When the day came for me to pack up all of my earthly belongings ,and escape to college, I commandeered my grandmother’s cast iron skillet. Ok, maybe not commandeered. It was more like she was conveniently getting rid of old pans, and I may have taken them.

This particular pan is now dating close to 70 + years old. It Has made over 8 moves, and is still my favorite pan.

Many people dismiss cast iron skillets because of how heavy they are. Well.. Unless you are planning on wielding it as a weapon the weight really isn’t an issue. Just keep switching hands so you work out both arms.

Why a cast iron pan?

* If you take care of them they can last forever!
* You can use the skillet on the stove top and then easily transfer it to the oven.
* They hold heat well. Which means you do not need to use high heat to cook.
* They are great for one pot cooking. Especially, if you are starting off with meat. I always recommend draining some of the fat before adding everything else in.
* You actually absorb more iron into your food! Especially if you are using acidic foods like tomatoes. This is not a bad thing. I would much rather have a little extra iron in my food than Teflon.

Cleaning/Care
* Be sure to clean your pan immediately after using.
* Do not put cold water into a hot pan, it can warp the pan
* Do not put in dishwasher
* Use either straight water or mild soap to wash (do not submerge or let soak)
* If your pan is well seasoned you should not need to scrub it.
* After washing towel dry. Then place over low heat on the stove top to make sure that all moisture is removed.
* Do not store food in the pan
* Only use plastic or wooden utensils to avoid scratching

Seasoning your pans
* I season my pans once a year. Maybe more if I find that food is starting to stick
* Personally I like to use olive oil. Make sure your pan is well washed (no stuck food) and completely dried.
* Using a paper towel with olive oil on it cover the entire inside of your pan. Make sure you get into the creases and sides.
* Place pan in oven for 1hr at 300 degrees.
* Remove and let cool

Trust me when I say that cast iron pans are very forgiving! I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine.

Teri Calandra Dipl.Acu, MSTOM, L.Ac., LMT, RMT

Teri began her studies in energy medicine as part of her own personal development journey, and continues to to learn and integrate that knowledge into her practice. Teri is the founding practitioner of Calandra Center for Health and Wellness in Chicago, Illinois. She is licensed by the State of Illinois in acupuncture (L.Ac.), and board certified through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).