When I was cooking the pasta for our pasta with pesto the other night, I was filling this pot with water and, though I don't often think about things like this, I realized that we received this pot as a wedding gift and I have probably used it at least once a week for the past 49 years.
If I could remember who gave us this pot, I would write them a letter and let them know how much I have enjoyed this addition to our kitchen for all these years. It has seen soups and stews, has steamed vegetables, baked casseroles. I can't think of a piece of kitchenware that I have used more.
But then I started looking around the kitchen at the kinds of things I use all the time and thinking about how much they have been used over many years.
This was also a wedding present. It's a Le Creuset casserole. It hasn't seen as much use as the pot above, but it has definitely seen it's share of casseroles especially stuffing on Thanksgiving and Christmas and home made macaroni and cheese.
I know who gave us this wedding gift.. It was a gift of Arnold and Eve Nordsieck, parents of our friends who just celebrated their 50th anniversary. Arn was a physicist -- there is an award named for him at the University of Illinois. But he was most famous among our friends for inventing a "death ray" that he said was really only good for opening potato chip bags.
Sadly, neither Arn or Eve are still around, or I would send them a thank you note too. Have you priced LeCreuset-ware these days? They sell it in our local supermarket. I think this casserole today would be over $200. I can't even afford a LeCreuset butter dish!
This was not a wedding gift, but it is the cutting board I have used for more than 40 years. And I smile whenever I think about how I came to acquire it.
Walt was out of town--I don't know where. I was at home in Oakland with our 4 kids, and was pregnant with David. We were having problems with our shower and I had called a plumber, who was going to come by and check it out.
Two couples called to ask if I could watch their toddlers (two of them) while they went out to dinner. I said yes. When they arrived, I was telling them about the leak in the shower. The shower backed up on a big linen closet and the guys decided that when the plumber came, he would have to go into the pipes through the linen closet, so to thank me for watching their kids, they emptied the closet for me so I wouldn't have to do so.
The plumber came, looked at the shower, tightened a couple of things and was out of the house without even opening the door to the linen closet, so I was left with the task of putting all the linens back into the closet myself. When the couples returned, they gave me this cutting board as a thank you. I cannot tell you how many chickens, turkeys, and roasts have been carved on its surface. I never take it out of the cupboard without thinking about our friends, whom we have not seen in decades (one of them has since died).
The workhorse of the kitchen is this Kitchenaid mixer. We got it when we were living in Oakland, so more than 40 years ago. In those days I made all of our bread and I can't begin to calculate how many loaves of bread it has mixed. Now I have a bread maker and I'm not sure I even know where the dough hook is any more, but it certainly was a godsend for bread for many years.
Then it did yeomen's work in my cake decorating years. It seemed that it was in use many times almost every day.
I can't possibly count the number of the batches of cookies it has helped me make, the number of batches of mashed potatoes it has mashed. It's a great testament to Kitchenaid that in all those years, with all that use, I think we once, many years ago, had to get a replacement part for it. And we've gone through several replacement paddles, but it's still running like a champ.
(The toaster in the background, was a gift from my cousin Kathy maybe 15 years ago. It doesn't work very well and I'd like to get a new one. We have gone through lots of toasters in 49 years and none of them has done the work that the Kitchenaid has, but they just have a short lifespan.)
I don't buy Tupperware any more. And I have enough Tupperware and other brands of oastic storage containers that I don't need to buy anything else, but when I look at this cupboard, I remember that probably most of the actual Tupperware that I own I purchased from our friend Concetta, when she was a Tupperware representative, more than 40 years ago (it's easy to determine times when all is either BD or AD, meaning Before Davis or After Davis. The Tupperware was BD).
She later developed MS and eventually was in a wheelchair for many, many years, before she died a couple of years ago. But I never open this cupboard without thinking of Concetta and the Tupperware parties I attended so many years ago. I miss that camraderie these days.
As an aside, we were at the Museum of American History building of the Smithsonian many years ago and I saw some of the Tupperware that is in this cupboard, and that I still use, on display there!
|Day 22: Happiness is a visit with a friend we haven't seen in 30 years|