Last updated on December 2nd, 2011
THREE GIFTS ARRIVED ON MY DOORSTEP TODAY (I’m calling them “gifts,” although I paid for two of them myself). First was the crock- or “Bean-” pot pictured up top. I love such earthenware for slow-cooking stews, soups and of course beans, in front of the fire. Fireplace, or “open-hearth” cooking is one of my great loves in winter. I swear that food prepared in this colonial manner tastes better than anything cooked on the modern stove (or worse, the microwave). You might feel differently.
Rolled up in the same box as the crock-pot were 80 sheets of parchment paper, pre-cut to fit, more or less, my baking sheets. Do you prefer parchment to silicon Silpat, too? I like parchment because it is eco-friendly, and also because it is versatile. Sure, Silpat will keep baked goods from sticking, too, but parchment also permits browning and crisping. Not to mention you can steam things, like scallops, in a folded piece of parchment. Try doing that with Silpat.
I should probably mention that both parchment sheets and crock-pot were ordered from a shop called Bridge Kitchenware. This old, family-owned business used to be a big deal in NYC. The third generation of owners, however, gave up the hustle and bustle of city life for the quiet and calm of Roseland, NJ. Unfortunately they gave up much of their inventory at the same time. But at least they still offer crock-pots and parchment paper…at extremely discounted prices.
Now for the third gift, the one which cost me nothing. It’s snowing heavily here in the Hudson Valley, which means I can’t leave. So I’ll sit in a comfortable chair by the fire this evening, while occasionally stirring the beans and ham in my new crock-pot, and while reading The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell. And later, to thank my dear partner for being just that — a dear partner — I’ll bake his favorite gluten-free cake on a pan which is lined, of course, with present number two.
A crock-pot, some parchment paper, some snow, and this boy is happy. Do you find comfort in such “little things” too?
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