Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Handing Down Wisdom

As everyone with children knows, handing down your hard earned wisdom to your beloved offspring is a tricky thing. It is best to teach by example and keep your mouth shut. In the first place, no one gains wisdom by merely listening. If it were so, only one person would have ever electrocuted himself since the beginning of electricity.

If human beings cannot learn to rely on their own discernment then we would truly be sheep, dumbly following leaders only incrementally smarter than ourselves - maybe following someone only meaner than ourselves. No, wisdom can only be gained through personal experience.

My daughter is in the process of selling her house and liquidating all of her superfluous material goods. I understand the necessity for taking action and the financial need. Though I was somewhat concerned she was maybe taking it to the extreme, she is a full grown, motorcycling, self-supporting woman who can cuss almost as well as her mother. She knows what she is doing. At least, that is what I thought until she admitted she had sold all of her cast iron skillets. Now I am certain she has gone off the deep end.

In the first place, cast iron skillets are the only way to fry bacon to perfection. The microwave makes it tough and stinky. If you put cold bacon in a cold cast iron skillet then gently increase the heat, the resulting crisp bacon is a work of culinary art. The only fried chicken and gravy fit to eat is created in cast iron. In a very hot skillet, a KC strip can be prepared that is almost as delicious as charbroiled.

In the second place, anything can be cooked anywhere in a cast iron skillet. You just need fire and something edible. Cast iron skillets probably tamed the West, if the truth were known. They never wear out. I assume they can be cracked or broken but I have never managed to destroy any of my skillets. I know they can withstand extreme heat. When I wash mine, I place them on the stove to evaporate the moisture quickly, then wipe oil in them. Several times I have forgotten them on the stove, over high flames, for a long, long time. The strange smell of exceedingly hot metal alerts me. (Heat destroys the seasoning, but it does not seem to damage the iron.)

In the last place, a person should always be prepared for some form of anarchy or Armageddon these days. Should society descend into chaos, the sheep in possession of cast iron skillets will rule. And, you can smite your enemies with a heavy skillet.

My daughter should have realized something was up when her cast iron skillets sold like hot cakes - when every one of them sold! Oh lord, lord, I should have taught her better when she was just a child. "Never sell your good cast iron" should have been included with such familial gems as: "If you want a good husband, do not look in the bar or the church" and "Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly is to the bone".

2 comments:

Li'l Ned said...

Poor dear. You are so right about cast iron skillets, though I hadn't fully thought through the part about 'if the world descends into anarchy, those with cast iron skillets will survive/win'. I have always treasured the memory of a news article I clipped from the paper and put on the refrigerator for a while. It told of a mother who took up a rifle and shot her own grown son because he had Washed Her Cast Iron Skillet With Soap. Killed him too, the idiot. Predictably, this was in Kentucky, North Carolina or other similar state where the value of cast iron cookware is fully recognized. You can tell your daughter she is lucky you only berated her. It could have been much worse. Of course, she only sold HER skillets -- not yours.

Jackie said...

Shooting that varmint son could have been in Kansas, maybe some of my own kin twice removed. Kansas just isn't that different from Kentucky! lol

My daughter spent 9 years as an outlander, so technically she probably isn't a true Kansan any more. (She probably has her greedy eye on my cast iron, too!) ; )