Skip to main content

Built to Last

My three favourite pots

Left to right: Rice, Dutch and Little. The Lagostina Trio.


I don't use Little Pot for much. Quick pickles, blueberry syrup for pancakes, hot oatmeal in the morning. I was making oatmeal this morning when I took a look at the gleaming silver side of Little and saw my face in it. Warped. Dishevelled. OK, the picture was warped and I was dishevelled. Hair out of place, four days growth on my chin. It was breakfast time - I needed some nutrients before my morning tonsorial routine.

It was years since I really looked at Little. She and I have been together a long time.

They are Cindy's pots, to be clear. A matched set of three Lagostina pots, with a copper slice sandwiched between two layers of 18/10 stainless steel. With lids.

There's Little, who you're already met . Then there is Rice Pot, which we use more often. It'll hold a big can of soup comfortably, or rice for two with leftovers. And Dutch Oven, which is perfect for homemade soup, tomato sauce or jambalaya. Hmm..I haven't made jambalaya in ages...

They are Cindy's pots. She had them when we first met and I must say, it was a deal clincher for me. When I met Cindy, she was 22, drop-dead gorgeous and funky and interesting like nobody I had met before. The first time I finagled an invitation to her apartment on Regina Avenue, two blocks from the only house we'd ever buy, I was floored by the kitschy, vintage decorations which screamed to me that an extremely interesting woman lived here. And the second time I finagled an invitation up to her place, it was for dinner. Cindy's special ribs, with the sauce made in Little and rice made in, well, Rice.

What a woman! What ribs! What pots! How did that tangy, syrupy sauce bubble away without scorching and sticking to the bottom? How did the rice stay white, with no hard, crusty bits? Ahh, that's the magic of 18/10 stainless steel. I was mesmerized.

I pursued her relentlessly. Cindy I mean. But I had a place in my heart for the Lagostina trio too. My pathetic Texaco giveaway pots were an embarrassment, with their thin lids, thinner bottoms, seized on black flecks, and patented Insta-Scorch technology. When I cooked for myself, I seethed at my cheapo cookware. As I wooed Cindy and cooked for her, I found myself borrowing one of her pots more often.

Soon we were living together. Me and Cindy, I mean. Married too. There was room for only one set of cookware and since mine was pretty much foldable, the Texaco collection got the heave ho and the Lagostina girls got star billing and a place in the drawer beside the stove. (We kept the Texaco plates.)

Our little family began to grow. Ben was born right about the time we got Saucier. I wanted more surface area to make velouté for Cindy's chicken pies and Alton Brown said we needed a high sided saucepan. The handle matched the trio exactly and the Dutch's lid fit too.

When Robyn born we accepted that the family was growing and changes were needed. Enter the pasta pot with steamer insert. Just as Ben and Robyn are different, Pasta is different too. Different handles, but the same sleek Lagostina lines and of course the 18/10 base with copper sandwich. We love them both equally and unconditionally. Ben and Robyn I mean.

And that's us. A happy family who stick together through thick and thin. Who love and support each other no matter where we are in the world.

Sure, we've had other family members come and go. Non-stick fry pans mostly. Buddy Dog, Iggy Cat, Jake and Ollie too. But you can't break the four of us up, no less than you can separate the copper from the 18/10. We stick together.

On September 26th, Monday, it will be 30 years since Cindy and I stood up in front of everybody and agreed that life was pretty damn awesome when we were together. The sky was bluer, the air was fresher, the birds sang louder and more beautifully.

That if we took care of each other, we would be happier than we ever dreamed was possible. And that we could do more good in the world if we did it together.

Just the two of us. And later, the four of us. Mark and Cin, Ben and Robyn. Dutch and Rice and Little and Pasta and Saucier.

Good things last.