Saved from the smelter

‘Take anything you want,’ said my husband. ‘Everything is going to the trash once this property is sold.’

Great words for someone who likes upcycling and recycling, and I had already taken all of the useful things like garden tools, clothespins, and the big peony bush, so what else was there left to take? I guess it all started with this.

Il Piccolo Talismano della Felicità (the little talisman of happiness). The one and only cookbook of my mother-in-law Carla, its original dust jacket replaced with aluminum foil, the pages worn and discolored from time. I checked the publish date – November 1961 – before I was even born. The silver of the foil reminded me of her old aluminum cooking pots, the ones she used to make our favorite Italian dish – cassoeula.

Cooking savoy cabbage in the amended oval pot (my father-in-law’s doing).

Braising the pork (ribs, skin, sausages) in a separate pan.

Mixing all together before serving.

It didn’t take me long to find her pots and pans in the basement, along with other well-used cookware. The bottom of the shallow pan to the left is slightly warped, so it wobbles on the burner, and the handles are not heatproof! The hinged handles on the baking pans allow me to hook them up on a wall if I want to.

Carla’s aluminum cookware

It’s ironic that these are mine now. When I first moved here, almost 20 years ago, she gave me the chance to select whatever I needed from a stash of cookware in her kitchen. I remember that these weren’t among the collection, because most everything was of the nonstick type. I probably wouldn’t have chosen them anyway, being accustomed to modern kitchenware.

It is with much regret we weren’t with her the night she passed 8 years ago. But by giving these old pots and pans a new purpose in my kithcen, a piece of Carla came home with me.

8 thoughts on “Saved from the smelter

  1. Anonymous

    Praying for you during this sad time.
    You apparently have a lot of memories to treasure.
    Be kind to yourself.
    Cousin Gloria Amulacion Tan
    Eastvale, CA



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