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Am I a cookware "junkie"?!

dessert_diva Dec 28, 2010 12:24 PM

Okay, while it was blizzard-ing the other day I got the bright (?) idea to take a complete inventory of ALL my cookware so that I'd know exactly what I have/don't have, and also which lids might be interchcangeable with which pots. Good idea, right? NOT.

After going through every nook and cranny (btw, those deep corner base-cabinets must be an invention of the devil specifically to hide cookware in: "out of sight, out of mind"...) my final inventory totals...... 77 pieces of cookware. Seventy-seven. I am officially appalled. HOW the bleep did I manage to acquire so many pieces??!!! (btw, that is with counting a pot-and-lid combo as one item, but individual cookie sheets, baking pans, etc as separate items; also, no electric items counted -- just things that are used in oven or stovetop). This is what I currently own, AFTER giving away all my "coated" nonstick stuff to son and daughter at the beginning of this year; yes, I did replace a number of those pieces with the same items in metal, that's true, but I also added some newbies.... :-(

I would be embarasssed to post the detailed list (yes I printed it out, as a reminder the next time I am tempted to buy anything!) but will admit to the following breakdown:

77 items = 5 stockpots, 5 dutch oven/casseroles/pressure cooker, 4 roasters, 8 fry/saute pans, 10 saucepans, 4 au gratin pans, 41 bakeware items

They are made of the following materials: 26 stainless steel, 16 anodized aluminum, 9 Pyrex/Pyroceram/vitreous china/stoneware, 8 Scanpan Classic (circa 1990s), 6 commercial aluminum cookie sheets, 6 traditional (coated) nonstick [why do I still have these???], 4 Le Creuset enameled cast iron, and 2 tin.

They include items I haven't used in ages and can't imagine why I still have, such as: two vintage Pyroceram cassseroles, Scanpan 10" square frypan (why square??? answer comes there none...), Berndes nonstick 10" crepe pan, two stoneware au gratin pans both too small for practical use, a vintage Anchor Hocking glass 9x5 loaf pan, a 10" maryann pan (have I EVER used this? it must have seemed a good idea at the time...) and a 20-qt generic LNT (on sale when they went out of business in 2009) stainless stockpot that I totally forgot I had because I stuck it in the back corner of a corner cabinet.

The sick part is that I looked at this list and managed to rationalize my last week's ordering of a 10" Henckels Classic Clad 10" frypan on the basis that, after all, I did NOT have a 10" STAINLESS frypan...... only the Scanpan Classic one. :(

Does this qualify me as an official Cookware Junkie, do ya think?? :/

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  1. s
    sedimental Dec 28, 2010 12:50 PM

    "My name is sedimental, and I, too........ am powerless over my cookware addiction" :)
    I am a complete junkie. It is hard for me to get rid of the things I don't use. I keep deluding myself into thinking that I will "remember" use them. Some, I did not buy, but inherited and that doesn't help matters much.
    I have two huge separate "sets" of LC cookware alone (all sizes of fry pans, dutch ovens). I cannot possibly use them all, but I just can't get rid of them.
    ..............AND..........let's not talk about gadgets and small appliances!!!!!!

    Its sick, I tell ya!

    1. kaleokahu Dec 28, 2010 01:00 PM

      DD: LOL! Do you want me to help you feel better or worse?

      "77 items = 5 stockpots, 5 dutch oven/casseroles/pressure cooker, 4 roasters, 8 fry/saute pans, 10 saucepans, 4 au gratin pans, 41 bakeware items."

      Before you start Methadone, let me ask: (1) Do you cook a lot and in larger batches?; and (2) How long did it take to collect all this? If you cook a lot and for different-sized groups, the quantity itself is not pathological, maybe just 10% excessive. If it's taken years to accumulate, go easy on yourself--this happens.

      But there is joy to be found in clearing out what no longer pleases you or what you've outgrown using. As there is in finding cookware that makes you a better cook. It's an ongoing, racheting, sorting process.

