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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Last of the cast iron

I am always out and about searching for a deal.  Recently I have posted about getting a second set of cast iron for our house.  We keep our good chineese cast iron set at our weekend ranch and my wife needs a set at the house.  Currently we have two skillets at the house we picked up at Canton Trade days last month.  Now I am wanting to get some really rough and rusty stuff to play around with till I can find a good dutch oven, flat iron, and maybe a cornbread flat.  Well I came upon a gentleman that had a nice pile of rusty skillets that looked to be a solid 30 to 40 years old.  He told me ten bucks a skillet and I knew that was over the top priced for these suckers.  I threw him back five bucks and he said he would do five bucks if I bought them all.
Now the magic of shopping at flea markets, trade days, or garage sales is that you need to be there on the last day or when they are packing up to move to the next gypsy fair.  I learned this from an old friend that told me people don't want to pack all these goods up and move them to the next location.  So if you catch them while they are packing up, they are more willing to sell at a discount than when they are unloading the goods.  He said cash is alot easier to carry than merchandise.  This guy tells me he buys whole estates and sells them at events like this.  You could tell these were estates because he had anything and everything.  Well I wanted the skillets really bad and he had already come down 50% if I took them all but, I did not need six skillets for 30 bucks so I shot him the offer at 20 bucks takes them all.  He said that sounded fair and I had a backpack full of fresh rust to clean.
That price works out to 3.33 dollars a skillet.  Now I am challenged on how to get these irons in good working order.  I was really wanting to get a dutch oven, skillet, and flat iron to clean but beggers can't be choosers and this was an oportunity knocking.
I am signed up to teach a dutch oven cooking class coming up in December and I have been to this class three years in a row now and it is pretty much a session on basic things you can cook in a dutch oven and basic care of cast iron.  I want to spice this class up with showing the attendants about how to restore rusty cast iron and how to find cast iron.  Back to cleaning cast iron, it is daunting of a task to get a brillow pad, veg oil, and elbow grease and get six rusty skillets back into good shape.  I decided to do a little research on the web for easier alternative ways to clean cast iron and came across people who clean using electrolysis.

http://www.gcica.org/ElectrolysisMethodbyJohnBelden.htm



This electrolysis method is very mad scientist stuff but looks really fun to do and easy as well.  Plus using the electrolysis method is fairly cheap as well.  I can't wait for this weekend to try this out.  What is the worst that can happen?  I ruin a 3.33 dollar piece of cast iron?  I don't think so, you can always take cast iron back to square one and start all over.

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