It’s not every day you watch people throw cast iron frying pans across an ice skating rink!
This weekend we attended the 3rd Annual Chattanooga Skillet Curling Championship, at the Chattanooga Choo Choo’s Ice on the Landing skating rink. The skillets were provided by Lodge Cast Iron.
The event was a two day event, and we went on Saturday, the first day. There were many teams to start out with, and we watched teams get eliminated as the morning went on. The teams consisted of members of organizations, businesses, etc.
I thought that we might have stayed for 20 minutes before growing bored of watching. However, we had a great time, and watched for over an hour and a half.
The teams were competitive, and the crowd got into the games as well.
It took a few rounds of watching to figure out the rules. It was slightly different than actual curling, because there was no colored target on the ice. Instead, someone threw a lid, and that lid then became the target. The team’s pans that were closest at the end won points for that round.
Trying to hit a moving target made it tricky! There were some times when the pans would flip over, and land upside down on top of the lid. There was no luck for the other team that tried to get the pan off again!
Our pots and frying pans all seemed to lose their non-stick coating all at once, making it really frustrating to cook. We have been looking at different cookware options but couldn’t settle on anything.
I looked into Lodge Cast Iron, which is a nation wide brand, made right here in Tennessee.
Cast iron seemed like a great alternative, one that would last a long time, and I thought it would be a good thing to support a local brand.
Since Lodge Cast Iron’s foundry and main store are only 40 minutes away, in South Pittsburg, I looked into what else we could do for the afternoon.
We arrived in South Pittsburg right before lunch, and enjoyed a few minutes walking around what looked like their “main street” (actually called Cedar Ave.) and snapped some photos. There were some stores open, but we did not stop in.
South Pittsburg is home to the National Cornbread Festival, held every April. This year’s festival was cancelled due to the coronavirus. I would like to visit again for next year’s festival, if possible.
For lunch, we had originally planned to each lunch at a to-go coffee shop called Dragging Canoe. Repurposed in an old bank drive-through building, you can only walk up to the to-go window to order, and eat outside. We thought this was a perfect option in order to stay safer and keep our social distance. However, it was closed for the holiday weekend!
Instead, we ended up at Stevarinos, an Italian restaurant. I had a delicious Mediterranean pizza. Everyone wore masks, us included while we ordered, and the tables were all spread far apart. It worked as a plan B.
After lunch, we headed to the Lodge Cast Iron store. We bought two pans, a small one and a large one, and a dutch oven. For the dutch oven, and the larger pan, we bought factory seconds, meaning that there was a small imperfection in the casting, but it will still work just as fine. We saved a few dollars that way. The larger pan has a neat buffalo nickel design on the back.
Our last stop before going home was to stop at the edge of the river and snap a quick photo of the Shelby Rhinehart Bridge. We took that bridge home, into New Hope, Tennessee, instead of the highway, and we enjoyed some great views of the mountains around Nickajack Lake.