It’s been nearly a year long matter of contention between my husband and I; an ongoing battle of wills you could say. Unwilling to listen to his reasoning I’ve been stomping on the ground like our toddler daughter when we tell her it is time to give “blankey” a bath. We look at the blanket and we see a dingy stinky pink square of fabric, while she gazes longingly at a necessary commodity of comfort and security. “It is time,” he begins as he sifts through various brands and styles of cookware for our kitchen.
“I don’t understand the need,” I urge him. They are quality pans, they look great, and cook fine, what on Earth could be his reasoning?! So I decide he hates them because they were a gift from my first marriage. He must have an issue with the memories that must be attached. I mean who has memories attached to the pots and pans? Yes, perhaps I picked them special for my first kitchen, which I painted with light green walls, teal cabinets, with orange and red accessories.
They caused an uproar with my now ex-mother in law with her sister as they both purchased a set for us as one of them forgot to erase them from our registry at Target. Distraught first over receiving two (just another errand to run in order to return them accompanying the mass amounts of wedding planning I had left to do) I ended up enjoying the fact that there were two. For the next ten years there were many kitchen fires they survived unscathed, many dinners cooked, many candles crafted. During the divorce my ex-husband insisted on keeping one of the sets, and I refused, so much so that I actually used the time of a district con call to sneak into his apartment and steal them back.
For Christmas this year I was gifted a new set of Rachel Ray pots and pans. These were charcoal gray with red handles. I looked at our kitchen decorated in red and copper, and I started to think perhaps he didn’t see how the bright orange saucepans fit in with our theme. But he had only witnessed a portion of the many different themes I managed to make these vessels blend into. From Lubbock, to Houston, to Dallas, back to Houston, and onto Alabama, these pots and pans have seen many settings in a decade’s time. I placed the box on the edge of my bar, still unwilling to give up my fight for my bright orange cookware.
This Valentines I was gifted a Kitchen Aid, an egg boiler, an air fryer, and a large wooden cutting board from Williams Sonoma made special for baking. I looked at my already cluttered kitchen of crockpots, blenders, food processors, china, toys, homeless gadgets, receipts, magazines, avoided unopened mail, and the other miscellaneous things the nanny has spotted around the house. I open the cabinets to find them stuffed with dry goods that date back as far as Halloween of 2014. It was time to purge and reorganize the kitchen.
In the efforts I finally opened up the new Charcoal Gray Rachel Ray set. As I sat on the kitchen floor I held the saucepans side by side, the gray one had no black burn marks up the sides from multiple fires. There was no strange white film on the inside from the crafting of soy candles. There were no scratches and scrapes inside them from years of moving and shifting, perhaps Josh was right, how had I never seen these imperfections before now? As baby steps I placed only one of the sets in the box of the new cookware in order to store to use later in my crafting. I placed the new pots neatly and nicely in the bottom cabinet just next to the stove.
I started to become sad for the state of my pans, how could they have become so banged up? Then I started to realize the time that has passed, the miles they have spanned, the hands they have exchanged, and I began to appreciate the quality. If it had not been for Josh’s insistence these pots were true quality in my eyes, and will continue to be.
What is your definition of quality?