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The brave little pot | Lisa Scottoline

I kept using it, even though every meal smelled like smoke and I cut my finger on the metal edge. Plus, every time I poured out a pot of boiling spaghetti, holding only one handle, the pot would slip

I’ve finally become Mother Mary. I say this because I have a 42-year old spaghetti pot I can’t part with.

Let me explain.

I remember buying a Farberware spaghetti pot sometime after college, for my first apartment in West Philly. Back then, spaghetti was all I knew how to make, but that’s not a problem for The Flying Scottolines. Growing up, we had spaghetti every night. On Sundays we had gnocchi, and sometimes we had spaghetti with gnocchi.

I’m not even kidding.

So I have my trusty spaghetti pot from way back when, and I used it through several apartments, three homes, a pair of lousy marriages, and one perfect child.

I admit, there was a time in the ’80s when I cheated on my pot.

I succumbed to a foodie trend and bought a yuppie pasta pot, which cost a lot more. And the pot came with its own strainer that fit neatly inside.

I gave it a try, but the walls of the pot were so thick that water took forever to boil, and the entire assembly was so heavy to lift that I needed a crane.

So I went back to my first pot.

And we were happy together until a few years ago, when one of the black plastic handles fell off. I kept meaning to screw it back on, but then I lost the screw, and later, I lost the handle, too.


And then last year I noticed a funny burning smell whenever I cooked, and I realized that the bottom of the pot was peeling off, leaving a jagged metal edge.

I kept using it, even though every meal smelled like smoke and I cut my finger on the metal edge. Plus, every time I poured out a pot of boiling spaghetti, holding only one handle, the pot would slip into the sink and the water would burn my hands.

You get the idea.

I needed major medical for the pot.

So I decided to get a new one.

I saw online that Farberware still makes the same pot, which doesn’t surprise me because it is the Pot of All Pots.

I also saw that the company offers a lifetime guarantee, but I am not going to try to enforce it because I’m not a jerk.

Besides, 42 years is a lifetime.

If not mine, luckily.

Plus I have so much love for Farberware that I spent twenty bucks and bought another pot.

What a sport!

Anyway my new pot arrived last week, a bright and shiny version of my beloved one.

But you know what?

I can’t bring myself to use it.

I’m pretty sure it cooks the same, but I don’t want to find out.

I’m loyal to my old pot.

I mean, what am I supposed to do?

Throw it away? Discard a pot that has served me faithfully for decades? That has boiled every pasta I’ve ever made, with perfection?

I can’t do it.

So I put the new pot away.

For now.

I know this is completely irrational.

I’ve dispatched husbands more easily.

But don’t you have a pot or pan that you just love?

This reminds me of that old Donovan song, “Do you have some jeans that you really love, ones that you feel so groovy in?”

It’s a vintage question.

I love my groovy pot.

And I can’t be the only woman who anthropomorphizes cookware.

OK, maybe I am.

But have you ever seen the movie The Brave Little Toaster?

Did you cry?

I sure did.

He once took a Texan to a wedding!

This whole thing reminds me of Mother Mary, who got angry when her colander’s foot broke off. I reminded her that it was a 50-year-old colander, and she said:

“But I paid good money for it.”

I’ve told that story for years but never realized something:

It wasn’t about the money.

It was about the colander.

I get that now.

I know we joke about turning into our mothers, and some women anticipate that with mixed feelings.

But you know what?

I might be turning into Mother Mary.

And as she would say:

I should be so lucky.

By the way, I want to clarify something about voting after last week’s column, which one of you wonderful readers pointed out to me. At the time I requested a mail-in ballot for the primary, I must have checked the box that allowed ballots to be mailed to me automatically for future elections. If you did not check that box, your mail in-ballot for the November election will not be sent to you automatically. So please make sure your mail-in ballot is coming your way, and be sure to vote!

Look for Lisa’s first historical novel, “Eternal," coming on March 23, 2021. Also look for Francesca’s debut novel, “Ghosts of Harvard,” on sale now.