[ Seppo Mallat & An Everlasting Meal ]
As a kid, I used to spend afternoons in my grandma’s kitchen learning how to make pies and bread, and how to cook and can chokecherry jelly. As an adult, I don’t love cooking everyday. There are evenings where it feels like just another chore and the meal is met with “do I really have to eat that?” looks on the kids’ faces.
More often than not, though, I find a simple pleasure in food—both preparing and eating it. It’s even more enjoyable when I use tools for which I have a fondness, like my vintage Le Creuset sauce pan, my thrifted rolling pin, identical to the one my mom has used since my childhood, and now, my newly thrifted Seppo Mallat Finel sauté pan.
I have always hoped to find Kobenstyle cookware at the thrift store, but have struck out thus far. I hadn’t ever seen the Finel cookware designed by Seppo Mallat until I snagged this pan off the shelf at Goodwill. Now, I am head over heels for the design. I like the modern straight sides of the designs in contrast to the more traditional shape of Kobenstyle.
While my new pan makes me smile every time I use it, the book I’m currently reading, An Everlasting Meal, has me inspired and excited to cook up something new. Author Tamar Adler writes eloquently about the endless possibilities of the simplest foods. I found myself chuckling as she describes the elation of peeling a boiled egg in one swoop, and my mouth watering, craving a slice of garlicky toast at midnight when I’m reading in bed.
I have the book for another week from the library before I sadly have to return it. I think I will have to put this on my wish list, as I think it is an excellent resource to own.
Here is an excerpt from Chapter 1: How to boil water
“There is a prevailing theory that we need to know much more than we do in order to feed ourselves well. It isn’t true. Most of us already have water, a pot to put it in, and a way to light a fire. This gives us boiling water, in which we can do more good cooking than we seem to realize.
Our culture frowns on cooking in water. A pot and water are both simple and homely. It is hard to improve on the technology of the pot, or of the boil, leaving, when it comes to this particular technique, nothing for the cookbook and cookware industries to sell.
The pot was invented 10,000 years ago, and a simmering one has been a symbol of a well-tended hearth every since. I don’t mean to suggest that now that you have been reminded of the age and goodness of a pot of water, you start boiling everything in your kitchen, but that instead of trying to figure out what to do about dinner, you put a big pot of water on the stove, light the burner under it, and then, as soon as it’s on its way to getting hot, start looking for things to put in it. Once you do, you will have dropped yourself, in a single gesture, directly into the middle of cooking a meal, jostled by your faith and will a few steps closer to dinner…”