This is one of my favourite cooking vessels. Nothing beats a cast iron skillet for browning pretty much anything. It gives that lovely crisply seared exterior to anything my favourite carnivore prefers. Because of the nice even heat it provides, this pan is also perfect for any sauce or gravy I am whipping up. It's also nearly indestructible as long as it's treated right, cleaned properly and oiled up afterwards. I've had this one a long time. As I recall, it was a wedding present which means that I've been using it for nearly 24 years.
It does have a downside. It's heavy. Really heavy. This is not something you want to accidently drop on anything. It would absolutely break tile, my lovely granite countertop, the pretty farm sink or my toes. And it conducts heat like nobodys business so it gets hot. Really, really hot which is terrific for cooking but when that handle gets hot, yikes!
I've been just wrapping the handle in either a pot holder or a tea towel but that is a little awkward and bulky. If I don't wrap a towel just right there are thin spots where the heat burns through or it's too loose which makes it easy to lose my grip. Pot holders get thin after awhile and I have to either use two or fold one over which makes it again easy to lose my grip. My hands are small and, on bad arthritis days, they are not cooperative or particularly strong. We have had a few close calls and near misses. I kept thinking that there has got to be a better way!
Enter one of the greatest kitchen inventions ever!
I do not know what this cute little mousie is actually called but I love it. It fits over the handle perfectly, it is not awkward or bulky and is padded enough to keep me from burning my hands or dropping the pan. And it's adorable. Bonus! I found this at a local store called, Venice Trading Company, when I was shopping one day with my sister. At first I wasn't absolutely certain what it was, but thought it was cute. I eyed it furtively, wonderingly and finally curious enough, picked it up. What was it used for? Then it dawned! Perfect for fitting over the handle of my cast iron skillet! I didn't buy it then but I couldn't get the idea of it out of my mind. There was no sign claiming any great kitchen solution. There were no promises that it would do cure lumbago or ease traffic congestion. There wasn't even a label saying what it was called! And I wondered if it would perform as I suspected.
I went back, considered it more and finally bought it. I couldn't wait to try it out. Frankly I was worried that I had just thrown $8 bucks away but I was happy to be wrong about that. It works great! My skillet mousie is my new hero.
The pan is still hot when I cook. The pan is still heavy. But never again will I worry about dropping it or burning my hand through a thin towel or pot holder. Skillet Mousie to the rescue!
I do not know who invented this but whoever it was, was a genius. Probably someone, like me, who was tired of fumbling around with potholders and tea towels. See there is the difference between a genius and me. I recognize a problem just fine. This is an issue. But it never dawns on me to create a solution. The genius recognizes the problem and then resolves it. Awesome! Thank you unknown genius. You and your skillet mousie are my heros today!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.