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Anyone Else Cookware Obsessed?

I think I have a problem. I admit it. I have an unhealthy obsession with cookware. I love looking at it in stores, watching it being used on cooking shows, looking at fellow Chowhounder's pics of their cookware, buying it and, of course, cooking with it. Just when I think I have every piece of cookware imaginable, I'll see something else and say to myself "wow, the things I could do with that!" On the bright side, I don't spend hours a day focusing on it (well, maybe sometimes) and I certainly haven't gone into debt for it (my Mom loves this stuff too - she'll come over every once in a while with a gift - LOVE her!!) And, I like to tell myself that as long as I'm happy and I make my family happy along with me by cooking great meals for them, it's ok, no? Anyone else out there like me? Any support groups out there? (Not that I would actually join - no way am I ready to kick this habit).

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  1. I tried to set up a support group here, but instead they laughed at me :)

    5 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      That's like setting up an AA meeting in a tavern ;-)

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Oh my goodness! I have a Chef's Choice sharpener I haven't used yet. Now I'm worried that I'll end up having to join your support group as well. I don't own a stone - don't know how to use one. Maybe I should start looking into them and learn? (See what I mean??)

          1. re: sherrib

            Oh my. I didn't know OCSKD is contagious. What have I done to you? Oh humanity!

        2. re: sherrib

          Thanks for the laughs.

          BTW, when is the next cookware anon meeting ?

          "Hope that it is at Sur LaTable or J.B.Prince"

      1. Hi, sherrib. Love to read your post. I do not think there is a support group here as they more or less share the same tendency you have:)

        A good part to me is that my partner is not at all a cookware obsessed, to him, whatever cooks it is fine :) so he always throw a good question to me if it is really necessary almost whenever he see new things in our kitchen. I think it is very good to balance if both of us are obsessed, there is no one to stop:) In this sense, I like the article of NY times of minimum kitchen, which someone mentioned before. Through reading conversations hrere, I sometimes notice that I really do not need the gadget and I can do it by being creative and using the tools I already own. Someone mentioned that he uses Silpat as a lid/cover for cookware in oven. I was amazed how creative he is.

        I don't spend any hours for research or being here, either. For me the time to buy cookware and kitchen related is usually from December (after X'mas) to Mid March, when I can easily find good deals and values. So, my main obsessed time for new things in 2010 is going to soon end. Life is short, time you can eat/cook well is limited. There are way too many good recipes to try :)

        2 Replies
        1. re: hobbybaker

          I read that NY Times article and kinda agreed with it (sorta). (By the way, I can easily get all wrapped up in a regular restaurant supply store - I don't discriminate - every range of cookware should have it's time in the spotlight as far as I'm concerned!) To me, it's just FUN and also motivating in a strange sort of way. Don't get me wrong, I do use everything I own (and well) - no point in lusting after it if you're never going to do anything with it. My obsession time will also be coming to an end soon enough. Spring is near and with that I will be ceremoniously taking the cover off the barbeque grill. Hmmmmm, maybe I'll need new accessories for it . . .

          1. re: sherrib

            Shreib, No, you don't need any new grill accessories. I can send my partner to you so that you can fully explain to him why you need it and stay to be balanced. Joking:) . However, exactly the same thoughts on the grill. Just cannot wait. Enough snow and slow-cooking meals. What I need is warm spring and sunshine:)

        2. I'm fine, I just need one more piece ;)

          1. Oh. Lord - I can so relate to your obsession. I justify it by telling my husband that he gets fab meals from my kitchen, so he should be so very happy I have everything I need. Of course, this collection has evolved over so many years, like a slow drip that he ignores! Ha. I did inventory one time and realized just how much I have. (See... slow drip. :-))

            I can now spend money on quality ingredients.

            I can't wait for grilling season to get me out of my kitchen!!!

            5 Replies
            1. re: breadchick

              breadchick - I can clearly imagine how you continued with your justification. Yes, he got a fav meals and that way we save $ for going out for dinner at mediocre restaurants. I can cook better than they do if I have this and that :) That's how I got my All-Clad and LC mostly:) That way, when we go out, we tend to go to really a good one where they serve what I cannot cook by myself. I like to spend more on quality olive oils and vinegars etc as you also mentioned. This makes a lot of difference.

