Thursday, December 4, 2014

Farewell to an Old Pot



Why, I ask myself, is it so hard to say good-bye to an old pot? I know why, actually, but I still keep mulling over it because it strikes me as odd to be sad over a cheap, 25-year-old aluminum pot.

On a recent morning I found it in the fridge, where it always resides when I've made a big pot of chili that we can't finish in one dinner, and one of the handles was broken off. Nobody confessed to the crime, so chances are it simply came off from old age. After all, 25 years is a long time for a pot from Woolworth's. My handyman son assures me that there's no way to fix it, and using potholders to lift that one side where the holder broke off is proving dangerous, although I stubbornly tried that.

So I am sad over an old broken pot that I have to toss. First of all, there's the hassle of buying a new pot that's as ideal as the old one. What one is used to is always better than something new, in my opinion, anyway. But there's also the loss of an old companion, and all the history that goes with it. This was the first pot my husband and I bought when we had arrived in the U.S. and lived in graduate student housing at the University of Chicago, and all we could afford was one pot. Plus you could make everything in that pot if you had to, even use it as a pan to fry schnitzel. There aren't particular stories that go with this pot, just a general sense of history, of having been around.

This broken pot also has me smiling at myself because as a kid I used to make fun of my grandmother who kept an old pot made of even cheaper metal whose bottom was domed from all the gas heat it had endured. But she held on to it because it had been the first pot she'd had as a refugee after World War II. I didn't appreciate that fully until I wrote my essay "Betty Crocker in Bavaria," published a while ago in Natural Bridge.

So maybe I won't toss this pot with the broken handle. Maybe there's a way to repurpose it? As a plant holder on my porch in the summer? What do you think?


12 comments:

  1. Yes, repurpose that lovely old pot! Use it as a planter!

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  2. I think repurposing that pot is a great idea. And I don't think that it's odd to have sad feelings about losing your long-time cooking companion.
    Time for a shiny new pot and new memories to go into it.

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    1. Jennifer, repurposed it will be. That'll make another nice blog post... In the meantime, I do have to shop for a new pot and I just hate shopping.

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  3. A plant holder is the first idea that came to my mind too. Otherwise, some other use for it will come to you.

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  4. I love this story! That pot has a ton of character! Maybe you could use it as an ice bucket for entertaining? Or keep it in the front hall as a place for mittens and hats? In the bathroom with folded hand towels inside? Or even store magazines in it. If it's got one handle still functioning, you could use the handle to hang it on the wall.

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    1. That's so Steph to have so many ideas! Thanks! I like the idea of hanging it somewhere, although I'm afraid the second handle would break off then, too.

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    2. LOL - Maybe you could use some silver Sugru to reinforce it. You could also attach the other handle - as long as it's just decorative and not for heavy duty use. https://sugru.com/buy/silver-grey-3-pack

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    3. You ARE a domestic goddess, Steph! Thanks for the tip!

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  5. Replies
    1. Hi Anjuli, it's so nice to have you visit again! I've been missing your lovely comments! Drop me a note and let me know how you are doing.

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