I miss cooking for my foodies. I took pride in "experiment Sundays" as I used to call them, where I would find a recipe I had never cooked before and invite a bunch of people over to try it. With experiments over the years came a wide array of cookware. I have come to love the temperware products of yore. Remember those white porcelain, or whatever, dishes that were deep and had ugly orange, puke green, and booger yellow stencils of flowers on them? Yes, those things that your Grandma used to cook in. I HEART the old stuff. I can't tell you how quality the old stuff is. I love it....and I am missing it a little bit.
I decided I wanted to cook for people, so I invited myself over to another foodie's house to host a dinner. When I asked said foodie if he has the necessary cooking ware, he unfortunately could not provide. I scrounged around my temp-home here and could not find the necessary instruments either. That is when I decided it was ok for me to make a purchase.
I have noticed that when I am in the market for something, I can't find it, then a couple months later, I see this item EVERYWHERE. Last year, it was a modest white sundress. The year before it was a desk that pulls out. The year before that, it was a cheap, yet unique-looking entertainment center. And so it goes. This year, it is temperware that I can put in the oven and then put on the stove top without it breaking.
I found this great one at Crate and Barrel. I was afraid to go there at first because I heard rumors about how expensive this place is. Still unemployed and a recovering student, I just have to be careful at kitchen places in general.
I couldn't find exactly what I wanted, so I settled for a round, deep, glass dish with a lid. I knew I would be able to find multiple uses if it had a lid and was deep enough. It also had grooves on the bottom, which seemed to me to welcome being used on a stove top. I purchased it along with a couple pounds of roast. YUM!
The next day, dinner planning and prep was going splendidly. The other foodies all arrived in a timely manner, and the table was set with its best kitchenware. The roast smell lingered in the house reminding me of the time my family used to walk in our home on Sunday and say "Smells like Sunday!" I unwrapped it, and it was perfect. It was just juicy enough and tender enough that it would fall apart just by looking at it. I then started the gravy. My favorite part about cooking roast the way my dad/grandma taught me is using the leftover juice and burnings from the roast.....yum. It was also perfect. I didn't need to season it at all....
I poured the gravy through a strainer, and viola! I set the glassware in the sink and the next thing I know....EXPLOSION! The thing shattered to pieces. I was so used to my Grandma's temperware roast cooker that I forgot that hot glass on cool surfaces doesn't work. I was sad. I got over it real quick remembering that at least it didn't break before the meal was complete. I enjoyed the rest of Sunday...especially the eating part.
I thought I would go to Crate and Barrel, just to talk to them about options anyway. While I recognized that it was user error, I was also a little confused. The tag said tempered glass...which means it can deal with some kinds of strain, right? So, I went in, told my story. One lady was silently laughing at my stupidity....and I told her how embarrassed I was that I thought that 'tempered' meant what it said. One lady accused me of making things up and didn't want to help me score free product....you should have heard her critical comments. If she didn't feel like I should get an exchange, I would have been ok with a "no, we can't help you." Then the manager came up. I told the story and she also laughed at me. I said I was there just to see if there was a way that I could exchange despite the fact it was user error. She obliged, but then said "Just because it is tempered, doesn't mean it is unbreakable."
I'm not saying that you should go to Crate and Barrel to try out this method of exchange, but what I am saying is that I am one satisfied customer and will most likely do business with them because they were willing to work with 'user error.' BLESS you Crate and Barrel. KUDOS!