Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Right Pot (Bowl, Platter, Plate) for the Job

Do you have certain pots, pans or dishes that you use specifically for one thing? Not that you couldn't use another pot or plate for the job. But some things just seem to be made for specific uses, at least in my kitchen.

Take, for example, my big, deep Griswold #10 skillet. This boy (I'm sure it's a he) has seen better days. The bottom is pitted, probably from being left outside in the weather, or filled with water for an extended period of time (not by me but by its former owner). That doesn't stop it from being a most useful pan, just like my wrinkles don't make me ready to discard either. This is my spaghetti sauce pan. I use it occasionally for other things, but when it's time to make spaghetti, down comes the old Griswold. When I got it some guy (had to be a guy) has greased it with, guess what? Grease--not the kind you find in the kitchen, but the kind you find in the garage. It took a lot of cleaning to get that mess straightened up.

A small round cast iron pan with a bail handle is my fried apple pan. It's just the right size, heats perfectly and the handle stays fairly cool in the cooking process. It also has a lid, so the apples can be moved to the back of the stove and stay warm while I finish cooking breakfast. This one is also my white sauce pan because I can keep the sauce from scorching in this pan but don't have the same luck with my stainless saucepans.

The gray granite pan is my soup pot. It's not the only pot I use for soup but when I am making a small batch this is my go-to pan. I just like the way the soup looks in it, homey and comfy and old-timey.

Then there is the piecrust bowl. I have had this stainless bowl and two smaller ones like it since I was about 19, I think. The large one is just right for mixing piecrust and also for making biscuits. I like the ring grip on its side that allows me to hang it with the pots.

The 10" cast iron skillet is the jack-of-all-trades, isn't it? My favorite use for it, besides cooking bacon, is to make grilled cheese sandwiches (which it did just before I took this photo, and gave me the idea for this post). The bread toasts evenly and slowly, allowing the cheese inside the bread to melt nicely.

My big stainless skillet is the saute pan. I like it for rice dishes where the veggies are sauteed and then the rice added. I also like it for making pancakes because I can fit a lot in this pan at one time.

The smaller stainless pan is the perfect fried-egg pan. A quick spray with olive oil and the eggs cook beautifully and slide out easily. Beside it is the small copper-bottomed saucepan I like for boiling eggs-just right for 4 eggs for our morning breakfast. And under it is one of the best pans you'll ever use to make cornbread. It makes crisp, light sticks shaped like corn and oh so delicious.

What's your favorite pan, and what do you use it for?


Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

8 comments:

Nance said...

I do have "go to" pans. I enjoyed this post. My most specific use, never to be gotten rid of pan, is my heavy 40 yr old Everwear 2-qt saucepan. It lost its handle years ago but I have a metal grip thingy that works and this pan is used for Popcorn and for my cream pies. It heats evenly and is heavy enough it doesn't burn the pudding. It is a sorry looking thing . . .

Mamabug said...

My favorite pan is a small cast iron skillet that is slick as glass and it doesn't get used for anything but cornbread! Won't even let hubby touch it not even to clean it!

Granny Sue said...

Ah, but those sorry-lookin' hard-workin' pots are what make a kitchen look like a real cook lives there :)
I never make cream pies, Nance, but I'd sure like to try one of yours!

Granny Sue said...

Oh Mamabug, I know that pan. I use the same round cast iron skillet I use for grilled cheese. There is nothing like corn bread from a cast iron pan.

Sue said...

Yep, yep, yep. I even have a special pot for boiling eggs!

=)

warren said...

My wife is a little more flexible in this area but I remember my mom and grandma being very particular about pans. Even my aunt had a sauce pan that was only used for making her fudge...it was awesome fudge so I never doubted her choice. I only cling to my one cast iron skillet...only I touch it and I am brilliant when I use it ;-)

storytellermary said...

You've made me hungry with the pans and your descriptions. I need to find one of the corn stick pan behind the egg pan . . .
For now, I use two cast iron skillets the most, but if I don't have time for immediate cleanup, I use a non-stick pan that can sit around and soak without being harmed.

Quinn said...

I use Pyrex for just about all the cooking I do. For frying something small, like a couple of eggs or a grilled cheese sandwich, I use a little blue Pyrex skillet - the kind with the clip-on handles. For anything that needs a big pot, like pasta or soup or dyeing yarn, I use a yellow Pyrex pot.

I have one piece of silverware that belonged to my Grammy. It's a sugar spoon, and it sat in a drawer for years and years before I figured out that was no way to appreciate a treasure. Now I use it for one special task only: stirring up the sugarwater for the hummingbird feeders. Makes me smile every time, thinking of my Grammy who was a very sweet lady :)

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