It goes without saying that children shouldn’t be left in hot cars unattended. Since I don’t need to say that, let me instead say that despite being my favorite cooking utensil, cast iron confuses me. I used to read a lot of Louis L’amour western novels. Perhaps I should instead say that westerns confuse me. Louis wrote a lot about his characters’ carrying bacon across the desert. Perhaps antique bacon was more well preserved than today’s bacon. Or maybe it was some sort of bacon jerky or pre-cooked bacon. But….he also wrote about how his characters were cooking the bacon over a fire in the morning. Usually as a peace offering to a traveler they’d met in the desert. Scenes usually went something like this:
Drifter: “Hello, the fire!”
Cowpoke: “Come on in if you’re friendly. If you ain’t, don’t bother.”
Drifter: “I am! I’ve got coffee!”
Cowpoke: “And I’ve got bacon!”
And then they’d have bacon and coffee and talk about where the gold was or what tribe they’d come across and how hostile they were or some such. For some reason I always pictured them cooking their bacon in cast iron. I suppose this is because I don’t think the technology existed to make inferior quality products yet. It had to be cast iron. And carrying cast iron through the desert makes about as much sense as carrying bacon through it. Bacon spoils and cast iron is so heavy that it’s impractical even if it’s all you have. Sometimes I have heat stroke just moving my cast iron skillet from the cabinet to the stove top. But I still do because it makes me feel like a cowboy. The heat stroke and the cast iron both invoke that sensation. I don’t know why I like feeling like a cowboy. Neither do I know why I like bacon or cast iron. All I do know is if I’m ever stuck in the desert I’ll hope to have a heavy antique skillet with me. Even though it’ll slow me down and contribute to my dehydration and eventual death, It’s dual purposeness will come in handy. I can use it to set a deadfall trap and then cook my prey in it as well. Forget that I’ll have to lug it around the desert. Cowboys are tough.
I bid you Adieu…and A don’t.
Adieu…cook with cast iron. The powerful feeling it imparts is quite nice.
A don’t…actually take cast iron on a camping trip. Cowboys only did it because it was all they had. Invest instead in inferior, lightweight aluminum. Not only can you not club an animal to death with it, it won’t last nearly as long.