Thursday, May 3, 2012

The right tool for the job

I've heard it said by many of my friends that they wish they had registered for their wedding AFTER they had already set up housekeeping...and I completely agree.  As I've been on my own more, I've started to realize how much I love cooking.  I've also started to realize that I'm fairly good at it, as long as I have the right tools.  Cooking is one area where I'm not willing to sacrifice for something that is good enough....having the right tool for the job really does make all the difference in the world. 

I've just ordered new saucepans for my kitchen.  If you're curious, I settled on these.  This will actually be the third set of sacepans Hubs and I have owned in our eight year marriage...three sets seems ridiculous.  We came in with one (we didn't register for a set, which is a story for another day) that the Hubs was using in his apartment.  We replaced those with a non-stick set that was part of a cookware set, and I was sorely disappointed.  The non-stick started flaking off despite the fact that I'm diligent about using wood, plastic and rubber utensils on them. 

What I've decided are two things: first, no more non-stick for me.  It's simply not going to last for a lifetime, and that's what I want.  I use my cookware every single day, and  need it to last and be durable for a good long time.  Second, no more multi-sets of cookware when I can buy only the pieces I need.  I like the cookware we bought before, but we have pieces we rarely use...I could easily have bought better quality of the things we need and avoided having extra stuff sitting around. 

I wish I had been a better cook when I made these decisions, so that I could have made the right one to begin with.  Sounds like I'm thinking about curating again, doesn't it!?  This part of the curating process is very difficult for me.  I am actually a fairly good decision maker...but I tend to make decisions quickly.  When I come to something that I need more information on, I agonize, get frustrated with myself, and tend to do nothing at all.  If I can't test out something I want, I avoid shopping for it all together.  If I think that something will not be what I want, I avoid it, too.  It really pains me to spend time and money on a product or a decision and have it not live up to my standards.  It's as much about the time investment as it is about the money. 

So the question is, how do I avoid this?  What's the best way to chose products we expect to last for a lifetime, without disappointment?  In the past year and a half we have had to replace nearly every appliance in our house (our new dishwasher is on the way as we speak).  (Related: COME ON DRYER, I KNOW YOU CAN LAST!  I KNOW YOU CAN!!!).  Each time, shopping for an appliance leaves me absolutely exhausted.  I cannot stand the fact that I am spending all that money on something I MIGHT NOT BE HAPPY WITH.  It has happened, and I really don't like the washing machine sitting in my basement right now.  But I live with it.  I wish there was a different answer, but there's not.  We live with it. 

We're planning on shopping for a new car this summer.  That ought to be fun. 


Anonymous said...

thoughts on pans.... Oh I hear you.

my theories (and yes I see you bought them already. don't worry I still wanna talk about it)

1. I buy them a piece at a time. I did get a few pieces from the wedding. My all-clad stockpot is everything I dreamed it would be.

2. I let my FIL buy them for me. He has discerning tastes. He only buys a made in switzerland brand that are 1 and 2 qt sizes so far. I have informed him I need a 13 inch skillet for next xmas.

3. I let my mom buy me an all-clad non-stick crepe pan. (I didn't have a choice, but I do love it.) It is 9 inches and I use it for everything from pancakes to simple sauces and.. crepes.

The bigger problem is planned obsolescence. And how manufacturers build it in now. And it pisses me off.

Coffeemomma said...

I guess what annoys me is how they sell "everything you need"...the set of cookware. In reality, it's actually NOT AT ALL what you's what they want to sell. I totally fell for that. Never again. BUT...I didn't realize it until I really really started to cook more, and cook seriously. Then I realized the beauty of open stock.