I Get to Talk About Cast Iron on the Eater Channel

The YouTube video interview I did on cast iron has just been released. What a super day I had discussing one of my favorite kitchen tools – everything cast iron! I’ve been collecting cast iron cookware since way back in the day. I still use the 9-inch corn bread skillet my stepdad gave me in 1952. I used my cast iron on the farm on my wood cook stove. I use my pans in my electric oven and on my gas stovetop today; actually practically everyday. In between I’ve used the big 5 gallon kettle to make chicken and potatoes on open fires at fairs and festivals over the years.

In January the fantastic crew from the YouTube channel Eater came to my house to talk cast iron history and cookery with me. It’s gratifying to work with such professional folks; and of course, I got a real charge out of working in front of the cameras and lights. I got to show off many pieces from my cast iron collection which is always fun. Here is the link to the The History of Cast Iron . Please enjoy it and like and subscribe to the Eater channel and to my Indigo House History YouTube channel. Thank you!


  • Christopher Renfro

    Hello Leni,
    My name is Christopher Renfro and I wanted to reach out and see if you might be able to help me. I was wondering if you might have access to James Hemings ice cream recipe? I’d love try it and make it for some of the youth in my community. I appreciate your work and find it valuable for our culture.


  • Leni Ashmore Sorensen

    Hi Christopher,
    The ice cream recipe in the Jefferson collection appears to have been dictated to TJ by his maitre de hotel in 1785. During that time James Hemings had just begun his various culinary apprenticeships in Paris.
    Ice cream was fairly well known by the elite diners for much of the 18th century (in 1792 one New York City vendor advertised he offered over 50 flavors!). This is not to say James Hemings never made ice cream when he was back at Monticello ( 1794-1796) teaching Peter. But the recipe he used was likely that he had learned from Adrian Petit. The several recipes that are unequivocally credited to James are the several ‘creams’ he made as desserts. These were not chilled but were soft milk custards flavored with coffee or tea, or chocolate, thickened with rennet. we can continue this conversation via information@indigohouse.us if you have more questions. Regards, Leni

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