Squeeky Clean

I love to cook. I’ve even gotten to the point where I don’t mind cleaning up. Still, some things leave me baffled.

I’ve yet to come to terms with “seasoning” your pots. I can’t help it. I always wash the pots and pans after I use them. I grew up in a home where you washed your hands if you thought about taking out the garbage. I could see trying to tell my mother about this.

Dave: See Mom. The eggs are enhanced by the flavor of the salami I fried
Mom: You’ve got a job? You’ve got money? Today’s eggs should be flavored with
today’s salami. What kind of germs are growing in this pot, anyhow?

I bought my first wok about thirteen years ago. I read the instructions twice. I thought they were kidding. I called a couple of friends and asked them about “seasoning”. They had no idea what I was talking about. Totally frustrated, I called Higbee’s house wares department and asked for the woman who had sold me the wok. She explained the concept but then assured me that if I chose I could still wash the wok normally. Praise the Lord.

In the years since, I’ve seen my fair share of cast iron pots, perhaps as much as ½ inch of something lining the cooking surface, sitting atop the stoves of otherwise clean kitchens. I admit that I don’t rush to eat in these homes. Oh these people appear healthy. But who really knows for sure?

I have three books from Jeff Smith, the Frugal Gourmet. One of them is autographed. He clearly advises to wash your pans in soapy water when you first bring them home and then to properly season them. “Never put soap in your frying pan again”, he writes. One more house to avoid at dinner time.

One day I’ll adjust. I’ll come to terms with seasoning pots. Of course with my luck, that will be the day they begin seasoning forks and plates.