By far the single favorite item in my kitchen and second only to an old jazz trumpet and good belt knife for favorite thing period.
Sure, it belonged to a raging alcoholic grandparent-in-law who has disinherited my wife for refusing to leave me. Sure, it was unceremoniously given to me as trash when their range was “upgraded” *chortle* to a glass top. Sure, it is an antiquated and heavy relic that should stand aside as aluminum/copper cored stainless reins over the land.
But it cranks out biscuits, pizzas, and other baked goodies galore. It eases a rough day with soft frittata and celebrates life with crusted chops. Crêpes come out irregular and delicious, pancakes become golden and ready for syrup. Turnips and onions lick up every bit of dripping as a spatchcocked chicken roasts over them. And a great popover emerges from the oven to section and devour with gravy beside the meal. Onions caramelize to sprinkle over everything and spices pop in oil to stir into a curry. Custardy slices of stale bread sizzle before ready to dust with powdery sugar or soak in some syrup.
A constant companion and talisman that lives on the burner. Always at my service. Its heft reassuring and its porous pools of black a protest against the sterility of stainless.
The skillet is not of my kitchen. My kitchen is my skillet.