Woo hoo! I am so excited by my newest kitchen additions! I’ve been wanting to get stainless steel baking pans for ages, but they are sooo expensive. Several years ago, I bought a number of baking pans at Walmart, not realizing they were aluminum. I soon discovered they were terrible quality (they left black marks on the bottom of the food cooked in it, through the parchment paper) and after a while I threw them away (and I don’t recklessly throw things out – they were really horrible). And I went back to using disposable aluminum pans lined with baking paper.
But I really don’t like using them. I don’t like the wastefulness of having to periodically buy a large stack, and then having to throw them out (I rewash and reuse them, but they still don’t last long). Pans are something you should be able to buy once and then have them. And I don’t like the health concerns associated with using aluminum (even though I line them before using). And my kids really don’t like washing them, since they have those difficult to clean ridged sides.
But I haven’t been successful in finding affordable alternatives. I looked at Sam’s Club, to see if they had some decent quality pans, but they were all aluminum. My husband checked prices from restaurant suppliers for stainless steel pans a while back, and they were out of my budget. Periodically I think about where and how to get good metal baking pans (not glass because glass doesn’t last long around here), but I haven’t had any luck finding anything suitable in mainstream stores at reasonable prices.
On Weds. night, I was totally out of disposable pans, once again unexpectedly (it happens when you discover all the pans you have have teeny pin sized (or bigger) holes on the bottom and have to all be thrown away unless you want a burnt-on mess in the bottom of the oven at the end of the cooking time from the leaks). And the pan I borrowed when I was given the meat from a restaurant a while back (the meat was in it) happened to catch my eye. It’s been put to the side for ages, waiting to be returned, but hasn’t quite made it out of the house yet. I figured since it was the only usable pan in the house and the people I borrowed it from wouldn’t mind, I’d use it for our honey baked lentils last night, and I did.
Then this morning, I finally took out the Lehman’s catalog that came along with my oil lamps a few weeks ago. I was flipping through, and in the kitchen section, I looked to see if they had any stainless steel baking pans. They had one baking pan with a lid for about $35. The pan I used the night before from the restaurant suddenly flashed into my mind, and it occurred to me that I could ask the owners if they had extra pans like that which they might be willing to sell me. If they had more than they could use, they’d make a little money and get rid of pans they weren’t using, and I’d be able to buy some more cheaply than I could buy them new.
Yesterday I asked my husband if he could speak to them, since he’s the one who has more of a relationship with them than I do. He said he’d try, and I figured within a few days, I’d hear if they would sell them and what the price would be. When he came home several hours later, he brought a surprise for me – nine stainless steel pans! All of them were 9 x 13, six were standard depth, and three were like the one I didn’t yet return, about double that depth. So now I have ten strong pans that will last me forever, enough for whatever cooking I do at any given time. Bye, bye, disposable pans!
And guess what? They told him we could have them for free!! Can you believe that?! I wasn’t expecting it AT ALL. I would have gladly paid for them and counted myself very lucky to have them at less than the retail price. (I think the only reason they did that is they like my husband. :)) Isn’t that a nice way to go into Shabbos? And my ten year old son, whose turn it is for dishes, is very happy about them, too – he hates washing the disposable pans, and just in the nick of time, he’ll have something much easier to wash this Saturday night!