I bought myself a present! A 12-pc set of T-fal non-stick cookware! Just washed it, but the instructions say to "season" it with cooking oil before first use, so I'll do that in a bit.
Now comes the task of "purging" all the old--and I do mean OLD--cookware inherited from my mother and grandmother. Except for the cast iron skillet, of course. I'm not parting with that!
Once upon a time, cookware was forever: the aforementioned cast iron skillet, a couple of saucepans with lids, a Dutch oven, a griddle, and a double boiler. I mean, you used it for a lifetime. I think what I'll be ditching has been used for several lifetimes.
I also bought a new covered cake pan, but I also need an 8-inch square one for brownies and such. My old one has as many dents as I have wrinkles. Ditto the muffin tins. The bread pans are, I think, salvageable.
In retrospect, it seems foolish to buy new cookware at my age. I don't even cook that much anymore. But it was on sale for a good price, and the last time I made brownies, I sort of cringed as I buttered the pan. So perhaps it was time.
So, it's off to get tough with myself and box up assorted pots and pans for a salvage yard which wants metal. I can't get rid of the memories though. Chicken and dumplings bubbling lazily in a heavy pot on my grandmother's gas stove. Cinnamon fried pies crackling in enough butter to sink the Titanic in her big iron skillet. Chocolate sheet cake covered with thick fudge frosting in a 13 x 9 pan heavy enough to bench press.
Of all my immediate family, it's my grandmother I think of most. She was always there (next door), patient, welcoming, armed with practical knowledge I wish she'd imparted more of to me. I've held onto all this old cookware just because it was hers, even though I haven't used most of it in years. But it's time to say goodbye to the physical reminders and move on.
I've hauled "stuff" around for too long. I don't have to keep it in order to retain my memories. They'll always be there.