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Well, that's an idea

Lately I've been a bit discontented with various items in the kitchen. I have some stunningly good cookware (some of it inherited from my mother--1950's RevereWare still beats most of what is out there today for quality and durability), that I have either purchased, or inherited, or been gifted. But there are a couple of items I really want. Lately I've been talking myself out of them because "you're gonna die 'soon,' and it's not like you've got children to leave anything to, except the adopted ones who already have their own homes, and some of them have even better stuff already than you do, so really, how can you justify it." Of course, by "soon" I'm thinking in terms of 30 years or so, but over time the cooking part will gradually decrease (age and necessity have their inexorable effect). I mean, really, what do I need with an All-Clad turkey roaster. It's not like I have a family that comes home for Thanksgiving. Or Christmas. Or Easter. And I don't mean that in a "whiney-whiney-poor-me" way. It just happens to be my reality. There's the occasional time when nearly everyone comes over, but it isn't "that kind of thing."

But today I was reading the personal blog of one of my favorite authors, who is 66, and she was talking about how this last year she replaced a number of the pieces of cookware she's been using since she got them for wedding presents more than 30 years ago. And what a good thing it was that she had--how they cook better, save her time, and just give her more pleasure cooking than struggling with substandard performance in her cookware.

She's 66. She just bought 6 pieces of All-Clad and two Le Creusset. It is just her, and her husband, and the occasional visits of friends.

This reminds me of when Deborah wrote about learning to play piano.

So, I think, maybe, I'm going to go and buy myself a piece of good cookware. Even if I am going to die in a few decades. (But not a turkey roaster, I think. That'll be a pain to pack and move.)



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 13th, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
Go buy the cookware!
Jul. 13th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
One of my favourite arguments is, "If I buy it, I HAVE to use it." Ergo, the Dinner Party is born. Why wait for the everyone-comes-home events that happen according to calendar holidays, when you can throw Dinner Parties whenever you feel like it??

If you cook it, they will come. Just sayin'.
Jul. 13th, 2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
Well, if you roast a critter turkey, I'll help eat it. :)

Jul. 13th, 2011 04:03 pm (UTC)
Yes, of course you should do whatever gives you pleasure!!! I did have a very low period when my dream of living in the country was postponed til my kid is an adult (and no longer subject to custody) when I wondered if it would be worth it, since he wouldn't get to live there and I'd only be able to enjoy it for 30 or so years by then. Yes, I was nuts. So are you if an item that will give you pleasure isn't worth acquiring if you'll "only" be able to enjoy it for 30 years or so (and have no clear heir for it). If it pleases you once it is worth it.

Do I need to come and *look* at you? Silly M, you deserve pleasure every single day. More than once!
Jul. 13th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
We recently put away our every day dishes and put the fancy china into our every day cabinet. Sillyviking's sister is big on that - why save it for only one or two days a year??
Jul. 13th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC)
In preparing for the move we've pared down the things we really don't care about in the kitchen. We now have place setting for two. The glasses we love and enjoy, the mugs that are the right shape and size.

We also have a whole mess of cooking tools and specialty machines that we use on a regular basis and love to pieces. Yes, I do need three mild steel cooking knives, and I do need the crock pot and the rice steamer and the good tools that I need to be good.

But I can go through a crappy fry pan in a year and buy a new one next year for $18, and we can eat off of paper plates.

Once I found where the joy was in my kitchen, it was easy to cater to it and throw away the things that don't bring me joy. An investment in joy is an investment in joy.
Jul. 13th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
I'm tempted too. But it's SO confusing! How to know what's best from all the choices out there? And do I really need to spend $250 per piece for "good"?
Jul. 13th, 2011 05:26 pm (UTC)
After experiencing the difference between the $4 cookie sheet and the $40--yes, you do have to spend $250 for good (if you're talking enamel coated that you want to last, or metal that has beautifully even heat conduction). But you may be able to settle for "good enough," which could be less. It's all about what makes you crazy to deal with. For me it's pans that heat unevenly (which leads to scorching/under-cooked food), non-sticks that aren't, and casseroles that don't seal well.
Jul. 14th, 2011 10:51 am (UTC)
I had many of the same thoughts you posted, but I'm better now. Good tools are important and if they bring you joy, so much the better.

30 years is a long time to live with crap. Think of it that way.

Your post just made me look at my kitchen and smile when I looked at the great tools I own and think of the nummy dinners I've made.

Does Craigs List exist up there? you'd be amazed at what you can find for free or dirt cheap on there. So many people buy/get things they never end up using.

I think I'll go look for a Kitchen Aide stand mixer on there. I've always wanted one.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )