For the past few years, the official end of summer at my house is not a holiday but "Book Rush" at the bookstore. It is two to three weeks of chaos and frenzy followed by time on the sofa watching DVD's (or napping)!
In the past, this is how I earned my money to purchase items on my Priority List. This year the income will go to food and gasoline. Now that is what I call a priority. :)
Part of the paycheck from the last Book Rush went to the purchase of new cookware. Kathleen asked for a reminder of what I had purchased. It is quite difficult to believe I've had them for six months now! I LOVE them! After thirty-four years of keeping house, I am convinced owning good quality cookware (knives, etc.) is necessary to enjoy the process of cooking. I've cooked with cheap cookware and that is when food gets burned easily.
I had budgeted to purchase a complete set of Wolfgang Puck cookware on sale (my daughter likes her Wolfgang Puck set and I have an omelet pan of his, purchased at Goodwill, that works great). However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized what I needed was not in the set. Here is what I ended up buying: 1 Cuisinart 12" skillet; one Cuisinart 12" saute pan with lid; and I purchased on sale... one All Clad large saucepan. I could only afford it because it was one of the kitchen store's specials that month for about $90.00. They later told me they put one All Clad product at a great sale price each month.
The Cuisinart pans are made for the home cook rather than the restaurant chef but I find mine work very well. The 12" skillet and 12" saute pan are the best to purchase since they are nice and big. That was the reason I decided against getting a set of anything, none of them came with a 12" pan (at least at the time). I didn't want the nonstick interior and as long as I've sprayed them with something like Pam or poured a little oil on the bottom, I've never had anything stick. I can also saute items or add other ingredients and then pop it all in the oven. For the three items, I paid what I brought home from one week's work at the bookstore. Money well earned...
What can I say about All Clad? There's a reason that is the choice of professional chefs throughout this county. It's simply wonderful to work with. (Same with Henckle and Wusthof knives). I have heard, though, that a lot of professional chefs buy inexpensive omelet pans with a nonstick finish because they get beat up quickly regardless of price. I can see that as in my own home, with just three of us, we go through omelet pans and have to replace them every few years. Although, the Wolfgang Puck omelet pan that I found at Goodwill is holding up great.
My other cookware item that I use all the time, every day in cold weather, is my ancient Le' Cruset dutch oven. It's chipped now and the outside discolored but it still works fine. It was a gift for my 10th anniversary (yes, we just celebrated our 34th year).
Kathleen, I hope that answers your question! :)
I also hope you all had a chance to click on some of the links at the end of my previous post about my Scrapbook Journal. They will take you to many lovely pictures to inspire you to put together your own. My original scrapbook is about eight years old and I love to get it out and look through the pictures when I need something beautiful to think about. I don't actually write in it, it is all magazine pictures and poetry I've printed out. My scrapbook journal is fairly new. I find I write in it a lot some weeks and then set it aside for others. At least when I want to write in it, it is ready.
Picture: Under the Sunflowers by Robert Duncan; allposters.com