Saucepans and slow cookers – making do part 1

My kids went back to school today and I got the house back to myself! It does seem a bit quiet around here though :). Anyway, I now have time to start tackling a long list of things to do and although I should be focussing on how I’m going to make myself £10,000 in a year (read more here) I got a little sidetracked this morning thinking about saucepans and slow cookers!

Ages ago I spent a while googling saucepans to try and work out which ones are the safest and most eco-friendly. I found some companies out there claiming they have some magic eco-friendly saucepans made from a material they can’t quite describe sensibly (i.e. they have given it a brand name). I wasn’t convinced by their claims and prefer to stick with something with a name that relates to a known substance, that has been tried and tested and well reviewed. When I looked into it, the best well known options from a non-reactive, least problems with leaching into the food perspective were glass, stainless steel and anodised aluminium (as long as not scratched or dented). Cast iron is also good, but is reactive I think.

Metal saucepans do get scratched and dented and our ones are no exception. It is safest to replace most saucepans when that happens as metals can leach into the food being cooked. We have had our for 10 years and I have been planning to send them to metal recycling heaven and replace them with new ones. I was thinking about investing in some stainless steel ones.

That was until the penny dropped. I already have a stainless steel steamer three tiered saucepan set. I also already have two glass saucepans. I use them occasionally – the glass saucepan to make yoghurt and the steamer to steam fish or vegetables. Why would I go out and buy new saucepans when I already have some that are in good condition???

I used to keep the steamer and glass saucepans at the top of a very high cupboard and they were a bit out of sight and out of mind. Then after my decluttering efforts for the Minimalism Game (read more here), I moved them to a shelf where they are really easy to access. Now I can see them and reach them easily I have actually remembered that I have them and that I can make use of them all the time if I want to (not just occasionally)!

I was wondering if I would miss my large soup pan and if I need to replace it at which point I went off on a tangent thinking about slow cooking. I don’t have a slow cooker but am coming round to the idea that slow cooking could be really useful for making meals ahead of time and making things like stocks and soups. If I got a slow cooker then I could probably live without a soup pan. However today I made some exciting discoveries that I will tell you all about tomorrow!

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