Cookware That Makes Me Happy!

I know it’s the feminine way to be excited about gifts such as roses & diamonds. (Well, I do like roses.) However, I’ve never cared about acquiring fancy jewelry as much as great cookware. It doesn’t really take a lot to meet my needs for our meal preparations, & I have a small kitchen, so I try to make the most of my space by not collecting sub-standard pieces.

My favorite cast iron skillet

My favorite cast iron skillet

In college, I began cooking a little. I used a few pans I picked up at a yard sale. I remember that one of them was Teflon, in bad condition. The others weren’t much better. A few years later, a co-worker told me that her parrot died as a result of her using a Teflon pan for only a few minutes. That was the beginning of my interest in safe cookware.

Of course, now that I cook daily, I am also interested in utensils that cook well, heating evenly & not interfering with flavor. As I have used different kinds of pans & such, I have come to favor certain materials for certain purposes. Some of my all-time favorites were given to me over 20 years ago by my step-mother. They are a set of enamel pieces that are past being well-worn. They are actually scary-looking now.

My old enamel pan, which really has to go soon!

My old enamel pan, which really has to go soon!

So, my son, Lee, gave me a new enamel Dutch oven for Christmas. Now, this is a gift I can get excited about! Just holding it in my hands is sort of wonderful. My husband also gave me a new pan– it is a skillet which is coated in ceramic. I am less familiar with the skillet, which is called “Bialetti” than the “Lodge” Dutch oven; but I am very happy to have both.

Christmas presents: a red Dutch oven & blue ceramic-covered skillet

Christmas presents: a red Dutch oven & blue ceramic-covered skillet

I also use stainless steel, cast iron, ceramic, & glass cookware. As it turns out, this is precisely the recommendation of Weston A. Price. You can see his complete list of dietary guidelines at westonaprice.org. It’s worth reading about this man, if you haven’t yet. He was a dentist turned holistic health expert who seems to be a forerunner in the field.

Stainless steel collander

Stainless steel colander

Looking at mercola.com, you can discover some valuable information about cookware (and a host of other topics!) as well as a source from which to purchase great quality kitchen ware. Dr. Mercola mentions the dangers of PFOA, found in non-stick coatings, and also the causative link between aluminum (used in many cooking utensils) and Alzheimer’s disease. He also discusses the toxins that are released by cookware into the air we breathe, & deplete the ozone layer.

Great glass & ceramic pieces

Great glass & ceramic pieces

It is not my wish to be alarmist, but it does make sense to me to use materials that are safe. As it turns out, I find the basic materials I mention above to be superior in every way for my purposes.

Ceramic "baking stones" from Pampered Chef-- love these!

Ceramic “baking stones” from Pampered Chef– love these!

So, that’s the gift I wanted to tell you about– my beautiful new, red, enamel Dutch oven. Now, I have to go cook! Happy New Year!

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6 Comments

  1. Pampered Chef is terrific, I have a few of their items, including the pizza stone-fanastic. My other favorite is their large white spatula, it is stronggggg. I liked this post and I am going to look into some of your purchases for myself. Thanks

    • Thanks for reading! Yes, I’d have a whole lot more Pampered Chef stuff if I had a bigger kitchen.

  2. I would like to know how your co-worker got her parrot to use a teflon pan.
    (P.S. – You do amazing things with those pans…)

    • You are too funny, as always! I’ve heard, by the way, that this phenomenon was not unique, & when you acquire a parrot from a reputable place, it usually comes with a warning not to use non-stick cookware. I just figure that if it’s so bad for the birds, it’s not good for anyone, really.

  3. Sara

    Hi Mollie – I applaud the idea of creating a safer home, and because there’s so much misinformation out there about the Teflon® brand, I’m not surprised that you are concerned. I’m a representative of DuPont though, and hope you’ll let me share some information with you and your readers so that everyone can make truly informed decisions.

    Just to let you know, fumes from any type of unattended or overheated cookware, not just the Teflon® brand, can damage a bird’s lungs with alarming speed. Additional information can be found on our website Pet Bird Safety (www2.dupont.com/Teflon/en_US/keyword/birds.html).

    I hope you find this information useful. Best, Sara.

    • Sara, thank you for responding! Yes, I have heard that other non-stick cookware can pose a danger to birds, and I confess that I know little more than that. Any information is good to have, & I hope my readers want to be informed about all the options, as I do. I am so pleased with the materials I mentioned in this blog, that I will not be purchasing any non-stick cookware, Teflon or otherwise. But I certainly do encourage everyone to cook more at home, whatever cookware they prefer. I believe that home cooking is generally an affordable & healthful pursuit.

      I will take a look at the resource you have provided. It’s great that DuPont has addressed this.
      Again, thank you!
      Mollie

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