THE SUMMER, ODDS & ENDS
Sitting close around a fire, sharing dishes in the dark corner of a noisy restaurant, going to weddings and funerals and picking up oblivious kids who make those occasions as much about the future as the past—all that seems so far away.
At Butter Pat, we’ve adjusted, like you. Because what choice do we have? Moving and adapting decades old foundry practices with massive equipment was no simple task for the people who actually make our pans. But these are “get it done” kind of people. They make things, and they make things happen, and a virus isn’t going to dampen that spirit.
Though we are still far behind with 14” Lili pans and the flat-bottomed Homer pots, we are making cast iron again. And we’ve found a new U.S. manufacturer for cast glass, thus a new lid is in the works for the 12” Joan.
Meanwhile, like it or not, like you, we’ve been spending much more time cooking—and cleaning—which has given us new ideas for our seasoning process. Stay tuned.
One silver lining of all this is that it’s been a time of reflection, about a lot of things.
After a summer spent hiking on the Appalachian Trail in 1974, I moved into a rustic cabin on Cherokee Mountain in Tennessee, with nothing inside but an ancient enameled wood stove, made by the Wrought Iron Range Company in the late 1800s. She was a beautiful beast, used for both cooking and heat, and the sounds in the cabin that fall was that of cast iron scraping across her cooktop. The stove was the heart and soul of that cabin, and it kept me warm when everything in the outside world seemed brittle cold.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that time and place lately—the routines of heating water in the stove’s copper reservoir for a bath (yup, no indoor plumbing), of banking the wood - which better be hickory - just right to keep the coals going until morning. But mostly, the food. It just seemed to taste better.
That cabin still stands, though it now has indoor plumbing, and that beautiful stove is long gone. I can still see the name, enameled around the temperature gauge on the oven door: Home Comfort.
Reading notes from customers, from all over the world—just this morning, Rwanda — Home comfort, that’s what we hope, however long this takes, for all of you.
Dennis T. Powell - Founder