              1. re: hobbybaker

                hobbybaker: "I like to spend more on quality olive oilds and vinegars as you mentioned."

                Aha, another one. May we presume that you have learned to specify olive oils pressed from 100 percent Moraiolo cultivar olives grown in Colli Assisi-Spoleto of DOP Umbria? (Our friends think I am crazy.)

                1. re: Politeness

                  Hi, Politeness:) - I know it is a deviation (Sorry for OP) but what olive oild do you use if you want to bake an olive oil cake like this? Recently, I bought this:
                  By the way, this book below is excellent. I just love it. The author is from portland, Oregon and talked about the berries available there. I am obsessed with this book almost for 6 months. If it is too much deviation, you could answer me in the thread in Homecooking, too. Thanks:

                  1. re: hobbybaker

                    hobbybaker: "... what olive oild do you use if you want to bake an olive oil cake like this?"

                    We have not tried the recipe, but the Moraiolo cultivar to which I alluded upthread falls within the "fruity" category that the book's authors recommend. Trampetti is one such oil, and it is superb. The importer of Trampetti is a company called Ritrovo located just south of Seattle, and the importer has arranged with Trampetti to make a second-line oil from the Frantoio cultivar and Leccino cultivar olive trees on the Trampetti property. (Some of the trees are hundreds of years old, and you do not waste them to make a Moraiolo-only olive oil.) We use the Ritrovo/Trampetti second-line oil as our primary olive oil; it, too, is fruity, but it may have too peppery a finish for that cake recipe. Or -- possibly -- the peppery finish could make the cake even better; you will just have to try and see for yourself.

                    hobbybaker: "The author is from portland, Oregon and talked about the berries available there."

                    A good place to be from: that is our location, also. The berries here are not merely available; in some cases, they are a nuisance. There are few more aggressive and hard-to-remove weeds than blackberries. On the other hand, we have the world's best strawberries, which are too juicy to ship, so they must be consumed right here, during the three days or so of the year that they are ripe and ready for picking.

                    1. re: Politeness

                      Politeness - Oregon sounds an excellent place to live. I am jelous about fruits in Portland! I am a big fan of strawberries but not ones in my area. The best strawberries to me was "Toyonoka Ichigo" in Japan. I will try to find the oils you mentioned. I am almost done with cookware upgrade (I guess) and eager to spend and learn more on oils and vinegars. Thanks:)

            2. I like going to Home Goods. I don't know why but I enjoy not knowing what I might find. When I visit I always check cookware and gadgets. Last week I came out of there with another set of measuring spoons, a new 8 inch non-stick skillet and 2 small cast iron red enamel teeny tiny casseroles. I have no idea what I will do with the latter, but they are awfully cute. I like cookware stores just fine, and I will always look to see what is there. I don't have convenient access to a restaurant supply store, but if I did, I'd probably visit often.

              1. I'm not so much cookWARE obsessed as cookBOOK obsessed.

                17 Replies
                1. re: CindyJ

                  A cookbook is a cooking tool. :)

                    1. re: CindyJ

                      So, are you guys going to setup a support group or what?

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Hi. My name is CindyJ, and I'm a cookbookaholic.

                        1. re: CindyJ

                          Hi, My name is Chemicalkinetics. I have been free from sharpening my knives for 5 days straight.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Good for you Chemical! (I hope you don't suddenly give in and end up "binge" sharpening all of your knives).

                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          My name is breadchick, and I promise to stop drooling over every catalog that comes my way: WS, Chef's, Cooking Enthusiast, A Cook's Wares, etc.

                          However :-) Our local kitchenware shop has just moved into larger quarters, and will expand their cooking classes to include this new place.

                          I may need to drop in...

                    2. re: CindyJ

                      Really crazy people NEVER admit they are crazy. So, Really obsessed NEVER admit they are obsessed. You guys are safe.

