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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Close Up and Personal: A Battered Pan

Close up and personal is how I like to crop my photos. That's how I like to paint. I like to zoom in and take a macro look at the life around me. It's too early to zoom in on Mice. So I zoomed in on a memory of a woman long gone who I really didn't know at all, but think of almost daily.

My photograph of the day is my square cake pan that's been abused to make cornbread, fudge, brownies, cheese souffles, fritatas, custards, noodle puddings, you name it, for fifty plus years. It's an official antique. I got it at one of my bridal showers from a woman named Minnie Feldman. I didn't know Minnie. She was my Grandmother's friend.

My mother must of thought I was a boob. As she watched the old lady lay the gift on the gift table, she pulled me aside and told me Minnie wasn't very well off. 'It was very kind of her to even have brought you a gift--make a big deal of it when you opened it no matter what it is.'

Though I knew nothing about pots and pans at nineteen, as soon as I saw the pan, I showed Minnie a lot of appreciation. I'm a Capricorn for Pete sake. It looked practical. And though I didn't know how to cook at the time, it was probably going to be very useful. And it has been for many years after the trendy-then cookware I registered for gave out-- sometime during the seventies. (You may remember Revere Ware)?

I always think of Minnie when I pull out the beat-up pan. She was in my kitchen yesterday when I pulled it out for the asparagus. Being aluminum, the pan cools asparagus to cold in just half an hour in the fridge--shrimp and salmon too. Being a too-busy-painting-to-cook cook who likes asparagus and cold poached salmon, that scruffy pan nearly black with rings from custard cups baked long ago has been a blessing--and the most important shower gift I got. Thanks Mrs. Feldman wherever you are.

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