I read through the cookware poll, but I'm still a little lost. Maybe not lost, just intimidated. We've got nasty cheapy pans that I'm hoping to replace with cast iron this year. I have a question about the cleaning though. I see MP (god love her) has written about reheating water, wiping it clean and reoiling it before storing it away. My question is... a few years back I was making breakfast for my inlaws while visiting and my sister in law pulled out a cast iron pan. I said I should probably wipe it out, since it looked disgusting. I just wiped it out with a towel and she yanked it from me saying I cleaned it wrong. She dumped about 1/2 cup of salt in it and scrubbed the heck out of it. What's that about? Is that really how you're 'supposed' to clean a cast iron skillet? And secondly, how exactly do you 'season' cast iron? I see someone said make a bonfire and chuck it in. Is seasoning really heating it to a certain degree? I thought it was developing some sort of 'shell' on the pan itself... Sorry if they're repeat or stupid questions, I just thought since many of you are using it, maybe you could help me.