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Published on May 9th, 2011 | by Greg


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.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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