      No need to call Dr. Phil or the producers of "Hoarders". LOL

      2 Replies
      1. re: kaleokahu
        dessert_diva Dec 28, 2010 05:00 PM

        LOL at the Hoarders comment! :D

        For the differential diagnosis (channeling 'House' here ;) ) answers are:
        (1) No to the "larger batches", and frequency depends on circumstances. However, I've been known to go on baking binges and then not touch the bakeware for several weeks. No real pattern there other than that it's never for a crowd.
        (2) Other than my mom's 1950s Pyrex pieplate, I estimate that about 10% of the cookware is stuff I bought in the 70s and 80s, about 60% during the 1990s, and the other 30% since 2001. I'm counting this year's metal-replacing-nonstick items as being "1990s stuff" because in many cases the anodized aluminum replaced the nonstick item-for-item. But clearly, not in ALL cases, LOL.

        I should find someone to give that Berndes crepe pan to, because I know for sure I'll never use it again (and know equally for sure that neither my son or daughter will ever have any interest in making crepes).

        As you know, I've already enumerated my knives in the "knife block dilemma" thread, so I didn't count those here. Nor the electrics (which number about a dozen.. I think... but only half are used daily).

        So you think there's hope? :)

        On the other hand, I KNOW that I'm a gardening-tools junkie. No doubt about that. A written in stone requirement for my next house is a 2-car garage. One side for my car and the other side for the gardening equipment. And if there's room to also have a potting shed, heaven help the budget. Hehehehehe

        1. re: dessert_diva
          kaleokahu Dec 28, 2010 06:36 PM

          DD: "So you think there's hope?" Not to worry, you're doing fine. You're just finding what you really like and (unlike many of us) can change your mind. Just remember to dis-card every once in awhile.

          You're also fine with a garage-ful of gardening tools. I, on the other hand, have a barn, a shop, an old gradeschool gymnasium AND a garage for all the stuff I don't use much. They all seem to be full, too.

      2. chefathome Dec 28, 2010 01:51 PM

        I am really anal about knowing what we have at all times so there are no surprises. I don't buy things I won't use lots as a rule - every single thing has its own spot. Many of my things also need to multi-task. People other than my husband don't give me kitchen-y stuff as they say I am too picky. That is a fact. I can also be almost too practical. However, I can totally see how a person can be a cookware junkie! Understandable. I am a junkie of other kinds, however; spices and culinary books!
        :-D Don't worry - we all have our vices.

        Now you know precisely what you have - perhaps your new-found stuff will inspire you anew!

        3 Replies
        1. re: chefathome
          dessert_diva Dec 28, 2010 05:11 PM

          I'm super picky about my gardening equipment; my offspring know to never GIVE me a gardening tool but instead gift certificates to Lee Valley Tools, Gardeners Supply, etc etc so that I can choose my own. And like you, every tool has its own spot, gets cleaned and put away after use, and so on. I also know every single garden tool I own, without benefit of making a list. ;)

          1. re: dessert_diva
            chefathome Dec 29, 2010 08:19 AM

            Awesome! I, too, am picky about my garden tools. I treat them as well as I treat my KA mixer! :-D

            1. re: chefathome
              dessert_diva Dec 29, 2010 10:55 AM

              Truth to tell, if my KA mixer were to need replacing (which I suspect will happen in the not too distant future, since it's been misbehaving more and more lately) I would consider it as an opportunity to get something I liked better (either the Cuisinart or the Breville -- haven't yet decided). It would be an annoyance and an expense, but....

              ... on the other hand, if the pair of Japanese black steel hand pruners (5" long x 3/4" wide blades, and 5" long handles!) which I've used continuously for 30 years were to ever go missing, I'd be utterly devastated! :O

        2. d
          Dee S Dec 28, 2010 02:30 PM

          You counted bakeware items as well? Cripes, I think my cookware (pots/pans) count is close to 50! If I added bakeware (including things like ramekins???), I'm WAY over 100.

          Nope, no addiction here. I use them all for different things....on different days....for different dishes. Nope, not addicted at all.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Dee S
            dessert_diva Dec 28, 2010 05:13 PM

            Oh bloody h*ll, I forgot about the ramekins (6) and the mini tart pans with removable bottoms (4) which I stuck up on the top pantry shelf for some reason. There's a Lenox oval open casserole/au gratin pan up there too (why? I have no idea).

