After my success with my little bitty cast-iron frying pan, I told my husband that I'd like to get another, bigger one. He replied that he might have an old one from camping hiding somewhere in his parents' garage.
Oh. My. Goodness.
He didn't tell me it was for frying whole fish or a side of elk. He presented me with a huge, 13 3/8 inch frying pan, encrusted with layers of dirt, rust, and old grease. But he said I could use it. If I could lift it, that is.
All I have to say is, it's a good thing my excitement about cast iron cookware is still so new.
I rolled up my figurative sleeves and started scrubbing away at that thing last night, determined to get it back in shape so I could make monstrously huge berry cobblers in the oven to feed forty people (you know, just in case).
There are muscles in my arms which I never would have discovered if it weren't for all that rust. As each arm began to burn, I would switch to the other arm, scrubbing as hard as I could with my little stainless-steel scrubber. My husband had the idea of pouring pepsi on the pan to loosen the rust, and, I must say, it worked like a charm. And, it gave me one more reason never to drink soft drinks again.
By the time I was done, an inky black liquid had been sprayed all over the kitchen. With each scrub, drops flew across the sink and landed on the clean dishes, the not-so-clean floor, and even my shirt. (Oddly enough, once I put my apron on, I didn't get any more on my clothes.) It looked like a very stressed-out octopus had been put in a blender with the lid off and the power on.
But the deed was done. The pan was as clean as it was going to get. We lovingly coated it with (a little too much) oil and placed it in the oven to season for an hour.
This morning, I got up, put on some coffee, and wondered if it would be silly to scramble four eggs in a pan that would fit two dozen. I decided, sadly, that it would be. But that's okay. I'll just think of a dinner dish that will put the pan through its paces tonight.
And maybe I'll do some online shopping, gazing wistfully at stove tops with bigger burners while I run my fingers over the smooth, black surface of my new old cast-iron pan.