Ebay ... I log on thinking that I'm going to find a Copco open searing, saute, stir-fry, casserole type pan. I'm looking for a piece that I can sear meat in, add a sauce, and finish it in the oven. I'm looking for a piece in which I can do some major wok work and serve right from the final stir-fry. I'm looking for a paella pan. I'm looking to get a bargain.
And I do! I find that one piece that I think would showcase that cacciatore or braised spare ribs or paella or stir-fried rice perfectly. No one is bidding on it when I find it, so I throw my hat into the ring and key in a 'maximum bid' that is ridiculously low for the quality and condition of the piece. A little voice in the back of my mind tells me, "Walk away from the auction, Susan." I may not know much about history or biology, or philosophy, or the French I took, but I do know pottery and cookware. This pan is a beautiful piece and there are no others like it on the website. It will surely draw attention.
There is no free lunch ...
Thus, ensues an afternoon of 'check and check again'. I do laundry and 'check'. I walk the dogs and 'check'. I peel a pot of tomatoes, make pizza sauce and ... 'check'. I crack a beer and 'check'. This goes on into the evening. Hell, I even tape the Red Sox game and don my Red Sox cap in lieu of perching in front of the TV and ... I check. I am gleeful at around 4 PM. No one seems to be that interested in my new kitchen piece. At 5 PM, things take a turn, though. The bids climb and as they do, I begin checking the cost of new Le Creuset pans ... they make a wok that will set you back around $200. Right now, I can never afford that and my luck at give-aways on PW's website is just non-existent. I comfort myself with the reminder that I am looking at a Copco enamel coated cast iron pan circa mid 70's. This is not the same as Le Creuset - moneywise. I begin to gauge how much I want this vintage piece. Hmm..... I'm thinking that $45 should seal the deal, but damn! Someone else has found the pan too.
And so it goes ... there is no free lunch.
Over the course of the evening, the bidding total has climbed from $11.95 (remember that ridiculously low bid?!?) to $35 to $45 to $50 to $53. And as the bidding closes, I check a lot more frequently. Guess what? I got it at $53.50. That's a bit more than I figured. Guess we'll eat peanut butter and jelly for a few days. After that, there may be ... paella, cacciatore, ... who knows ?
In the meantime, did you ever have toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? When I was a kid, I sometimes made these after school. Today, I have a loaf of semolina bread that will make a great crusty, crunchy toasted sandwich ... and since I was talking about peanut butter and jelly ... oh, don't get all snobby on me! Tap into your inner child! I double dog dare ya!