Welcome the new additions to the family:
After moving into my first apartment, the only room I felt I knew how to outfit appropriately was the kitchen. I had 3 rooms to furnish, and ended up spending over half of the money I’d saved on the kitchen alone. By the time it came to pots and pans, I just didn’t have the money or the cooking desire (at the time) to afford spending $500-700 on a set of All-Clad stainless steel pans from Williams-Sonoma.
So I turned to the tried and true: T-fal, the pans I grew up with. I got an 8-piece set (2 skillets, 2 sauce pans, and a dutch oven) for around $50. Miraculously these little aluminum nonstick pans have lasted over 4 and a half years, but they’ve also started to show their age. Since Stephanie and I have been having a lot of fun cooking lately, I decided it was time to see about upgrading.
The only problem is, All-Clad and their Williams-Sonoma brethren still cost an arm and a leg. So I consulted the excellent resource that is A Cook’s Wares: Choosing Pans. I spent a lot of time rereading their recommendations and poring over their benchmark pans—when I happened to take a gander at what they considered a best buy: The Chef’s Classic Line by Cuisinart. Which happens to offer a very shiny 10 piece stainless steel set for $150! Lord have mercy.
But oh, it gets better. So I had to hold myself back from just buying them on the spot. I worried they might be too shiny (as if there could even be such a thing). For no apparent reason (probably to read buyer recommendations), I looked to see if Amazon had them. They did! For $112! With free shipping! With 5-star recommendations! And if I spent $125, I’d get $25 off! Me shopping for pots online at 2am involves a lot! of! exclamation marks! So in the end I ordered an additional nonstick 8″ frying pan ($25) to complement the set which with their discount I essentially got for free. I placed my Super Saver Shipping™ order (saving another $25) for this 20lbs box around 2am Tuesday morning. The pots arrived today at lunch! I carried the box home on my shoulder from the bus stop!
And most importantly, the inaugural meal: tortilla soup, courtesy of a spice mix that Santa left in my gigantic stocking.