pans, though the spider skillet was not known to have been made in a size other than 8.

Anna from Australia

Big news!

I have decided that it is time for me to stop and smell the roses; to spend more time with family and friends, to travel, explore, and have new adventures. As of January 1, I will step back from the day-to-day operation of The Pan Handler LLC and begin my new role as consultant to new owner Anna from Australia. Anna has been and will be working closely with me over the next few months to learn the business so as to provide a seamless transition of ownership of The Pan Handler LLC.

Anna and Mary celebrating the signing of the contract.

I have so enjoyed this journey and all the clients, friends, and people I have met and worked with along the way. It has been a wonderful learning experience, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity. I love these old pans and their history, and Linda and I take pride in restoring them and sending them off to new homes where they will be enjoyed and handed down through the generations. We have worked very hard to provide top-notch customer service; I am thankful every day for all of the wonderful customers of The Pan Handler LLC.

I know that Anna will continue that service as she assumes the helm, and I am very excited to see where she takes the business in coming years. Linda and I will continue the day-to-day operations of The Pan Handler through December 31, 2016. Through 2017, I will work as an independent consultant and advisor to Anna and The Pan Handler LLC. Linda will continue working with The Pan Handler LLC as the transition of ownership is made. Please join me in welcoming Anna to The Pan Handler LLC!

Anna from Australia


The vegetables at the late summer Farmer’s Markets here in Minnesota are awesome. Tons and tons of wonderful ripe vegetables to choose from. I picked up quite a bounty recently, and set about looking for a recipe. I often pan-roast my veggies with just olive oil and kosher salt, but wanted to try something just a little different.

I ended up making a huge pan of roasted vegetables with a balsamic/mustard glaze. To serve alongside, I made balsamic-glazed chicken breasts. Of course you know that leftover roasted veggies are AWESOME in egg frittatas!


For the chicken breasts, I used this recipe from Recipe Girl. Of course, I used fresh thyme from my garden. I cooked the two boneless skinless chicken breasts in my Griswold slant logo #8 cast iron skillet with heat ring.

The original recipe for the roasted veggies is from Bon Appetit (August 2008). It’s an oldie but goodie. I adapted it just a bit to reflect what I had picked up at the Farmer’s market.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables


For the dressing:

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I used Ingelhoffer stone-ground) 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the side of your knife blade 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (from my garden!) 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil (also from my garden!)

Fresh vegetables of your choosing. I used:

2 medium/large yellow onions 2 yellow summer squash 2 zucchini 2 bell peppers (I used red/green and green/yellow) 16 oz whole mushrooms (I used two 8-oz packages of whole mushrooms from the supermarket – I love roasted mushrooms!) Cherry tomatoes (from my garden!) Smallish-sized Yukon gold potatoes


Prepare the dressing by whisking together the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, garlic, thyme, and basil. While Bon Appetit says that you can prepare the dressing a day in advance, I prepped it two days in advance, to give the flavors plenty of time to blend. Of course, I kept it in the refrigerator. Wash the vegetables. Cut the onions into chunks. Slice the zucchini and squash into about 1/3″ pieces. Cut the bell peppers into chunks. Cut the (unpeeled) potatoes into chunks. Remove the stems from the mushroom caps. Generously sprinkle the vegetables with freshly ground coarse salt and pepper. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the potatoes with a bit of olive oil and kosher salt. Place into #14 cast iron pan, and into the oven. Set the timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, add the onion to the pan and put it back into the oven. While the potatoes are cooking, start preparing the chicken breasts; timing the breasts to finish cooking at about the same time as the veggies. Set the timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the zucchini and squash to the pan. Toss to coat. Salt and pepper to taste. Set the timer for 10 minutes. Toss the mushrooms and bell peppers with the balsamic oil mixture. After 10 minutes, add the mushrooms and bell peppers to the skillet. Toss the veggies and place the skillet back into the oven. Set the timer for 10 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and place back into oven. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are the consistency you like. I prefer slightly crisp – avoid mushy veggies!

Serve and enjoy with good friends and a glass of good red wine!