We've had this pot in our kitchen since 1988. That's the year Lillian moved in with us. Lillian was my mother-in-law, and I couldn't have asked for a better one. She shared her recipes, her stories, and her love with me.
After she suffered a stroke, and it became apparent that she could no longer live on her own, she moved in with us. Packing up and letting go of her things was very difficult. With the advantage of time and age, I now have a better understanding of just how hard it really must have been for her.
As we were packing up her possessions, my sister-in-law, Rina, said to us: “Oh, you've got to take this pot. It's the perfect pot for making popcorn.” How could I refuse? At that moment, not taking it would have meant rejecting a great deal more than a silly old pot.
And so, this unattractive pot made its way into my kitchen. Boy, have we ever used it! We've made countless batches of popcorn, and cooked many, many pounds of spaghetti in it.
Brillo pads have given their lives in sporadic attempts to improve its looks, all to no avail. But lately, it's gotten even uglier, after my son tried putting it through the dishwasher. The Brillo pads have finally raised the white flag. Now the wooden handle is getting loose - too much glucosamine and chondroitin maybe . . . It's been way past time to retire this old friend, but I hadn't yet found THE ONE . . .
And then, serendipitously, I saw the pot I want to spend the rest of my life with. Here's the replacement already hard at work. It's a 4-quart saucepan from Emeril Lagasse's Cookware.
Shiny stainless steel, with a copper-clad bottom, two pouring spouts and awesome handles! And check out the lid below!
There are holes on opposite sides to drain liquids, and it has a glass top so you can peek at what's cooking without lifting the lid. By the way, I'm perfectly aware that I'm going on about this pot like some people talk about their cars . . . to each her own . . .
My husband, a very sentimental guy, grumbled a little about getting rid of "a perfectly good pot." Sometimes, all the logic in the world won't stand a chance against sentimentality. Now he says I'm probably the oldest thing in our house that connects him to his past. He has such a way with words. I reminded him he still had some of his father's tools in the basement - if he could remember where he put them . . .
But we used the new pot today, and I let him drain the pasta. No complaints were forthcoming (translation: it's probably better than he expected). He even washed it after dinner. Voluntarily. Without any prompting. I may just have to go out and get the rest of the set . . .
This recipe appears in the book "Under the Tuscan Sun," but I first read about it on a dear fellow blogger's post, Linda, fromMore Fun Less Laundry (isn't that a great name for a blog?). Her Tuscan Menu and Tablescape is a lush, mouth-watering assault on the senses, and one of my favorite posts ever. It inspired me to go out and get the book.
The custard was love at first bite. I've made it several times and served it in various ways. Here, baked in Emile Henry mini ruffled pie dishes . . .
They were also a hit on Christmas Eve served with a dollop of whipping cream . . .
Thank you, Linda, for the inspiration! Here's the recipe:
Peel and slice 6 medium pears (or peaches or apples) and arrange in a buttered baking dish.Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar.Cream 4 tablespoons of butter and ½ cup of sugar until light.Beat in 1 egg, then 2/3 cup of mascarpone.Stir in 2 tablespoons of flour last and mix well.Spoon over the fruit.Bake at 350° until just set, about 20 minutes.Serves 6 generously.
The local stores stopped carrying my favorite cosmetic wedges . . . Why, oh, why does this seem to happen all the time? We get used to a product and before you know it, it's either discontinued, or the stores stop carrying it, or it just simply vanishes without an explanation . . .
I use a foundation base every day; it evens out my skin tone, and helps moisturize my skin. And these are the best little sponges I've ever used. They are so soft, and just the right size. I spent a year looking for them, while trying out alternative wedges. I know this sounds silly, I mean, we're talking about cosmetic wedges here, but it's such a small indulgence, and it really made the makeup application so much easier in the mornings . . .
I'm here to tell you that not all wedges are alike, some are scratchy, some have an unpleasant odor, some are too small, too big, or the shape doesn't fit my hand well . . . some come in a big bulky package, not a flat little bag like this . . . Yes, I know, I've given this matter wayyy too much thought . . .
After a year of using other brands, I found a wayward package buried in the back of a drawer! Happy day to me! I've really missed these little guys . . .
That's it! If I couldn't find these locally, I'd just have to go online . . . Amazon to the rescue!!! Why didn't I think of this sooner??? In a few days, I had a bunch of them. In fact, I may have gone a little overboard . . . It'll take me over a year to go through these . . . Ahh . . . that's all right . . . I'm happy to have a stash . . .
Happiness is the little things in life . . . like soft cosmetic wedges . . .