Cast Iron Cooking Pans

These two cast iron cooking pans were passed down to my mother from her grandmother, who herself received them from her own grandmother, my great-great-great-great grandmother.  According to the story that has been passed along with time, these pans were the very first items that my great-great-great-great grandmother purchased upon arrival to America.  The chef of the family in Croatia, her special goulash was a staple meal for the cold nights when the entire family would gather around the dinner table.  Having carried her recipes with her into New York, her first order of business was to ensure there was a way to cook for her husband and three children in the Bronx, where they ended up living for many years. As the story goes, on the way up, she spotted them in a market across the way, and immediately purchased them, then having to carry them all the way up to the apartment where they would be put to use.  I love how this story reflects the deep running value of food and meals in my family, which has been preserved for so many years, and the value placed on bringing the family together.  These pans, though they surely have seen better days, are still in remarkably good condition.  Not six months ago, my mother used them to make the very goulash that they were bought for.  I hope to someday bring them with me into my own home.  They are a standing testament to the power of food in bringing people together.

Place(s): Croatia

– Matthew Tomko

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more