Scratches in Non-stick Coating

When I came to Vancouver, I decided to leave one item from the kitchen behind, a frying pan.

It wasn’t simply that I dislike frying pans, or even out of generosity towards Jeff that I bequeathed it upon him, rather, the real reason for leaving it, was that I had walked in one morning to find Jeff scrambling eggs in the pan with a metal object. The resulting scratches in the non-stick coating felt like scars upon my heart. At that very moment I knew that the pan was dead to me. Metal utensils and frying pans with non-stick coatings simply should never, ever, meet.

I wanted to throw the pan out immediately, the impending annoyance at every subsequent wash would surely drive me to the edge. And it did. Every time I saw the water catch in those discolored curves, a resentment for Jeff and his ignorance of non-stick surfaces (he learned his lesson, I believe, and I will eventually forgive him) grew more and more. My mind, awash with frustration, would entertain thoughts of attempting to force Jeff to purchase a new pan and agree never to touch it, or demand a new pan for myself as a christmas gift from him. Neither happened, I just tucked my frustration and resentment into a little ball next to my stomach and hoped it wouldn’t burst too often. Jeff, every time I ever got pissed off at you about cleaning the house or anything like that, this was part of it.

Now, why am I telling you all this? Well. Well, well, well.

This morning — waking up in the afternoon still counts as morning — I decided I would make myself some quesadillas, a long-time favorite of mine. My frying pan was not on the stove, rather it had been put away some time during my cousins’ visit last weekend, so, I located it in one of the large drawers near my stove under a pile of other pots and retrieved it.

Shock. Denial. Anger. Guilt. Bargaining. Depression.

My frying pan has full, deep scratches straight through the non-stick coating.

My frying pan has full, deep scratches straight through the non-stick coating.

It wasn’t an expensive frying pan, bought somewhere like London Drugs if I recall correctly, but it worked. In most cases, I tend to go for the expensive stuff, but with this pan came the thought that I would be the only person touching it.

My paranoia concerning people breaking my things goes back to age five, and describing it in detail would take more space than this post has to offer, but let it be said that every time anybody touches an item of mine that I didn’t purchase explicitly for its durability, my gut reaction is to put them through a tutorial concerning how one properly uses the item and secure a signed contract asserting their responsibility over the item. For the sake of having people speak to me, I hold this gut reaction back and prevent myself from throwing the person off a balcony when I discover something of mine has been permanently lessened by its encounter with that person’s hands, but if you pay attention, you will still hear the anger sneak into my voice when I attempt to say, “hey, ya know, you probably shouldn’t do that to that thing.” I do my best to phrase it in such a way that it will not offend somebody, but in little curly braces after I say it are the words, “you ignorant primate,” and I think people notice from time to time.

In my hands, I had felt that this cheap frying pan would last a long time, I am far too concerned with keeping everything I have pristine to let myself damage it any way. It more or less did its job while it lasted, but I will be purchasing a new pan this weekend or next and never touching this one’s scarred flesh again.

4 thoughts on “Scratches in Non-stick Coating

  1. Now that I think about it, I didn’t think you were the type of person that would be so “anal” about such an aesthetic defection. I guess it’s more about your childhood complex, but that pan bugged me after the incident as well. At least I’m ahead of the game when compared to the offending cousin, as you seem to imply… but that sucks it happened again.

  2. Has nothing to do with aesthetics and everything to do with usefulness. The ease of cleaning, the ease of use, the level of cleanliness attainable, all diminished as soon as there is a scratch through the coating. Every wash widens the break, every egg fried fills it with more crusty egg matter, every time I lift an egg or cheese dripping from a quesadilla it sticks to it, every time I use a spatula to push food around it catches and grinds over the cut. The job of a pan is to have no effect on cooking and heat your food, after it has been attacked it no longer does one of those things.

    My childhood complex is about even letting you touch the pan, the living with the sliced-up thing is about me trying not to slit your throat in your sleep.

    And it wasn’t a cousin, but rather a girl named Stephanie who cooked an amazing dinner for us all one of the nights, and luckily for her, she’s cute.

  3. heh. i read this and it all makes sense to me. especially the part regarding paranoia about others breaking and/or touching stuff.

    metal and non-stick should never meet. lovebirds + non-stick shouldn’t meet either, but that’s different.

    single tear for your frying pan.

    [ps – cast iron is good and all, but sometimes you want more temperature control than it can really allow]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *