Wednesday, July 25, 2007

STL - Small Things in Life

While making breakfast one morning, which I'll explain, I was struck with the idea about the small things in our life we so often overlook and take for granted. I was cooking eggs when something struck my eyes while washing the dishes after cleaning the frying pan. I really don't clean it as you might expect but really just wipe it off and put more butter into the pan to let it melt. Then after stirring the butter around to cover the bottom I set the pan aside for the next time I need it.

You see it's a cast iron skillet, somewhere between 30 and 40 years old. You don't clean a cast iron skillet unless it's gotten burnt or very dirty from what you cook. Since I only use mine for fried eggs, it doesn't get either. So after cooking the eggs, all I do is wipe the inside bottom with a dry paper towel, add a pat of butter, stir it to cover the bottom again and set the pan aside on a cool burner. I occasionally "clean" the pan with a wet paper towel, and use a little extra butter to coat the inside.

Well, after this one breakfast, I put the pan aside and went about eating breakfast. When I washed the dishes I noticed a pattern from the butter (below). I didn't create this image but it was what happened when the butter hardened after melting and stirring. The butter makes some interesting patterns, and occasionally the pan thinks it's an artist. And whom am I to judge? I just photograph things.

But it got me to thinking about this skillet. It sits on one burner on the stove, a circa 1960's one at that, waiting for the next breakfast to make fried eggs with toast. Nothing else in life. Just one of those small things we have in our life that works when we want or need it, and waits in between those moments in our life. And so I decided to start a new series on these small things in my life. Nothing great or special, but just there.

And the art the pan left?

If you're wondering, the small pot/pan holder on the stove is called a trivet.

Years ago I got tired on living with former marriage cookware, so I gave it all away, except the cast iron skillet of course, and bought Calaphalon One Infused anodized cookware. And even if you're a simple cook like me, I can honestly tell you (near) professional cookware is worth the money. There really is a world of difference using it. And that's the one quart teapot in the photo along with the salt and pepper shakers.

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