Seasoned with age
Updated: Apr 28
I never was one to cook with cast iron. It seemed heavy, difficult to clean and I just didn't want to deal with it. That all changed when I was given a cast iron skillet that belonged to my great grandmother. I wasn't exactly sure if I would use it for cooking, I just knew I wanted to have it simply because it had belonged to someone do dear. It sat in a cupboard for a long time before I got the courage to use it. I did some research on how to use and care for the cast iron. Most of the instructions tell you to season your cast iron before use. Well, seeing as how this particular cast iron skillet was (we estimate) about 90 years old, I figured it was already seasoned with age. I did scuff it up a bit with some steel wool and gave it a quick bake with some cooking oil on it, just in case. My first meal prepared in it was delicious and I use this skillet as much as possible while cooking for my husband and family. The heat from the stove gets evenly distributed throughout the entire skillet, sides and all. The nature of such metal is; iron is a great conductor of heat. This left me with no doubt that whatever I cooked in it would be done to perfection.
The heft of the cast iron can be cumbersome, but the weight of the memories attached to it, makes it all the more valuable to its owner. Many fried chicken dinners prepared in it, carefully, by the most gracious of hands. The same hands that held a tattered and worn leather-bound Bible while she would read to us from it. My great grandmother lived a very humble life that came with many ups and downs. Born in 1908 she would marry young, have four daughters, and became a single mother by the mid 1930's. She was left with caring for my grandmother and her three sisters alone, had to get a job, sometimes two to provide for them. To my knowledge, she didn't leave room for complaining, she simply did what she had to do. By the 1960's she was living near my grandparents, helping to care for my mom and her two siblings. She had married again, but became a widow not long after. Remember the tattered and worn leather-bound Bible I mentioned? This Bible would give her the peace that passes all understanding time and again, and she used it to pass along this peace to us kids. I am in possession of this Bible. Its leather cover is barely hanging on at this point, pages missing, some just stuck in their place. It may be tattered but it is still the very hefty, weighty and seasoned with age all mighty word of God. Like the cast iron, the word of God gets better every time I use it. I use it in my quiet time, I use it when I need to go to the Father for anything in my life. It is tried and true. The word of God is the telling of the overwhelming, never ending love that God shows us when we don't deserve it.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 NIV. Here is the King James version: Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
This proverb contains an object of a sharpening action. One person can be used by God to help the other. The incentive here is to be mutually beneficial. Both pieces of iron must work together to accomplish the desired goal. That was the motivation. Both items/people needed sharpening. When a fellow brother or sister in Christ is hurting, suffering through something, or just needs to talk, this is where the iron gets sharpened. My use of the cast iron skillet and the word of God, represent to me this verse. Using each as a way to hone two separate skills, but both beneficial. The skillet will feed our hunger, while the word of God feeds our souls. Food is comforting in times of sorrow and grief, and often brings people together. The word of God is alive and active and can feed/fill any void we feel at anytime. Using the two together, well that's just an added bonus to doing this life with another, whether friend or family.
My great grandmother may not have had much most of her life, but she lived a seasoned-with-age life armed with the word of God, and could cook a mean batch of fried chicken in her well seasoned cast iron skillet.