Cast-Iron Cooking

A. D. Livingston, Author Lyons Press $12.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-55821-115-5
``I hide my favorite frying pan whenever my mother-in-law comes for a visit,'' reveals Livingston ( Good Vittles ) in his preface. Why? Because ``the woman means well, but, of course, scrubbing a cast-iron skillet is wellnigh (but not quite) the worst thing that you can do to it.'' Livingston is right, yet his pages are so filled with backwoods machismo that his book could as well be titled Iron Man Cooks with Iron Pan . A Southerner fond of hunting and fishing, the author is most at home on a campsite, not in the heat of a kitchen. For example, instructions for sourdough biscuits baked in a cast-iron Dutch oven detail raking coals over the lid--but give no instructions for adapting the recipe for a conventional oven. Most camp cooks don't use cast-iron cookware, due to its heavy weight; for those who cook in a well-stocked cabin or trailer, cast iron is well suited to searing fish and game. Livingston helpfully outlines techniques for blackening foods, from chicken, beef and hamburger to redfish. He knows the lore and care of cast-iron equipment, providing instructions for seasoning (or ``sweetening'') cast iron to ensure that it serves as virtually a nonstick surface. And his list of mail-order resources for cast-iron cookware is comprehensive. Still, how many consumers will take the time to prepare a recipe for ``Sheep Stew'' that calls for 60 pounds of fat lamb, just for starters? Illustrations not seen by PW. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Paperback - 151 pages - 978-1-59921-981-3
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