Think about being the 'woman of the house' in 1875 and getting ready to move west, whether to Texas or even on out to California. There are no fast food joints along the way. All the cooking will be done on the trail. Trail fare will mostly be bacon, beans, biscuits, cornbread, and possibly pancakes, or gruel.
If she was taking no other cooking implement with her, the woman would take her skillet, or, as some might called it, frying pan. She would use it to fry her bacon and make her cornbread over an open campfire, with smoke in her eyes and children running through the camp. I love to read, and write, about those adventures, but I am thankful for my own kitchen.
I think of those women every time I use my old cast iron skillet. It is a staple in my country kitchen. My favorite skillet is fairly old, though not old enough to have been 'on the trail' with anyone. My grandmother bought it about 45 years ago at a yard sale in California . She passed it on to me when I married 31 years ago. Maybe someday I will pass it on to one of my daughters, or maybe a granddaughter.
Do you have an old skillet that you love to use?
I'd like to share the recipe for our favorite skillet cake. Hope you enjoy it! To clarify, there is no baking powder or baking soda in this recipe.
Grease your skillet very well, or line it with aluminum foil and grease that. The foil can be used to life the cake out of the skillet.
Pecan Skillet Cake
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vanilla flavoring
1 cup of chopped pecans, divided
2 tablespoons of sugar
Preheat oven to 350 and grease skillet.
Stir sugar into melted butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add flour and salt to batter, mixing well. Stir in vanilla and a half cup of chopped pecans. Spread in skillet. Top batter with the rest of the pecans and 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes, until top is slightly browned. Cool in skillet. Remove and enjoy! Do not overbake to point of dryness--this is a heavy cake and should be slightly doughy and moist inside.