                      I know I am normal:) because my obsession is only seasonal sympton from December to March!

                      1. re: CindyJ

                        Oh boy, don't even go there. Cookbooks are going to end up being my next obsession, I'm positive. You know the funny thing? I really don't even follow any of the recipes in any of my cookbooks. I either read them for fun (yes, it's that bad) or I get a general idea of ingredients for a recipe and then just wing it. For some reason, I find following a recipe to be too stressful when I'm in the kitchen. But I love cookbooks regardless. The pictures, the ingredients, the little tidbits of new information - it's all motivating, much like cookware.

                        1. re: sherrib

                          I like to pick one up on the regional dishes from places I go. :)
                          I also just picked one up yesterday at the second hand store down the road.
                          Bicentennial Congressional Club cookbook.. recipes from judges, senators, congressmen and past presidents and their wives contributed.. it's interesting to see who contributed what.. lots of duplicate type recipes but some of them are amusing, such as the Drunkard Stew, Jezebel Sauce and Economy Meatloaf and of course Moose Meat Mince Meat from Alaska.

                          Gerald Ford's wife has a few in there.. Nixon's wife, one.

                          1. re: sherrib

                            I read cookbooks like some people read best sellers. The other night I was at a get-together with a few friends and one friend asked me if I've read any good books lately. Without even thinking I said, "Yes... I just LOVED "The Breath of a Wok" by Grace Young." You should have seen the looks I got! (The breath of a WHAT???)

                            1. re: CindyJ

                              Ha ha ha. That is really funny. I make that kind of mistake all the time. I would be completely on a different wavelength. They would be talking about some political or religion things, and I would say, "Yeah, I saw this episode from South Park ....." Yet, your story is funnier. They were probably talking about some NY Time Best Seller books about some autobiography or some fiction stories and you went on a cookbook. :)

                              1. re: CindyJ

                                I have a cookbook called The Italian American Cookbook by John and Galina Mariani. I forget who gave it to me but it sat on a shelf for a few years, unread, until one night when I was bored and picked it up. I stayed up until 3 a.m. and read the whole thing, cover to cover.

                            2. re: CindyJ

                              I'm both! It's a good thing I'm fairly patient as well - so I've been willing to assemble my cookbook and cookware collection slowly, over many many years, so that I've been able to shop carefully, looking for great sales, and grabbing bargains at discount stores and through second hand sources etc. My cookbook collection (which I LOVE) is now numbering around 500 books. And I have just about every sngle thing in my kitchen that I could possibly need. Now the challenge is to make sure I use all of it regularly enough to justify the purchases!

                              A side note: I know it's been discussed elsewhere on CH - but for those of us with a lot of cookbooks, a new website called "Eat Your Books" makes it much easier and more efficient to use your cookbooks. I really love my books but they were becoming a huge source of guilt for me because I was getting so overwhelmed by trying to find what I needed in such a big library, I found myself on the internet all the time instead of using my books. "Eat your books" makes it much easier to locate specific recipes by the name of the recipe, an ingredient in the recipe etc. Thanks to that website, I'm using my books ALL the time now and the guilt is gone!

                              How great is that?!?

                              1. re: flourgirl

                                flourgirl - Thank you so much for telling me about "EAT Your Books". That is exactly what I am looking for. There are so many good books/recipes and need to get organized:)

                                1. re: flourgirl

                                  Flourgirl: I'm curious to know -- where do you keep all of those cookbooks? Do you have a cookbook library? (My NEXT kitchen remodel will definitely have a wall of bookshelves.) I move my cookbooks around regularly, especially when I find myself not using some of my older ones. I have limited space for cookbooks in my kitchen, so the ones I don't use often find homes on shelves in other rooms.

                                  I checked out "Eat Your Books" when I saw it mentioned on another thread a month or two ago. What a great idea!

                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                    Hi Cindy - that is a very good question because I do not have a large home. I currently have 3 floor to ceiling bookcases in my living room - all cookbooks. (I have four other bookcases in other rooms, but they are full of other kinds of books.)

