Every kitchen seems to have a collection of inexpensive, battered cookware that, despite its aesthetic and functional shortcomings, continues to be used. But, as Lee Hilton points out, these ostensibly inadequate pot, pans, and baking sheets often have a sentimental value that rightfully prevent us from throwing them away. Hilton relates:
“My Aunt Martha offered a more personal take on kitchen relics. She was the most accomplished cook among my female relatives as I was growing up. She wasn’t a fancy chef, but her family always had freshly baked biscuits for breakfast, and I could rely on homemade cookies if I stopped by her house on my walk home from school. She often allowed me to help, and one day as we cooked together, I was surprised to find in her utensil drawer a mangled and discolored plastic spoon, and asked her if she didn’t want to throw it away.
She told me she would never get rid of the spoon, and explained why. Aunt Martha, who hadn’t cooked much of anything before she got married, decided to make scrambled eggs for breakfast the first morning after the honeymoon. She was stirring the eggs in the skillet, and she noticed that the spoon seemed to be going deeper and deeper into the eggs. It was melting. She never threw it out, and now she leaves it in that drawer as a reminder that she wasn’t always a good cook. ‘It keeps me humble,’ she said.”
The entirety of Hilton’s New York Times article can be found here.