Saturday, September 5, 2009
It's 2pm. Do you know where your cast iron cookware is?
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: ALWAYS TELL YOUR HOUSECLEANER NOT TO PUT CAST IRON COOKWARE IN THE DISHWASHER. IT RUINS THE SEASONING.
Maybe you inherited it from your grandmother (or stole it when you went to visit her in Long Island), or maybe you bought it from Sur La Table after watching that Alton Brown episode about the Maillard reaction. Wherever you got it, your cast iron pan is the most used thing in your kitchen other than the microwave.
A faithful friend like this deserves your love and respect.
NEVER, I repeat, NEVER leave it out on the stove when your housecleaner is coming. She (and it's always a woman, isn't it?) WILL put it in the dishwasher because, frankly, cast iron pans always look gross and dirty (and maybe they are, and maybe you don't care, because hello! Maillard reaction!).
Dishwasher soap isn't like normal soap. Sure, you've gotten careless and wiped down your cast iron with a sponge that isn't totally soap free. Maybe you took off like a week's worth of seasoning with that. The dishwasher. Will. Take off. ALL. Of the seasoning. ALL OF IT. EVERY MOMENT YOU PUT INTO SEASONING THAT GODDAMN PAN IS GONE. It's like losing a pet. Or killing a sourdough starter.
So please, please, please. Write a note to your housecleaner. Have a friend from college translate it into Spanish if you need to. Or heck, learn Spanish. It's not that hard. You learned German in college so you could take that advanced philosophy seminar. You can learn Spanish now.
And then, just to be double sure, HIDE YOUR CAST IRON WHEN IT'S CLEANING DAY.
If you have a daily maid service, god help you. Just go back to Teflon and resign yourself to eating rubbery, pale duck breasts.