The other day my mother gave me a piece of my childhood. Well, several pieces, really. I have been coveting her anodized aluminum pots since I was a teenager. They were sturdy, could go from the stovetop to the oven, and cooked quickly and evenly.
More importantly, I can’t remember a time when these pots were not in our kitchen cabinets and on our stove every night. I watched my mother cook what are still my favorite meals on them. When I was old enough, I used them myself. Granted, I mostly cooked sloppy joes or spaghetti (ask my brothers). But I grew quite attached to those pots and pans.
So how lucky was I that my mother finally got new pots and pans! When she called over and asked, ‘Would you like my old cookware?’ I squealed and danced around my kitchen. And when she brought them over, I whisked them all away for a private moment. After all, I couldn’t let her see me drooling. I could hardly wait until I cooked something with them. O, how dinner would be transformed!
And, they do cook better than the thrift store pots and pans I’ve been using, some since college. I still have to adjust how quickly they heat up, but my chicken tonight was golden brown and delicious.
But, after cooking with them a few times now, I realize there is more here than just old pots. These are old, familiar friends. I know the feel of these handles, the weight of the pans. I know this cookware.
When you return to the things of your childhood, they usually disappoint. The huge, wooden playground where you played Knights & Princess and Hide & Seek is so much smaller than you remember. And so old! That hilarious movie you remember with fondness is never as funny when you show it to your children. Unfortunately, even your children agree.
But, in the case of the wonderful pots, this hard and fast rule doesn’t apply. Unlike rewatching The Matrix and realizing how stupid and self-impressed it really was, these pots are still awesome after all these years. Thanks so much, mom, for the memories of home and love that I’ll always keep close with them. Until I get new pots in ten years that my daughter will covet.
I dunno, will I give ‘em up? If they make me as happy as these old pots and pans, yes.