Tucked beneath all the shinier, newer, and all-around nicer baking pans and sheets in my drawer is one very old cookie sheet. It's surface is dull and mottled with stains. It's dented and slightly warped. And every time my husband asks me if we can get rid of it, I snatch it from his hands and nestle it back in its place. Here's why.
A battered baking sheet is a surprisingly useful thing to have. It's crucial for messy jobs like catching drips from a pie or broiling meatballs. It also makes a handy tray for carrying food out to the grill or a double batch of cookies to a family picnic. This is the baking sheet you don't have to worry about because it's already taken a few licks.
Besides, the battered baking sheets in our kitchens have history! