The Frying Pan Diaries: Part 1
Would you believe that over the last few days I went to no less than five stores looking for a simple black cast iron pan and I came up empty-handed every time? After some rather disappointing hunting yesterday that had me sulkily indulging in some chocolate mouse cake, today I made my way home after work with my much sought-after prize. I haven’t named her yet, but I think she’s deserving of a name. I’ve been going on about this for a few posts and maybe it’s a teeny bit annoying, but if you’ve ever ended up with a cooking disaster because all of your eagerly anticipated dinner stuck to your cookware, you’ll know why I’m excited about this new frying pan.
With a tasty loaf of bread and the last two Tofutti cheese slices in the whole house sitting in the fridge, I knew exactly what to test out the new pan with – a vegan grilled cheese sammie! *cheering!* What a waste of cheese and bread, I thought, if this doesn’t turn out. But I oiled the pan, set the heat to just higher than medium-low, and set to buttering my bread. When the pan was warm enough, I laid the bread in the pan and a whisper of a hiss rose from it. I waited, patiently, for a few minutes. As I waited, Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries erupted in my mind. Then came the first test – would the spatula slide easily under the bread? Yes. Yes, it did. Next was the fateful flip. One, two, three – and there, smiling up from me from the pan, was a perfectly golden and crisp little bread face (cue the big sigh of relief). There was still the other side of the bread to crisp, though. So I waited and flipped again. And once more the grilled cheese sammie and I smiled golden smiles at each other. It really was that exciting.
The sammie taste test ended in me snarfing down the crispest grilled cheese sammie I’d had since my mum used to make them for me. And that was a quite a long time ago.
But that wasn’t even dinner. No, dinner still had to be made. Calling my name from the depths of my frosty freezer were dreamy Field Roast Mexican Chipotle sausages. Now, this is really a test of the frying pan because these were the last of anything Field Roast we had, and none are likely to be had again soon since there’s no one in Canada selling them on a regular basis (we have the fine folks at Karmavore to thank for our Field Roast joy). Seitan forbid if the sausages stuck to the pan. There would be many tears over this, most of them shed by the man of the house.
The sausages were sliced, the pan heated up, and then we were all systems go. Again a slow, quiet sizzle escaped from the glistening pan as I slid the sausage slices off the cutting board and onto its inky surface. Once more I patiently waited. I thought to myself, “If this is a success I’ll be getting very friendly with some French toast on Saturday morning.” When it was time to flip the sausages, I reached for my spatula with trembling fingers. With a few small flips their perfectly browned bottoms surfaced, and then I swear there were angels singing – right along to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. (and while looking for a sound clip of the symphony, I came across this totally priceless video of the Muppets’ Beaker meeping Ode to Joy.)
Today turned out to be a very happy day. There is a new kitchen goddess in my house, and she can grace my stovetop whenever she likes.