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Crazy people and their cookware obsessions...


My husband lives in a constant state of vigilance against me becoming like those cited above, only with wooden cookware implements, not mixers.

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  1. Uh oh, well, my husband should be happy I'm not after the mixers.

    Bad enough that I have a thing for nesting mixing bowls and skillets of all kinds. Glassware. Chocolate molds. etc....

    1. No matter when I visit the cookware board, I notice posts from people who seem to focus more on collecting equipment than actually using it. IMO, for example, nobody needs more than 2 Dutch ovens, if that! And it's not like they wear out, ever.

      6 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        Are u referring to my sister in law ? :-)

        1. re: greygarious

          I have two - one round one and one oval one and I use both of them for different things. I definitely don't plan on buying anymore.

          But that doesn't mean I don't have my own cookware issues. I have a thing for wooden spoons, whisks, ceramic bowls in all different sizes and colors, bakeware, cookie cutters, and COOKBOOKS!!!

          1. re: flourgirl

            I think the key thing in the linked article is that the collectors in it do not need or use the things they accumulate. They buy an item because they want one of every color, or every available attachment, size, model, etc.

            1. re: greygarious

              Yes, I know. And I have way more cookbooks than I can really use effectively, I have almost 1000 as of right now and I certainly don't "need" 1000 cookbooks. But I love them all, I'm very selective about the books I add to my collection, I love the idea that I'm curating my own personal collection, and I at least intend to eventually read them all, and cook at least a few things from each of them. But the point I can relate to the obsessions of a collector, and there are worse things to be in life.

              My pottery collection is a little more under control - I really make an effort to use all my pieces, and I rarely add to the collection anymore. (Although I did just buy a fabulous orange bowl from Portugal at Home Goods yesterday.... :) )

          2. re: greygarious

            I'm guilty of this. Does it count if I use each of my DOs at least once a season (because I make myself as to alleviate feelings of guilt??)

            1. re: sherrib

              I have three and do not consider them overkill, because they are used differently. The ancient naked 4qt one is infused with the aroma of the herbs used in the braised beef I've made in it for decades. There's no acid in that recipe so there's no iron taste in the braise. However, since I wanted to make braises with wine and tomato, I added an enameled 4qt one (Martha's KMart era). When the no-knead rustic bread method became popular, Cooks Illustrated said a 6qt+ D.O. was needed, and recommended the affordable Tramontina, which I bought. Had I waited longer, and read of all the other vessels later recommended, Sthat work for the bread, I would not have gotten the Tramontina, and don't often used it.

              So I give myself a pass. I'd feel guilty if I had multiple pieces that were identical save for color. There's a reason LC keeps coming up with new hues - they are playing into the collecting urges of cooks, because otherwise they'd get next to no repeat business for products that last decades, perhaps centuries. Don't feel too bad - your DOs are cheaper than high-fashion shoes, and last a lot longer.

          3. I am constantly looking for carbon steel woks and over size cast iron for use on my boat. Washing in salt water gives me an effective lifespan of no more than 5 years. The spalling on the exterior can be quite percussive.

            I do pass up the more collectible types (Griswold) for the collectors. I currently have 2 dutch ovens, 2 20 in. skillets, and another chicken fryer high and dry. My last good wok was poked through this weekend.

            A friends mother had a house full of those roster topped terrine molds. And this was a huge colonial in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

            1 Reply
            1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

              I have a thing for LeCreuset. My dad bought my first piece, an oval dutch oven, and I've been hooked. I use them all, all the time. Except for my red 9qt round dutch oven that only comes out when I'm making a huge stew or soup.

              Also loveo cookie cutters, bundt pans and cookbooks.

            2. I thought 'those people' (ha!) are called collectors. Or, Martha Stewart, or vintage dealers...some have made a tiny sum just buying, selling and collecting (in between buying & selling).

              Didn't MS make a fortune recreating vintage pieces for retailers?

              2 Replies
              1. re: HillJ

                The fortune comes from many streams, but Martha Stewart does have a good eye for the best of vintage and antique stuff. Her lines of serving pieces have been particularly appealing, practical and useful recreations of those things.

