I like cooking and eating! I guess it’s because I always paid attention to my mom in the kitchen when I was little. All right, I admit it was probably just because I hated everything (Picky Vikki!), and was watching her like a hawk to make sure no onions got into anything. During Christmastime we always helped bake and decorate cookies, and I don’t think I realized until I was older that she was the Dessert Lady at every event our family was invited to.
I started asking for housewares as birthday and holiday gifts towards the end of high school to prepare for college and beyond. During the first two years of college, cooking was mostly just a few spaghetti nights here and there. (I remember a crock-pot insert being used on a stovetop for sauce and it definitely cracked in half!) Junior year we moved off campus and my roommates were all vegetarian, so no more Hamburger Helper. I had to learn how to feed them! (Oh yeah, and this was the year I learned “Grill” at McDonald’s. Year 5 of 7 total “served”! I am pretty good with meat cooking times/temps and scraping some dirty grills!)
My family members were more than happy to clean out their cupboards and donate their pots, pans, Tupperware, and gadgets to my ventures. After college, I moved and landed a job working at a local kitchen store for several years. I became a top salesperson very quickly — not due to my sales skills, per se, but because I had a great interest in what I was selling and soaked up every little bit of knowledge I could so that I could better prepare myself for the ever increasing consumer concerns in today’s society. Even though I no longer work there, I learned a lot, and I enjoyed being able to talk about cooking and eating all day long, solving problems and learning to bake and cook things I had never heard of or tried. I got to see and test a lot of housewares and I still love sharing my knowledge with others.
I can’t find one single place on the internet to find all of the information I’ve gathered over the years, and I want to make it easier for others. There are tons of sites to find recipes, and lots of places to buy things. Here and there you can find a tip about cleaning something or caring for something, but it’s usually just for that one item.
And who can trust a review? For regular internet reviews of housewares, most people only review things to complain. Not many folks want to spend time talking about how much they love something, usually just how much they hate it so they can guilt someone into giving them a refund, or at least make them feel bad. A lot of people don’t use things properly or are just lazy (sorry!) and don’t actually want to put the needed amount of time into using the product they purchased.
Case in point, I read a great article this past year about the Consumer Reports editors’ favorite items for holiday gifts. One editor said his dream coffee maker wasn’t even rated with Consumer Reports because the overall rating system had to account for ease of use/programmability/etc., but this thing makes the best coffee! Keep an eye out for that future blog post. 😉
So please enjoy! Send me your questions and comments and I will try to give my best answer, or let me know if there’s a topic you’d like to see me cover. If I don’t know it, I won’t make something up just to appease, and will even try to refer you somewhere or end up researching it for you just because you’ve piqued my interest. 😉 I haven’t tried every single brand out there, but I sure have seen a lot, and that also helps make educated guesses on similar products. I also do know a handful about furniture, especially outdoor furniture (and how it is cared for in the Pacific Northwest!), so I might be able to help out on that side of your home, too!
“Whether you cook or not is a political act. It’s a choice for a certain kind of food and a certain kind of food system. People who cook take back control of their diets and their agriculture … from industrial corporations who really want to insinuate themselves and control this whole process. When you cook you suddenly take an interest in where all this comes from. It draws you into this alternative food economy because you really care about quality. [Cooking is also] a transformative personal act. It changes you. If you cook you will have meals instead of just grazing all day. Cooking and meals are inextricably entwined. … If you cook you’re going to share, you’re all going to be eating the same thing. … Eating from the same pot is a powerful metaphor.” ~Michael Pollan