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Tools/cookware you used to love


JAZ
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I recently went through my kitchen (details here, if you're interested) and got rid of a lot of stuff I realized I didn't use. As an aside, I worked for cookware stores for 10 years, so I had a lot of stuff to go through.

So, you'd think I wouldn't have much stuff in my kitchen that I don't use. And yet, yesterday, I was looking for a dish I could use to cool some chicken thigh-leg quarters. I thought of my Pyrex pie plate, which I always used to use for this kind of thing. I got it out of the cupboard and realized that it wasn't big enough, but I also realized that I hadn't used it since I'd moved. It was dusty in that way that an unused pan gets. Next to it was an equally dusty Pyrex casserole dish -- you know, the 8x4 or whatever it is, that fits into the basket thingie. I don't know where the basket holder went, but I do know that that baking dish used to be a workhorse for me. I used it for everything. Now? I can't even remember if I've used it since I moved.

Why did I stop? I have no idea -- I have more baking dishes now than I did when I bought those two pieces, and maybe that's it. But it seems strange to me that within a few years, I simply stopped using cookware that used to be a regular part of my batterie.

Another example: A long, long time ago, I posted about a new knife that I'd fallen in love with. It's not a bad knife, but now about the only time I use it is if my other chef's knives are packed (for class) or dirty. I don't know why I stopped using it, but it certainly no longer holds the appeal it once did.

Do I just have too much cookware? Does anyone else stop using things that they once loved, or at least relied on?

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I'm not sure whether, emotionally, I can survive confronting this issue. I'll attempt to do so, eventually. If I may introduce a corresponding phenomenon, though, by way of compensation, I'll note that sometimes I use a kitchen tool that has been dormant for years. The fact that this ever happens, no matter how rarely, consistently deters me from getting rid of stuff. I say, "Well, I pulled out the spice grinder after all these years, how do I really know I won't ever use the strawberry huller?"

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I'm not suggesting that anyone should get rid of cookware or kitchen tools they haven't used recently, unless one is moving or has very limited space. Now that I rediscovered those two Pyrex items, for instance, I might well start using them again. I just find it curious that something I used so often for so long became completely dormant in the kitchen.

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I'm lucky (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) to have a ton of storage space in my basement, so I have saved all sorts of once-loved items, but I am not a saver. Lucky, too, in that two very close friends have college age kids who have just moved into apartments, without much stuff. Lucky that the kids are also close friends (I'm the one these kids call when they need advice or are in trouble), so I have "lent" them all sorts of stuff. Feels good to get rid of stuff I loved, but don't use. It can always come back.

But, there are a few items which I will never part with, whether I use them or not. My greatgrandmother's cookie cutter collection. Some 100 cutters.

And, then there are the items you only use once a year, so I keep them. They aren't front and center, but then again, I have the remote storage space for them. Sort of like Xmas decorations, or those decorative holiday towels.

Edited by snowangel (log)
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Weiner tongs! I used to to think they were the answer to everything - then I discovered stainless locking tongs - and I can walk right past any weiner tongs I see in a thrift store. Funny thing is they still catch my eye - just don't feel any compulsion to buy them, and have unloaded any pairs I had in the house.

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We have a lot of storage at the farm...not in the house, but in the drive shed. A drive shed is called that because you can literally drive two transport trucks into it. So nothing really has to be discarded. DH is very happy. He has every nail, screw & piece of lumber he ever bought.

But I try not to be a hoarder. So I gave away, donated, discarded, etc so many kitchen and dining items that belonged to my late Mother after a few years. Right. However, now I have started my life in cooking and suchlike. And now I am buying them all back in second hand stores or for whatever price they now are: Salton hot trays, stand mixer, pyrex bowls and measuring cup sets, serving lidded bowls and utensils, etc. :hmmm:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I can relate to all of this. I, however, keep everything that is kitchen related. Other stuff is discarded but kitchen stuff is MINE, forever!

I am descended from a long, long line of "keepers" (so much nicer than hoarders) because who knows when something might, sometime in the future, become absolutely necessary, or even just handy.

Fortunately, I have a great deal of storage space.

There are a few things that I have been using regularly, if not daily, at least a couple of times a week, for thirty years.

I take very good care of my things and most have endured the passage of time in fine condition.

There are a few things that I used to use quite often but with one thing and another, often a new gadget that seemed better at the time, put them aside and didn't use them for awhile. However, from time to time a situation would arise where only that particular item would work the way I wished and so it was resurrected from its storage place, dusted and rinsed and put back into service.

Another topic, about a saucing spoon, reminded me of my favorite, for many years, saucing, tasting and etc., spoon - a "dressing" or "stuffing" spoon, twelve inches long overall, deeper and larger than a regular vegetable serving spoon and perfect for so many purposes. I retrieved it from its place, washed and polished it and used it yesterday. It just felt right and proper in my hand, an old friend and not soon forgotten again.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I think I go through phases - for a while I was in absolute love with the Shun Kaji Santoku and was using it for everything I use a chef's knife for...now I don't know how long it's been in its lovely presentation box while I grab for my 10" Wusthof chef's knife for anything but peeling an apple. Ditto Mag-na-Lite.... off and on indespensible, but sometimes years between uses.

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