Because I like to cook (which in my case is not the same as being a good cook), and because I therefore love to thumb through catalogs of cooking utensils that appear in my mail, I am always picking out, mentally, all sorts of neat and handy stuff. Expensive pots and pans I have no space or need for, serving dishes I do not need but that are lovely, and gadgets galore, again that would have to compete with all the handy, dandy devices I already have and use, and the others. But there was one ad in the Williams Sonoma catalog (W-S being a guilty pleasure), for a cooking fork, and frankly anyone who cooks even plain food really needs one of those. It was just in the price range I could justify, obviously not cheap but well-made, and nothing that would break the piggy bank or be embarrassing in its cost. So day after day I picked up that catalog and flipped to that page and had just made up my mind to get one.
Then one night my subconscious must have gone to work on me, because during the night, the thought popped into my relative conscious that I already had a cooking fork. It came with an old knife set I am incapable of discarding, but do not use on an every-day basis, and was safely tucked in one of the kitchen drawers where I keep old items I have, just in case. The next morning, I went to the drawer, extricated the fork, and it has been busy ever since. It turns meats I’m browning or sautéing, it helps break up frozen foods I’m microwaving, it can even double as a serving fork for everyday use.
What it is, is a valuable cooking tool. I learned about having the right tools years ago, when we were young, poor early-marrieds, and my husband needed a drill. Just an everyday common electric drill, to install hinges on some shutters he had stained. (To this day, he’s not crazy about shutters.) Anyway, he broached the subject of a drill, and I really cross-examined him about whether the drill would have limited uses and all that. This illustrates how ignorant I was about tools and how tight our budget was. He ended up getting that drill, and needless to say it labored long in the service of our home and then was passed along to our daughter when it was replaced with a more heavy-duty one, and I learned to be quiet when he says he needs a tool. Because we all need the right tool for the job.
And reclaiming my cooking fork from its drawer and putting it into service reminded me that many, many times we think we need or want something that we already have. We just need to look around. Real good.