                                    I also have a couple of very large stacks in my bedroom, stacks on the coffee table, stacks on the foyer table.... I'm currently looking at having some built ins installed on either side of our fireplace. But for now, we have to live with the piles.
                                    (I've edited my collection as much as I am willing to - I just have to find a home for the rest of them...)

                                    I really love "eat your books". I went with the lifetime membership and I'm glad I did because I've already used the site a bunch of times.

                              2. You are among good company here.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: grnidkjun

                                  I know I am! I was searching for a group of enablers - I'm pretty sure I came to the right place ;-)

                                2. I have a job that requires me to be pretty much dressed up every day. Whenever I feel like I need to buy a new suit or dress, I'll head to the mall. I'll go into the department stores and start looking, and then invariably find myself on the down elevator so I can peruse the china, crystal and silver sets. Then I'll head into the mall, walk past Ann Taylor and find myself in front of Sur La Table. I rarely leave without some gadget. Then it's across the parking lot to William Sonoma. Sure, I need that! Then I can hit Crate and Barrel just down the street. HomeGoods, Tuesday Morning, Marshalls. Check, check, check. Then I go home and realize I haven't bought anything new to wear, but I've got several bags of kitchen equipment. And maybe some shoes.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: southernitalian

                                    I'm laughing!!! Maybe THAT'S why my wardrobe is so shabby. It's so much more fun shopping for kitchen stuff than for clothing!

                                  2. I have a subset of CO called ESCO or Estate Sale Cookware Obsessed where I go to Estate Sales, buy cookware and hope I didn't overpay. Becasue of ESCO, I have purchased:

                                    1 4.5 Mixing Bowl with Lid for my KitchenAid Classic Stand mixer along with the Food Grinder Attachment, the RVSA and a KA receipe book - $40. (In a related disorder OSC or Oversurfing Craigslist I bought the KA for $80.)

                                    1 Atlas Copper Insert for my KA mixing bowl -$40 but I haven't used it but did make it look weird using Bar Keepers Friend. It has a stange discoloration inside it.

                                    1 1950's KitchenAid 3-C Standmixer with Metal FGA - $25. The Metal FGA has a rusted metal plate so I don't really want to use it. The 3-C still works.

                                    1 8 QT Caphalon Non-Stick Stockpot with Pasta Insert and lid - $28. I did scratch the inside taking it home but Caphalon says it doesn't really matter.

                                    1 1.5 QT Caphalon Non-Stick Sauce pan with lid - $10.

                                    1 Nonstick medium jelly roll pan - $3.

                                    1 steel ladle - $.25

                                    1 plastic ladle - $3 (I was blackmailed by the seller after I used the restroom).

                                    1 springform pan - $2 but it leaks

                                    1 Pyrex loaf pan - $5

                                    6 small jars with lids - $6 and I have no idea what I will use these for.

                                    1 Descoware 8 inch (?) skillet - $8

                                    Now, some of these may be good prices. However, I have had to go to at least fifty houses to find them. I'm boring my friends and family. Plus, at some of the sales they sell the food out of the pantries and I'm getting tempted to buy. Stop me before I buy the Dead Man's Food.

                                    1. I'm not obsessed, I can stop any time I want. no really, I can. honest. mmhmm. ;)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. You do realize that all these people here are codependent enablers, don't you?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Fahzz

                                          Exactly what I was looking for!

                                        2. co-dependant enabler or tragic victim of cookware/cookbook obsessive disorders Not sure which I am! I share the experience of the OP. Many times I have decided that I own everything I could ever possibly need in the kitchen only to relapse and become convinced that I NEED something else. I use everything so I tell myself that it's all justified. What's worse - each time I buy something, I buy it for two kitchens. Therapy may help but somehow I have the feeling we'd all just end up shopping together!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: knet

                                            I just did the math and realized that I have roughly $15,000.00 MSRP value in cookbooks alone!!!! Of ocurse, I didn't spend nearly that much on them - some were gifts, some were garage sale finds, some were library sale finds, discount stores, bargain tables etc., and I have hardly any that I paid any more for than 40% off the retail value. But still...