I’m convinced that every experienced home cook has at least one piece of cooking equipment that looks more like it was excavated from an archaeological dig than purchased from the shelves of Crate and Barrel. Whether it’s the ridiculously old-fashioned crank can-opener inherited from grandma, the cantankerous tea kettle that always seems to spurt boiling water on your fingers, or a cookie sheet marred by what appear to be grime hieroglyphics, I somehow find these can be my favorite items to cook with. There’s something comforting about cooking with history.
In this case, I’m pretty sure the “Baker’s Secret” is that this pan hasn’t been properly cleaned in 10 years.
And so, in honor of one such weathered kitchen companion, I present to you this totally ridiculous poem…..
An Ode to My Crappy Old Cookie Sheet
Oh, crappy ancient cookie sheet,
your smoky, mottled sheen
a dim and murky chestnut pane
that never quite comes clean
Tells tales of crisp-edged cookies
and vegetables of yore,
of strawberries that turn to ice
behind the freezer door.
I’m sure you were a wedding gift
(from whom I don’t remember).
I can’t recall a time without you,
metal family member.
I’d never think to trade you for
what some might call a better one–
no fancy, shiny pan could match
my stalwart oven veteran.
So though you burn tomatoes
and my onions you have blundered,
you buck like a Pamplona bull
at temps above four hundred,
And even though your face is scarred
with dark and lasting grime,
oh, crappy ancient cookie sheet,
I’d choose you every time.
How about you? Do you have a favorite well-worn kitchen item?