I have been so surprised and delighted with my new cast-iron frying pan. I picked up a cheap one at Ikea for $10, then looked online for some good tips on how to season it properly. Bingo! Instant non-sticky, non-chemically goodness. And I even get to wash it with soap!
The impetus behind this completely out-of-character purchase (since I've been known to complain a lot about my in-laws' cast-iron pan whenever I've made scrambled eggs with it) was a tidbit I picked up from reading Green For Life by Gillian Deacon. She mentions that non-stick coatings are made of VOC's (volatile organic compounds, like formaldehyde), and I swear, every time I cooked with my pretty, expensive non-stick pan, I could smell the ugly chemicals leaching into the air and the eggs. Ugh! (Over-reaction? Maybe.) How could I eat that? How could I let my kids eat that?
Not long after that, I happened to come across an Ikea catalog, which I picked up to see if they had any cute curtains. I discovered the frying pan instead and figured that for $10, I could surely give the hated cast iron one more chance. After all, our safety was at stake.
And, what do you know?! I love it. (If it weren't for my husband's teasing me over my sudden change of heart when he'd known all along how well cast iron worked, I'd love it even more.) Properly seasoned, the eggs slide right out, the omelettes flip perfectly, and ... well, that's really all I've tried so far. But still. I'm a convert.