Along with the double boiler, I inherited a cast iron skillet from my grandmother. Recently I noticed that someone had vigorously cleaned it, thus exposing it to the beginnings of rust. Before we left on vacation, I slathered it with oil and let it season again. Now it has returned to its nonstick surface acquired after years of use.
The pan is rather pedestrian looking, and one day I wandered into a high end kitchen store and saw some lovely enamel clad cast iron frying pans. I eyed them for a while, then asked the salesperson if there was any advantage, besides looks, for the very expensive items. She assured me that the old pans worked just as well, better in my case since mine had been seasoned for three generations. I suspect she won’t last long in sales with this candid offering of advice!
Cast iron cookware suffers in the marketplace from its inexpensive price and its ability to last forever. This makes it an unlikely candidate for our society’s emphatic stance that newer is always better. Just the same, I will continue to stand by my pan, especially now that I have confirmed that the new ones are no better. It has a nonstick surface(unless heartily scrubbed), retains its heat well, and is said to impart a little iron to the food it cooks. And every time I use it I smile remembering its history.