Cast Iron Cooking

By Guest Blogger, Richard Wright of Daffodil Baking Company

Many thanks to Acting Mayor, Paula Smith, for inviting me to be a guest blogger on the Daffodil Township website. Very exciting stuff!

At Daffodil Baking Company I create quantities of my breads and cakes smaller than many bakeries, however I still have to use equipment and baking tools and utensils that work better for commercial kitchens. But what do I use at home? I love using my cast iron cookware. While cast iron skillets are great for sautéing vegetables or frying foods, I also like to bake in my skillets. There is nothing like corn bread with a slightly toasting edge that says “home-baked goodness!”

When I’ve told some of my customers about my love of cast iron for baking, they lament how difficult it is to care for cast iron. OR they tell me stories about some great old cast iron pots they inherited but they can’t use them because of the condition of their wares. I’m not going to go into details about those two aspects of cast iron cookware, basically because the good people over at Serious Eats have some great information that “bust the myths” surround cast iron cookware AND ways to breathe new life into vintage cast iron. Check out their great blog posts!


Cornbread in the cast iron skillet ~ looks a bit like Pac-Man!

Today I thought I’d share a recipe. This cornbread recipe came to me from Mrs. Eleanor Smith ~ once I tried this recipe I never went back. It’s like Daffodilians: Basic, with underlying complexities. Wholesome. And good. Enjoy!

Mrs. Eleanor Smith’s Not-Quite-Famous Cornbread

  • Ingredients
    • 1 cup cornmeal
    • 1 cup flour
    • scant 1/4 cup sugar
    • 4 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • generous dollop of love (she really has that on her original recipe card!)
  • Directions
    • Preheat your oven to 425
    • Combine dry ingredients and cut in butter to the course crumb stage
    • Add wet ingredients and beat till fairly smooth
    • Grease your 8-9 inch cast iron skillet with butter and set it in the oven for a few minutes
    • Remove hot skillet from the oven (use a mitt!) and pour batter into hot skillet
    • Bake about 20-25 minutes – top should be getting golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.

IMG_6518IMG_6521The key to the crispy/toasty crust on this cornbread is the hot, buttered skillet.

Always be careful!



Blueberry & Nectarine Crisp

I keep experimenting with what I can bake in my cast iron and last night’s Blueberry & Nectarine Crisp was a great success! What do YOU bake in cast iron?

See you at Daffodil Baking Company!

Out-of-Township Project

As summer winds down, everyone around town is busy, busy, busy! Kiddos are getting ready to head back to school ~ summer visitors to the Township are packing up their memories and making plans to visit again ~ hikers, bicyclists, and swimmers are enjoying muddling through the lingering heat and humidity of August ~ shoppers are discovering some of the treasures in our little shops in the township.


Well, gardeners are busy freezing, canning, and drying their produce.

It’s about this time of year that I casually “drop by” to see Petronella “Pickles” Smith ~ because everyone knows you can’t leave her home without a jar of her amazing pickles!

The savory goodness of the pickles of Petronella "Pickles" Smith!

The savory goodness of the pickles of Petronella “Pickles” Smith!

This year I was in for a surprise. Pickles had an out-of-township friend visiting (not TOO far out of the township…just Columbia!) and was I in for a treat! Laura Flacks-Narroll (Pickles’s friend) is on a mission to save a tomato. And not just ANY tomato, this is the Ivan tomato. Laura discovered this tomato at a bluegrass festival and has been growing it ever since.

Laura Flacks-Narroll, friend of Petronella Smith, seems to be a Daffodilian at heart. Here she is with a basket of Ivan tomatoes for her friend Petronella.

Laura Flacks-Narroll, friend of Petronella Smith, seems to be a Daffodilian at heart. Here she is with a basket of Ivan tomatoes for her friend Petronella.

But the seeds for this amazing tomato haven’t been available commercially for at least a few years now. There is SO much more to this amazing story, but the bottom line is that Laura is on a mission to save this tomato so everyone can enjoy the bounty of this delicious variety. She has teamed up with a couple friends and together they are creating The Ivan Tomato Rescue Project through their group, Victory Gardeners. The good folks at Victory Gardeners believe in biodiversity in our food as well as the healing power of gardening. Doesn’t this all sound like a project Daffodilians would believe in and love?

I encourage folks to check it out. I’m sure in the future we will see Ivan tomatoes growing in a lot of Daffodil Township gardens!

The tantalizing Ivan tomato!

The tantalizing Ivan tomato!

Doesn't this Ivan tomato make your mouth water? :)

Doesn’t this Ivan tomato make your mouth water? 🙂