Heavy cast iron used and maintained over the years. In those days you had respect for things; you took care of what you had - they were not disposable- not easily replaced. Often handed down to the next generations filled with memories of the home it came from.
My great-grandmother kept her large cast iron chicken fryer on top of the dryer in the laundry room. I recall visiting her, walking outside along the side of her little house and passing that very laundry room. Seeing the frying pan there always made me wander why it was stored there; lack of space seemed to be the answer.
She had a funny way about her fried chicken; kept it in a bowl in a kitchen cabinet- not the fridge. To this day I have no idea why- it was just her way. So many fond memories fill my heart; she and I were close and always shared moments together when I was up on the farm. Trips to town were special with her and she loved to shop; first stop- perfume counter, and yes, we must test every one. Mercy! she would exclaim, biting her tongue with a smile.
Far from home she traveled several times to visit us here in the deep south. I recall her staying with me when it was needed and teaching me house keeping skills when my mom was away; we grew close in those days. Nearly blind, she still worked quite hard for her age- snapping beans, shelling peas, or pitting cherries we could talk for hours while our hands kept busy about out task.
The old frying pan was passed to my mother many years ago and some time back came to be with me. A part of my great-grandmother comes with it; she was always precious to me. I never fry a chicken without seeing her sitting on a step stool nearby; ready to lend a hand or a bit of advice. Today we share a pan of chicken; farm raised, butchered by our own hands, and fried up just right- in loving memory of her...by way of ...her old chicken fryer.