About 20 years ago, at an antique mall in Redlands CA, I spied a nice looking, not restored but in really great shape, #8 cast iron skillet. It was flat as a pancake and perfect, with no pitting or rust, just an honest layer of seasoning from a lifetime of proper use! “Black gold”! I flipped it over to find the small Griswold logo. I looked at the tag and it was only 15 bucks. Even though I already had a Griswold #8 at home, this one was in much better shape and I knew it would cook well. There was simply no way to pass it up. I brought it up to the checkout stand and the woman at the register asked where I found it. I said in “section G”. She said, I’ll give you 20 for it. I said “No, I really want it.” She said, I’ll give you 50 for it, I said, “Sorry.” She then said, “I can’t believe I missed this one, you’re stealing it.” Flash forward to last year while packing up the camper for an adventure. I asked, “Honey, where are my 2 Griswold #8’s?” She replied with “Those crusty old black things? I threw them out.” (Insert loud needle on vinyl scratch here!) I just about cried. For my birthday the little lady bought me a new set of Smithy’s. I’m all about vintage everything but I have to say, these are damn fine skillets. Better than vintage in two ways: They retain heat better, due to the extra weight and the ultra-smooth finishes enable them to cook like well-seasoned pans right out of the box. Now a year in, they are simply sublime cooking machines! Some custom Jebster recipes and cast iron cooking tips are coming soon!


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