Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Pan For All Seasons

Well, here it is December 2 already. We have been blessed with above seasonal temperatures, but I am sure that Mother Nature will be losing her temper with us in the near future and temps will plummet. My Zonal Geraniums on the deck continue to bloom their little hearts out, as does the Abutilon, aka Flowering Maple, and an assortment of others I couldn't find room for indoors. The back porch plants are doing well, the Gazania blooms open for a few minutes each day if they get enough light through the patio door.

I have been busy this week reorganizing my kitchen cupboards. I have a lot of herbs and spices, and they were spread throughout 3 rooms. Now I have them all in one - ok two - places in the kitchen, side by side. Then there is allllll my baking pans. They are, mostly, all now side by side in 3 spots. My several mixing bowls are all together in one spot and my baking utensils now fill 3 drawers.

When I go to a thrift store, something I love to do, I always look for baking pans and utensils in good shape. I have got some of my best pans that way. I found one recently at the Salvation Army Thrift Store and I had no clue what it was for. It looked nifty. Yesterday I searched baking pans online and found out it is a Cookie-sicle pan...make your cookie (or cake) dough, spread in the indentations in the pan, bake, cool, and insert popsicle sticks in them and you have a Cookie-sicle. Hey, they sell for $14.00 and I got it for $1.00.

Then there is the Ring Mold, or Savarin Pan. Got it for 50 cents last year. I have a Shell pan, for making shell-shaped cookies, cakelets or the like. Several different sized muffin tins, from really tiny - 25 cents each - to super size. One pan makes 24 mini muffins. Oh, and 3 Bundt pans, one of which is heavy duty and an odd design. Then there is the pans that look like fancy muffins; the ones that look like they would make Danish Aebleskiver the Danish pancake pan...it's actually a Mini Ball pan for making ball shaped mini cakes; some Angel Food pans - one missing the bottom insert, don't know where it went to; two sets of square and one set of round Fruitcake pans; cheesecake pans; round cake pans of varying widths and depths as well as two lone square ones. Oh and the two 9 x 13 pans one of which is Pyrex.

Did I mention the loaf pans? Bente was at a garage sale way back in the spring and saw a large pile of pans sitting there, for...are you ready for this?...10 cents each!!! 10 CENTS! Of course she bought them for me. There are 3 different sizes: regular, large, and of course, EXTRA LARGE. I love them. They are heavy duty, and work great in my Outdoor Gas Convection Oven. I have so many I even gave a couple to Kate to use with her new Bread Machine. They are the perfect size to make two loaves of bread from one batch of dough.

Then there is the two tart pans - no not the little tarts you eat by hand, but the large, 10 inch tart pans that make a fancy open-faced pie
usually using a buttery shortbread type crust. And speaking of pie...yes, I have pie plates, in 4 different sizes from about 4 inch to 10 inch..ok the 10 inch is actually a Corning Ware tart pan I have had for 25 years now. Oh, and the two sets of mini Angel Food pans I have, one I got as a gift years ago and kind of fell apart so Richard took it apart, saving the little pans and the other I just got at the thrift store, intact.

Oh yeah, I forgot the two heart shaped cake pans from the thrift store for a dollar each. But the only pans I don't have, that I really, really want, are Brioche pans. I had the mini brioche pans at one time years ago and didn't know what they were. I think they are packed away upstairs somewhere in a box in all the junk but Richard won't bring down boxes for me to go through, even though I have been asking for 3 years now. I can't climb the stairs because of my knee, but that's another story.

Anyway, someday I keep hoping I will run across Brioche pans in the thrift stores. Someday....

So what am I going to do with all these pans, you ask? Well, use them, silly! I use a lot of them already. When I make cupcakes, like to make the mini ones, a recipe will make about 6 dozen of them. My bread pans I use ALL the time. Pie pans are seasonal for me. Oh, no particular season, just once in a while I go on a pie or galette baking binge, so...seasonal. My baking sheets I use all the time as well. Cookies at Christmas; Scones year round; I use them when I bake bread to set the bread pans on to help insulate the bottom of the bread; cake pans for cake and to make buns in. Yup, I use them all at one time or another.

Now it's time to make dinner. And then I think I will make some Scones. I found an interesting recipe online on a blog I read for making Cookie Scones. Sound good. Will put dried cranberries in them of course.

Will let you know how they turn out.

And how they taste.

Yeah, I know...


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