Monday, January 20, 2014

Baby Step #4: Pots and Pans

Last Christmas, I asked for a set of good pots and pans. The ones I was using were the set that Anonymama bought me when I got my first apartment in 1988, and they were the quality that you'd buy for a twenty-year-old getting her first apartment. Twenty-five years later, I thought it was probably time to upgrade.

Also, I really, really wanted some cobalt blue ones.

I wanted to pick them out myself, so the Anonyparents gave me an Amazon gift certificate for them, I shopped around a bit and ordered a set of blue T-Fal cookware. When it came, it was so dark that maybe right under a light, you could see that they were blue, but any other time, they were black.

At first, I just felt like I was being picky, but then I thought, you know, for the next twenty-five years, every time I look at these things, I'm going to be pissed off that they're not blue. So I sent them back and kept looking.

Well, it seems that they don't make cobalt blue cookware, at least not in the price range that I was looking at. So I waited, and looked around every now and then, and waited, and started to resign myself to getting red, which is at least Shrike's favorite color, and mostly just kind of forgot about it.

Until several weeks ago, when I was making a bit Target trip, stacking and double- and quadruple-stacking sales and Target coupons and manufacturers coupons and mobile coupons and Cartwheel. As I was doing my research, I came across a 40% off Cartwheel offer for Gaida de Laurentiis cookware. Well, that might be interesting.

When I got to Target, it got a whole lot more interesting when it turned out that the set was already on clearance 30% off. And of course, I have a 5% Red Card.

So, I got this $129.99 set for under $60. Yeah, I can live with red.

Of course, the box then sat on the floor of the pantry until, well, today, because not only did I not have room for them in the cabinet, but I'd specifically promised Shrike (last year) that I would get rid of one existing item for each one in the set. New big pot? Goodbye old big pot.

That sounded like a whole lot of work, so there they sat.

But, new we're getting our shit together, right? And I had a bit of a deadline, because we have a bunch of stuff being picked up tomorrow morning (more on that in a bit), so I finally did it, with a little help from Peeper, who crawled into the corner cabinet, between the shelves of the lazy susan (or "round about" as she kept calling it) to retrieve things from the far reaches, where I never could have gotten.

I ended up throwing out (okay, they're still sitting in the kitchen floor, but they're going to be going) anything with a peeling non-stick coating, and giving away almost everything else. I kept the cast iron skillet of course, a bundt pan, a big flat skillet that I use for things like pancakes, because it's considerably bigger than the new "big" skillet, and a wok-style skillet, for the same reason (along the other axis).

I also threw out some disposable foil cookery and culled the cutting boards.

Once again I didn't manage any before photos (What is wrong with me? I should go take pictures of every cluttery part of the house right now, so I have them.) but here's the finished cabinet.

Top shelf, just the pretty new stuff!

The bottom shelf of the round-about.

I wanted to get rid of a few more things, so I tackled the mugs in the same cabinet where I redid the meds a few days ago. That middle shelf was full, and had things stacked on top of each other. The top shelf was things that we never used. So, most of the top shelf stuff is now gone, and the "backup" mugs from the middle shelf have move up, leaving just our favorites.

Yes, there are only two of us, and yes, we do usually drink out of things other than mugs, but we do host coffees and other MOMS Club activities fairly often, so enough mugs for several people isn't out of line.

Then, I went looking for other glassware that we don't use, and got rid of some souvenier glasses and even more mugs. A few were gifts, so I felt kind of bad about it, but if I haven't used them in so long that I didn't even know they were there, what's the point in hanging on to them.

Beside, I think that someone else will get a lot more use out of a mug that says, "Go Ahead, Card Me! I'm 21!"

(Thank you for the mug, LadyKay. It was a lovely gift, and I very much enjoyed it. Twenty-four years ago.)

When I finished there, I actually had some empty space on the shelf! What?!

I actually do have a plan for that space. There's some glassware in a cabinet in the laundry room that I just had to have, because it's cobalt blue. Four different sets, actually - wine glasses, tumblers, juice glasses and tall, skinny coffee mugs. (With the slanty-out sides. Do those have a name?)

As you can imagine, they are not being used at all, and I know that I need to either use them or ditch them, but I haven't brought myself to do it yet. I have this idea that someday, when Peeper is much bigger, we can use the tumbler and maybe even the juice glasses for "every day," and I really like the big coffee mugs, and . . . .

I didn't say my shit was together, I said I'm working on it.

Oh, the plan? Yeah, I think I'm going to move the wine glasses, or at least some of then (they're pretty wide) into this cabinet with the others, and see if we actually use them then. To be honest, if  it's just me and Shrike having wine (and it usually is) we tend to use those little glasses up front, because they're more sturdy.

So, we shall see what happens there, but in the meantime, it's all quite improved. I'm on a roll!

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