Sunday, February 11, 2007

Connecting to my forebears

I usually don't cook much. I enjoy it, but it's a bit of a chore when just cooking for one's self.
But a couple of times in the past week, I've broken out of the microwave box to whip up a meal.
Faced with some meat to pan fry and some vegetables to saute, I reached for a shiny black, cast-iron skillet.
The skillet passed down from my great-grandmother through the generations to me. It's the original non-stick cooking surface. It's exterior is thick and textured from years of seasoning.
Every time I start to use this piece, I pause for a moment and think back to the years of use by the cooks in my family, turning out pones of cornbread and frying up chicken and fish and cooking untold other dishes for their families.
I think of it as a connection to those who preceded me, people who survived through many tough times. And a part of them lives in me, making me who I am, and across the decades, we share the same experience of cooking on a simple cast iron skillet.
Good thing? Yeah.

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