Artistic Pension Payment: A Lesson in Cooking
My Mother was an excellent cook. I have many of her fancy pans and other cooking paraphernalia that she considered essential. However, I was always too busy working and usually single, so I tended to assemble food items rather than create meals. One of my fancy cooking items was an 8 inch Berndes saute pan. After listening to a cooking show on NPR, I attempted to fry/steam the perfect egg, later to be laid upon a decorative smear of low-fat plain yogurt and sprinkled with Herbs de Provence.
Day 1: This perfect egg is cooked in olive oil, with a few drops of water to create steam so that the egg whites are cooked without having to turn the egg. My Berndes pan didn’t have a lid. I grabbed the closest sized one, a 7-7/8″ Revereware copper lid. I planned to trap the steam for only a few seconds in order to cook the white without overcooking the yolk. But I could not remove the lid! I had created a vacuum, complicated by two different types of metal fused together….in just a few seconds.
I was hungry. I “Googled” the ways to remove a stuck lid. None was going to solve the problem before I needed to eat some breakfast and move on to the gym. I left the pan in the sink, with ice cubes on the copper lid thinking that it would shrink, allowing me to free the eggs. I ate a banana and left for my Deep H2O class at the YMCA.
I was gone a couple of hours. I returned to find the lid and pan still stuck, stubbornly. I got a screw driver out of my tool box and tried to leverage the lid off. I’m not as strong as I thought I was. I “Googled” again – try putting the pan in the freezer. So I did, overnight.
Day 2: The next morning I got the pan out. Fused and completely frozen. I thought it would be a good idea to heat the bottom of the pan to again attempt my “different temps will separate the pan from the lid” theory. After a few seconds, I started worrying that the pan would explode on the heater element, so I put the pan in hot water (same theory.) Nothing happened, still fused. I left the pan in the sink and went out for a while. Surely returning to a normal temperature would resolve the problem. No. It stayed in the sink over night.
Day 3. I can still hear the eggs inside the pan when I shake it. Like ping-pong balls bouncing off a hi-hat. Maybe I shouldn’t attempt to get these eggs out. They are starting to stink. I realize I have only been trying to save my Mother’s pan. I’m too sentimental. I say goodbye. I have many other “essential” gourmet cooking gadgets I can use in my future attempts to be creative. I toss the pan, still tightly sealed, with the stinky eggs into the dumpster and order a replacement pan on Amazon. I think my next artistic pension payment will be in another art form. Watercolor lessons anyone?