Saturday, March 26, 2011

Have you seen the muffin pan?

Wedding shower gifts from 1971
 The person who gave Mom these baking pans at her wedding shower in 1971 could never have known the long term yield on the investment. Other snazzier models (non-stick, air insulated, etc.) have been introduced into the household over the years, but the cookie sheet to the right is the one that is still burning the bottoms of ginger bread boys and roasting tater tots.

I made popovers yesterday and while digging through the storage drawer under the stove to find the muffin pan, discovered that I must have been distracted when cleaning up after my last baking project.

It seems that I totally bypassed the, "Oh, just let it soak overnight in the sink," step and put it away without even rinsing it at all. I love to cook and honestly enjoy doing dishes, but pots and pans are usually the last in the line-up, and they sometimes get overlooked. Have you ever opened the door of the oven to put something into it only to discover the roasting pan from last weekend, right where you left it?
The  muffin pan
I found an electric skillet in my grandmother's kitchen that contained what may have been the remnants of fried chicken, which I estimate to have been in there for at least five years before my discovery. It was stored in the cabinet over the refrigerator, which nobody in my immediate family can reach without a ladder, so I am not quite sure how it got there. The condo kitchenette, which was designed for people who like to eat out, contained three complete sets of cookware, each with a large stock pot and three sizes of saucepans.

What is the status of your cookie sheet collection? Is there something sticky permanently stuck to your non-stick?  Are you regularly ingesting Teflon flakes with your scrambled eggs? How many sauce pans do you really use on a day other than Thanksgiving? This week's Downsize Challenge is to take inventory of your pots and pans and cull out any that you are ready to live without. If intensive cleaning and polishing is in order, as it was here, an online search for "how to clean pots and pans" will yield many great suggestions for dealing with baked on grease. A paste of vinegar and baking soda worked very well for us.

If your unwanted pots and pans are still in usable condition for cooking, consider donation sites that accept household goods (Salvation Army, Goodwill, other charities in your area, etc.) Posting them on Craigslist under "free stuff" or on Freecycle might also help them find a good new home. Some metal pans will be accepted by your recycling center, but non-stick cookware seems to be a challenge in most areas. Consider re-purposing instead. Mom has found a few applications in the greenhouse. Seedling flats sit nicely on an old rusty cookie sheet. The handles can often be removed from pans and can serve as dishes under houseplants.

Gluten free muffins

Is there a place in the house where a magnetic message board would help YOU get more organized? Before you throw away that metal cookie sheet, check out this link for a creative idea with simple instructions by Carolyn on her beautiful blog about do it yourself projects at home.

Last night, I covered an old Baker's Secret with fabric to create a reminder board for Opa. When he woke up this morning, he was greeted by this note:

Today is Saturday
  (a good day for a shower)
  Muffins for breakfast!


  1. Hi Darby,
    Thank you so much for linking to my cookie sheet magnet board project. I'm so glad you liked the idea - and especially since your board is going to such good use.
    Hope you had a great weekend.
    carolyn - homework

  2. have heard about using old muffins tins for cups of paint for kids!

  3. Katie in AustraliaJune 26, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    Love Carolyn's cookie sheet magnet board project - so pretty (and useful)! It's inspired me to make one.

  4. boy those pans look familiar!