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Old 01-30-2021, 03:53 PM
Bill D. Bill D. is offline
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 3
Cool Glad to Have Found You

I have finally found the forum that I have been looking for. Glad to be here and hope I can add something to the mix.

- I have about 30 years of direct experience cooking with CI
- I am more of a user than collector yet have an general interest in collecting.
- My family has handed down several pieces that date from the 1850's to 1930's.
- My interest with this forum is to learn from others and share what I have learned.

The long story:

Somewhere back in my younger years I had heard about cast iron cookware and was under the impression that it was old, poor, and outdated. My Grandmother (and her mother) cooked with cast iron skillets and she was kind of old, poor and outdated herself. Her two frying pans were always on the stove and always had bacon grease in them. When she cooked fried chicken she used white Crisco.

Fast forward to when I moved out of my parents house and needed cookware. I went to Woolworth's and found that for a couple of bucks I could buy a cast iron fry pan with fitted lid and a small dutch oven with a fitted lid. It was the cheapest cookware I could buy and was marked made in Taiwan. Knowing nothing about these heavy pieces of cookware it was my dumb luck that after I cleaned them they rusted and after cleaning the rust off I wiped them down with vegetable oil, put the lids on them and baked them in the oven. They came out perfectly seasoned. Patent leather black strap seasoned. The outside was a caramel-brown color. I didn't use them much but held on to them.

My interest in cooking with CI really came about as an adult when my son was in The Boy Scouts. During the open house the Scoutmaster was making an apple crisp in one camp dutch oven and a cake in another stacked on top of the other. It was pretty impressive.

Since then I have acquired 20 or so pieces that I have purchased new, at flea markets and a half dozen that I have been gifted from older family members including those from my Grandmother. Some of the inherited pieces are in the high end collectible category, one goes back to the mid 1800's. All are working cookware that I use or have used.

Several pieces that I have swept up at flea markets are Griswold and Wagner and two unusual long handled pots are as of yet identified. Perhaps I can figure out how to identify them at some point.

I have an interest in the evolution of cookware and when visiting museums take particular interest in styling and features. When travelling in Europe and Asia I have also been keen to learn about historical cookware in those regions.

No one in my family holds any interest in vintage CI cookware with the exception of my son who has one of the Wagner pans that I purchased at a flea market. He uses it for his cajun recipes.

My daughter's college roommate has an interest in CI and has a degree of collectors level knowledge. It is a subject that we have had many conversations as any hobbyist might have.

I have become something of a CI coach with friends and online. Everyone seems to know that CI has mythical cooking properties yet is terribly difficult to take care of. I am able to temper the former and dispel the latter.

Collecting is going to be a hobby for me not an obsession. There are a few pieces that I will hand down but most I plan to gift or sell at some point. That being the case, I do hope to gain enough knowledge and experience that I can be of help to others in their pursuit of collecting and cooking with CI.
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