Today is the Release Date for Modern Cast Iron, and I’m celebrating with a special Q&A with my good friend, author Kristen Hogrefe Parnell. Kristen has supported my writing from the very beginning, so I’m thrilled that she’s sharing her platform to introduce Modern Cast Iron to more readers.
Q: What prompted you to write Modern Cast Iron?
It was totally a “God thing”! I had been using and researching cast iron for years for the health benefits and nostalgia of it, but it wasn’t until I met the publisher (Red Lightning Books) at a book expo and saw their amazing lineup of books that I thought, “A book about cast iron would really fit here!” In a moment, God gave me the complete idea for the book—and it came out just as He planned!
Q: Why do you think cooking with cast iron is relevant and beneficial for today’s generation?
We’ve been using lightweight aluminum and chemical nonstick pans since their introduction in the 1970s, and now we’re becoming aware of the potential health issues associated with those products. In contrast, cast iron doesn’t leach or off-gas any harmful chemicals or fumes. It only leaches iron, which is something our bodies need anyway.
Plus, I think there’s a “back to basics” movement going on right now where young women are looking to capture the simplicity and wholesomeness of past generations. Cooking in cast iron is a way great way to do that because we’re able to recreate the recipes our grandmothers made and enjoy the nostalgia that comes along with them.
Q: You shared that Modern Cast Iron isn’t a cookbook but a guidebook. Explain what you mean by that.
Most cookbooks these days are filled with hard-and-fast recipes featuring the trendiest ingredients that are only available at specialty grocery stores. It may be fun to watch chefs prepare those meals on TV, but it’s not so fun to shop for them or prepare them on a busy weeknight.
Instead, Modern Cast Iron is a guidebook to all things cast iron, from selecting the best pan for your kitchen to cleaning and seasoning your pan. Of course, the book includes a bunch of recipes—fifty, to be exact—to pique your interest and get you started. However, those recipes are rather simple and can be easily modified to fit your diet and nutritional needs.
Q: What would you tell young adults who don’t feel confident in the kitchen? How could this book help them?
You can now get a copy of Modern Cast Iron wherever books are sold!