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Nov 8, 2012 04:11 PM

what cookware are you looking forward to inheriting?

I'm (just) over 50 and my parents are alive and fairly well. They're hanging on, barnacle-like, to their kitchenware. There are two items I want; my dad's little CI pan, maybe 5" in diameter and perfect for a fried egg, and a metal meat grinder that you clamp to the edge of the counter and crank by hand. Perhaps some of the japanese tableware my dad got from his parents. We're the type of family who openly discusses this - not in a macabre way, IMO. My sister wants the silver, I could not care less about that.

If you have living parents/in-laws/other relatives, are there any items you are coveting?

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  1. My grand/great/great-great/great-great grandmothers' cast iron - deep dish skillet and dutch oven, perfectly seasoned. I've already threatened to steal them but of course she won't part with them. They both have wooden handles so I imagine they are fairly ancient.

    1. To be honest, my answer is: None. I am sure I will be the minority here since most people like me won't respond, but I figure I should give some balance here.

      My cookware are better, or at the very least more suitable to my cooking style. For example, I have many cast iron and carbon steel cookware which I like. My mom has none. Her are nonstick Teflon and stainless steel cladded based. She have a few inexpensive (low quality) stainless steel knives, and I have a mix of carbon steel and stainless steel high quality knives. In fact, my mom is scared of sharp knives. So, whenever she buy a new knife, she would grind the knife to make it less sharp. Yes, she would dull the knives on purpose.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        I am exactly the same. There isn't anything I would want to inherit from my parents kitchen. 3 years ago they bought new pots, but just a $200 cuisinart or kitchenaid set, and they bought me the same set at the same time, and its still packed in its box in Canada in storage never having been used yet :P My knives are also much better suited to my needs then theirs. My sister just got a new pot set last Christmas, and have better knives then my parents also. Salvation Army will be getting everything I guess.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          When we broke up my mom's household I kept nothing from her kitchen. She didn't have good stuff, or if she ever had it, she didn't take care of it.

          On the other side of things, I frequently give one of my adult children stuff from my copious collection of kitchen ware. And I'm not ready to kick off yet.

          1. re: sueatmo

            That is a good practice, giving things to your children that you know they love and will use.

            My maternal grandmother (not a cook AT ALL), began systematically getting rid of her things after age 60. By the time she died at 85, she'd given almost everything away to her daughters, friends, charity. She even arranged for her body to be picked up by UCLA's medical school! My mom said it was eerily simple to "settle" the estate.

            1. re: sueatmo

              TeRReT and sueatmo,

              Good to hear. I guess we are the three who feel the same. Sometimes, our parents just do not have what we desire. I never gave much thought about this question about inheriting cookware, but after thinking about it for 5 minutes, I just said to myself "Heck, there is nothing I want from her cookware." My mom is a decent cook (probably not as versatile as me though), but she just does not have cookware which I want. It does not mean they are cheap crappy cookware, but they just would not improve my kitchen.

              <its still packed in its box in Canada in storage never having been used yet>

              TeRReT, I heard it is a very good mixer. You may want to think about shipping it to Japan -- if you have the counterspace.

              <My sister just got a new pot set last Christmas, and have better knives then my parents also>

              So I guess, she doesn't need anything from your parents neither -- not that we can really speak for her behalf.

            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

              <my mom is scared of sharp knives>

              That made me smile, Chem. Mine's the same way. Although she's never purposely dulled a knife, she's never sharpened one, either. She did most of her cutting with a really dull paring knife, because "big" knives scare her.

              When she moved in with us last year, I was appalled to see her pick up a potato and start cutting it, IN HER HAND, with a paring knife. I told her she'd lose a finger using my paring knife that way. She didn't think you could cut yourself with a paring knife, because SHE never had (hers were literally too dull to break skin). Scared the daylights out of me! We both got a good laugh over that, because she was convinced that I'd do myself harm with my big sharp knives.

              We finally made a deal, I handle knife work, she does any other prep she wants to. I think she agreed just to humor me. :)

            3. This is going to sound ridiculous, but I want my mother's small metal spatula. I have tried and tried to find one like it for years. And thus far, I have been unsuccessful. I have several that I tried, but none of them are as good as the one she has. She got it as a gift from the telephone company.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jw615

                Not ridiculous at all. My MIL recently gave me hers, and as I use it I've found it to be a particularly useful size and shape. A wonderful tool that you can't buy to my knowledge.

                1. re: koan

                  Hers is just the perfect size. I ordered one recently, and it is good, but it isn't perfect.

                  1. re: jw615

                    I know exactly how you feel. My mother gave me her 1950's Ecko spatula a few years ago. It's slotted, thin and has just the right amount of flex; not too much, not too little. I've never used one that's better and recently got another on eBay in anticipation of the day the wooden handle on mine breaks. Sadly, the one I just bought has no flex at all. Now I'm afraid to try bidding on another. :(

              2. As I survey what I snagged when my dad died twelve years ago (mom pegged out 27 years ago) I note my beloved 10" carbon chef knife which I got him in the early 70s, a muddler which dad chiefly used to crack ice, two spreaders with riveted tangs and wooden handles, the drawer organizer and lazy Susan he made, and a couple of cook books, mom's 1940s Fanny Farmer and Maryland's Way. Oh, and a lot of blue and white Canton china from my great grandparents and grandparents, most purchased after the quake in SF when the stuff was so cheap it was regarded as we would Tupperware.

                1. My mother has always been an indifferent cook and that's reflected in her cookware. BUT, she has some really cool vintage mixing bowls, at least two of which were wedding presents (1956). I also wouldn't mind getting the rotary beater, not because I have any particular use for it, but because it fascinated me when I was a little kid. Using the rotary beater to make instant pudding was one of the perks of my childhood.