            Total revised from 77 to 88. :/

          2. amyzan Dec 28, 2010 02:34 PM

            You are in a big club here, I would suspect. I'm a card carrying member. sigh

            1. r
              RGC1982 Dec 28, 2010 03:47 PM

              Geez, I probably have a dozen quarter sheet pans and ten half sheet pans alone, and I know I am a cookware junkie. I can easily outfit about four kitchens, and worse, I really like GOOD cookware (read: well made and likely expensive, but not always).

              I will do this same count one day for accuracy, but if I had to fathom a guess, I may beat you by quite a margin.

              1. sherrib Dec 28, 2010 04:16 PM

                At the beginning of your description, I thought "whoa, someone worse than me". But after reading through your itemized list, I realized, "I've got that beat by a landslide". And, I've honestly got to say, I use just about everything I own. I thought I was overboard with roasting pans (5 or 6 of varying styles and depths) until I went on a roasting rampage one friday and realized I could have used one or two more. And, no, we do not throw out much food in my house. I realized I was a a cookware junkie myself when I went into my large basement closet. I remember the previous owners of my home used it for the wife's extra clothing (their enormous walk-in closet wasn't enough?) Now, when you look in the walk-in closet, it's practically empty. The basement one, on the other hand, has exchanged hanging bars for shelves - shelves overflowing with cookware. I've nicknamed that closet "the heart and soul of the woman of the house". We all have our obsessions. At least mine can feed an army ;)

                1. goodhealthgourmet Dec 28, 2010 05:24 PM

                  i'm pretty sure i founded the Cookware Junkie Club, so...welcome! :) i can honestly say that my numbers would put yours to shame, and that's AFTER i cleaned out a bunch of items before my last move. even worse, i'm single and live alone, so all of it is mostly used to cook just for myself.

                  the funny thing is that i'm a total minimalist about *everything* except kitchenware and accessories (i.e. shoes & handbags). my family calls me Imelda regarding the shoe addiction, but i think we need to come up with a name for those of us who stockpile cookware & utensils as well!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    dessert_diva Dec 28, 2010 05:53 PM

                    Same here (cook just for myself 95% of the time, for the last 8-9 years except for college vacation months) so I too don't have the full-house excuse!

                    Daughter AND son (and their significant others) have all gone on low-carb weightloss diets as of this coming weekend, which means the baking will slow down significantly due to no-sharing + lack of much freezer space.

                  2. n
                    Nocturnalbill Dec 28, 2010 06:04 PM

                    I knew it was bad when I realized that I literally just cooked dinner for 90 people and did it with pans to spare.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Nocturnalbill
                      E_M Dec 29, 2010 02:57 AM

                      Could you elaborate on this process? I struggle cooking for 8. Do you make ahead and reheat? Serve multiple dishes? Have plate warmers?

                    2. breadchick Dec 28, 2010 07:24 PM

                      I've already admitted to being a kitchen hoarder (gasp) on other posts, so scooch over and make room for me on your couch. I also did an inventory last year to see what I can get rid of (aka give to the spawn) so I can buy me some shiny new pieces, and guess what - I use all I have on a semi-regular basis but for a few. Ahem, the list was nearly two pages.

                      Will that stop me? Hahahaha. Yes. I have a small kitchen, sadly. DD, the thought of a new building came to me not long ago. I threatened to build one of those "barns" to put in my dream kitchen (ala Ina) however, I live in upstate NY, so that is a bit out there as an idea.

                      What we will do to justify our passion. btw - Anyone try those S/S Mauviel pcs???

                      Just curious. ;-)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: breadchick
                        Nocturnalbill Dec 29, 2010 12:18 AM

                        And bonus points for use of the term "spawn".

                      2. amyzan Dec 28, 2010 08:00 PM

                        The worst part is that there is a basement room full of cookware, dishes, still working appliances that maybe need a part or I just don't use, pottery, silverware, and many of my grandparents' duplicates from their motor home. Some day, I will have a massive estate sale. Seriously, I could outfit a whole other home for 4, and maybe a singleton's apartment as well.

                        1. t
                          ThreeGigs Dec 29, 2010 01:00 AM

                          Hmm... pots and pans... maybe a dozen.

                          Now bakeware... oy. Let's start with the 40+ pie pans and plates. Then add a dozen 9x13 pans. Then 5 each or so of loaf pans and roasters, plus numerous casseroles of various sizes, shapes, materials and colors. Add in 2 cupcake and 6 muffin pans, and 2 springforms. Oh yeah, cookie sheets, sheet pans and jelly roll pans.