                A humble example: Back in the late 1990s, when her stuff first hit K-Mart, and we still had a local K-Mart, I got an 8"x8" glass baking dish that's one of my favorite things to use. It evokes depression glass, with a pale green tint and subtle vertical ribs on the outside sides. [As I recall, pretty much *everything* in the debut Martha K-Mart aisle was pale green, which works better for some things than others. The tasteful garden shears were of course lost in foliage the first time I put them down.]

                The dish is tempered glass and made in the U.S., so must have been done by Corning or Anchor Hocking (only two with US plants left at that time; I think we may be down to just one of them producing here now). The main use for the square dish in this kitchen is marinating and chilling. It would probably be fine for baking, but I tend to use enameled cast iron gratins for that, unable to tune out a tiny voice inside that says "exploding Pyrex". It's also attractive for serving, unlike plain Pyrex.

                Martha herself has the collector's eye, but also the full-blown collector's disease. Her most recent Entertaining book (on clearance for $4) is filled with pictures of her holdings, and they're queasy-making. Given her business, she's able to make profitable use of them, but they still scream "too much!" to me.

                1. re: ellabee

                  Oh the pale green! Now that nearly every home model decor has some swatch of green spectrum on the walls, I get a good inner giggle knowing MS is responsible for such out of the beige box thinking. Her genius was never considered crazy by industry pros, not ever.

                  Having the means to amass a collection puts you in a different stratosphere. But if Martha couldn't find what she was looking for, she designed & manufactured it!

              2. This is interesting! I have my grandmother's Hamilton Beach Scovill stand mixer. It still works, but only came with the beaters and no other attachments, and I'm not sure what its model series is, but this gives me some places to find out. A quick look around, and my mom's recollection, puts it at late-40s, early 50s vintage.

                I just keep it for nostalgia -- from that mixer came some seriously amazing baked goods, her cheesecake has never been equaled as far as I'm concerned and I try 'em all -- and how cool it looks, but when I added a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer to the kitchen arsenal, it had to be the silver/chrome one to match.

                1. I am a crazy person. I personally have 38 antique wooden spoons, of which I use about 7-8 on a regular basis.

                  And they take up a lot less room than the same number of vintage electric mixers. ;-)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    And they keep working with no need for expensive re-hab!

                    I do understand the appeal of the old machines from the built-to-last era. It was very hard to let go my mother's early-'60s Sunbeam, but I had to face the fact that I never bake. Hope whoever bought it from the Habitat Re-Store is enjoying it often.

                    Its departure freed up a lot of space in the cabinet, and I was immediately happier not having to look at all that chrome every day. A personal deformation, I'm sure, but it always seemed to whisper "Rhodesia"...

                  2. My name is Kate and I have a collection. A collection of collections actually. I have sifters--18 at last count, cake stands, tea pots, creamers, and restaurant china. I think you get the picture. I've probably forgotten some hidden collection. Do vintage table linens count? The cookbooks! How could I forget them?! And the recipe clippings!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Kate is always hungry

                      A collection of collections - yes, I love it, and I'm the same way. A collection of pottery, a collection of vintage cookie cutters, a collection of tea infusers, a collection of wood spoons, a collection of whisks, a collection of rolling pins, and the books. I did mention the books, didn't I?

                    2. Yikes, all those old wires! That's a fire hazard.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                        One of the first things that gets replaced in the re-hab of the mixers that are going to get used.

                      2. I wouldn't say that I am particularly obsessed, but I have a lot of stuff. I cook for big parties at friend's homes, and over the years seem to amassed an extraordinary number of terrine molds, weird stuff like an idli cooker, 16 pieces of All-Clad --- all of which I use, and a dozen or so Le Creuset. My house has two kitchens, a large pantry and a hallway that are all stuffed with stuff. I use everything, and am always on the lookout for more. The J.B. Prince website is a very dangerous place to visit! Those vintage mixers got me thinking ---