THE DIRT

THE DIRT

Our New Year rant on cleaning your damn pans.
January 21, 2022
WINTER FOWL

WINTER FOWL

At the turn of the 20th century, iron foundries were commonplace around the Chesapeake Bay. In fact, here, one of the first furnaces in the United States—Principio Ironworks—supplied cannons and cannon balls to American troops during the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 before creating products based on its stone’s throw proximity to some of the world’s best waterfowl hunting grounds: cast-iron decoys.

December 20, 2021
THANKS BE TO OYSTERS

THANKS BE TO OYSTERS

Looking out over our backyard on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, there is a quiet creek where the past, present, and future of the Chesapeake Bay converge. By the first of November, most local watermen have traded their crabbing pots for a single iron oyster dredge, and their deadrise workboats will now ply the brackish waters in search of an iconic keystone species.

November 23, 2021
THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND

THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND

We know he’s not exactly a household name, but we owe a lot to Benjamin Thompson. Sir Benjamin Thompson, to be exact, though known by most as Count Rumford is the man to thank for most of our modern meals, our 21st century kitchens, and—without a doubt—our cast iron. (He was also a bit of a turncoat, but that’s another story.)

October 27, 2021
OLD FRIENDS

OLD FRIENDS

We admit it: we’re tired of winter, but even by the end of March, we could always use one more fire. For the cooking, of course, but also sometimes just for the friends we gather around them, especially after this last year.
March 18, 2021
THE SUMMER, ODDS & ENDS

THE SUMMER, ODDS & ENDS

What a different world now compared to the last time we sent you a Butter Pat Standard Edition. “Wow” is an understatement, and the “novelty” of the novel coronavirus has definitely been worn the hell out.  
October 12, 2020
THE GREAT TALL TALE

THE GREAT TALL TALE

In true Southern fashion, it’s a good story, but cast iron was not actually born in the South.
February 24, 2020
THE SCIENCE OF CAST IRON

THE SCIENCE OF CAST IRON

We chat with Southern chef Sean Brock about the thermodynamic properties behind the pan.
November 22, 2019
THE INCREDIBLE EGG

THE INCREDIBLE EGG

Maybe you knew it as “eggs in toast.” “Eggs in a hole,” or “eggs in a frame.” Or perhaps the more common but still curious “toad in a hole,” or “frog in a pond.” But whatever your family called it, at some point in your life, you ate this egg dish of many names.
October 21, 2019
NUMBERS GAME

NUMBERS GAME

What’s in a number? It’s a question commonly asked when it comes to cast iron, as these symbols—6s, 8s, 10s, and so on—were often inscribed onto the handle or bottom of many an antique pan.
August 30, 2019
LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF CAST IRON

LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF CAST IRON

We know we might be a little biased, but we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, especially coming out of the historic month of July that holds our great nation’s Independence Day: the cast-iron skillet should be on the American flag. 
August 06, 2019
LEGS AND ALL

LEGS AND ALL

When the calendar flips and the mercury climbs, the brief season of spring brings forward a thousand fleeting treasures of the Chesapeake Bay. It is a time of emergence, then abundance, and before we know it, the ephemeral.

June 11, 2019