After nearly nineteen years of marriage, I’d like to think I’ve learned something about not just my own spouse, but about being married in general. One of those lessons is that a good spouse is one who can keep the other in check, balanced, and grounded. And vice versa, of course.
Introvert and extrovert. Left and right. Yin and yang.
I can’t tell you when exactly I became a die hard fan of cast iron cooking. It came on gradually and evolved proof-wise from an ever-growing, ever-expanding collection of pieces and recipes that validated my obsession.
I can tell you that my wife has been — tho largely supportive — mostly skeptical of the effort and has never fully jumped into the crucible of molten iron that is my cast iron fandom.
Insomuch as she has enjoyed the results of my cooking efforts, there have been a wave of negs from the gallery, commenting on their weight, or the space they occupy in our cupboards, trotted out like a curious exhibit for visitors who get a peek into the cast iron cupboard.
Then last week I found her cooking dinner having unearthed a Teflon frying pan from the depths of our pantry.
Or, yin and yang.
“You’re using an old frying pan?” I asked.
“I wasn’t in the mood for a heavy one.” She replied.
Don’t get me wrong. She knows very well that there are jobs for which a cast iron pan is just a pan and others for which cast iron is king. This past weekend she led the charge for Father’s day, frying up a sizzling pan of smoked pork chops fried to a crispy finish in my ten and quarter inch Lodge.
But her convinced quotient still leans the “sorta” column whereas mine is camped in the “fully convinced” lot.
Her caution is the balance to my obsession.
And for any stray reader who stumbles upon this website or post, perhaps googling a query like of “how to convince my wife to switch to cast iron” or “great reasons to buy your first cast iron pan” the advice I would offer is simple: maybe you never will. Maybe you never should. Maybe you only need to convince yourself and then just cook. The proof is in the pudding… or pancakes. And anyway, who cares if no one else does. Do you and find joy where you need to.
We have a cupboard full of cast iron and I use it almost daily to prepare our meals, bake our bread, or grill up interesting things to share. Years on, my spouse still doesn’t quite get it… and maybe she never will.
Maybe that balance is a good thing.
It reminds me to enjoy and use the pieces I have, to keep learning new skills as to bring her closer to team “fully convinced” and overthink it all to maintain that balanced yin and yang of a good marriage cast in something probably much stronger than iron.