                          I don't think I'm a junkie. It's just that I know that different materials and colors of bakeware produce different results. Dark for crispy bottoms, light or stainless for brown tops. Glass has its uses too. And some non-stick. So I've got multiples of almost everything in light, dark, aluminum, steel, cast iron, glass, and some odd ceramic bits.

                          1. tcamp Dec 29, 2010 10:56 AM

                            LOL, you're here, aren't you?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: tcamp
                              dessert_diva Dec 30, 2010 05:03 AM

                              Excellent, non-arguable point, LOL! :D

                            2. c
                              CocoaNut Dec 29, 2010 12:17 PM

                              Whatever you do.... DON'T GIVE AWAY (again) OR THROW AWAY ANYTHING!!! You MIGHT need it one day. <twitch, twitch> QUICK!! PUT IT BACK NOW before your sensibilities take over!!!!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: CocoaNut
                                dessert_diva Dec 30, 2010 05:06 AM

                                Are you the reincarnation of my mom? :D That's exactly what she used to say, LOL

                                Seriously though, the Berndes crepe pan is an absolute definite never-want-to-use again item. That I will bet money on. Not because of the style but because of the surface (which is practically out-of-the-box new, btw, but still.... it's a coated nonstick, which damns it in my eyes now).

                                But I appreciate the warning, Mom. ;)

                              2. Kagemusha Dec 29, 2010 04:09 PM

                                Dunno. My take? You can never, a la Parker, be too rich or too thin, or have too much cookware, too many cameras, etc. It's just stuff, OK? It's not like you're jonesing for smack or robbing liquor stores for crack money--or Le Creuset money(please say no). Enjoy it and, hopefully use it. Remember, he/she who dies with the most All Clad is, sadly, still dead. Anyway, there's surely a 12-step program nearby, right?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Kagemusha
                                  dessert_diva Dec 30, 2010 05:08 AM

                                  I think the 12-step program for cookware junkies translates into parking at least 12 steps away from the door of Williams-Sonoma, Sur la Table, etc etc.

                                  Or its online version which is that you have to make at least 12 mouse clicks before hitting the "Submit Order" button.


                                2. l
                                  Leolady Jan 1, 2011 08:24 AM

                                  I am as bad as the worst of you guys here! And on top of the home cookware, I went and bought enough commercial cookware to stock a restaurant. And let's not talk about my collection of KA/Hobart mixers, Robot Coupe/Cuisinart food processors, and that type of stuff.

                                  Yes, I am single and I confess............I am a cookware junkie.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: Leolady
                                    breadchick Jan 1, 2011 09:15 AM

                                    Ohhh, yeah!

                                    I loves me some commercial cookware/bakeware and restaurant supply stores. Since a lot of the stuff from those suppliers usually don't cost an arm and leg, I can buy just a few things. Things that I REALLY need. And did you notice just how handy those hotel pans are?

                                    Don't I need a tamis? Doesn't everyone?

                                    Help. ;-)

                                    1. re: breadchick
                                      chefathome Jan 1, 2011 09:17 AM

                                      Oh, man. I NEED a tamis. Seriously.

                                    2. re: Leolady
                                      kaleokahu Jan 1, 2011 09:32 AM

                                      Leolady: It's bad but you're nowhere near mainlining yet. In-patient rehab requires that you have at least one of the following:

                                      -- A jacketed steam kettle
                                      -- A steak cuber machine
                                      -- A deli-grade slicer
                                      -- More than one salamander

                                      1. re: kaleokahu
                                        Leolady Jan 1, 2011 10:52 AM

                                        OH GOODNESS! Ihave a commercial slicer!

                                        1. re: Leolady
                                          kaleokahu Jan 1, 2011 07:44 PM

                                          Leolady: OK, start the Methadone, just don't expect it to get you as high as a trip to Dehillerin.

                                          1. re: Leolady
                                            sedimental Jan 2, 2011 07:56 AM

                                            OH MY...I do too. It's in the garage next to the huge commercial espresso machine (please, just don't ask).

                                            Will they let us bring our psych meds to the In Patient program?

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