Published on May 9th, 2011 | by Greg0
EarthPan and Top Knobs: Mother’s Day Gifts For All
Mother’s Day can be tough- it’s all to easy to fall back on flowers and a card, and maybe some chocolates. But satisfying your mama doesn’t have to mean taking the normal path, repeated each year. Perhaps this year (or for the next holiday, like Father’s Day), you’ll consider two different gift ideas for the home.
The EarthPan line by Farberware and Meyer Cookware claims to offer an exclusive eco-friendly nonstick coating called SandFlow. It’s dishwasher safe, good for even high heat cooking (600 degrees), and doesn’t contain PTFE or PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) both of which have been shown to be of potential harm to consumers over time. Ours was the hard anodized 12-inch skillet, and we’ve been testing it through regular use over the last month. Omelets and fried eggs, reheating leftovers, frying some vegetables- we simmered and stirred and came away a little disappointed.
Certainly, the pans look nice, and feel pretty solid. The handles are good, but the pan is fairly light weight- for those used to cast iron, it might come as a nice surprise to be able to lift a pan easily. In fact, the handle can seem a bit overweight versus the pan. Cooking isn’t as even as cast iron, but the high sides are convenient for some flipping. And at first, we also liked the nonstick coating. It didn’t perform as well as, say, Swiss Diamond, but it seemed pretty easy to clean. Soon, though, the coating seemed to dissipate and more and more oil or butter was required- eggs became harder to make and flip and we had to chip away at items as the surface appeared increasingly marked. This was unfortunate- even though the price is decent at $45 or so and large sets are available at a discount, it won’t be the right item for daily use over time. But for a mom who mainly uses larger pans, or one who only cooks occasionally, this one might be right on the money.
Another alternative is to think decorative and functional at the same time. It might seem like a weird idea, but replacing our drawer pulls and handles has made our lives better and we wouldn’t wish our old ones on anyone else. Top Knobs makes a wide variety of, well, knobs for just about any purpose. They offer bed and bath collections as well, but our major use was in the kitchen, where our ancient drawer pulls detached themselves from the actual cabinets anytime you applied pressure. Which is to say, anytime you tried to open a door.
We were sent a selection from the Aspen collection, including back plates, all in various styles and shapes and sizes. They offer a gigantic selection, and most of ours were solid bronze. We especially liked the flower back plate (even the mounting hardware can be attractive), but also the unique Twig line offered in various finishes. Their oval and circular pulls are solid and hefty, though can seem a bit pricey at around $20 per knob. They are meant to last a lifetime though, and mounting is easy, using standard equipment. Available primarily through showrooms and dealers, but also online- and they offer a unique free sample program where you pay only shipping for three of your choice- a fun way to check out which knobs might be for you.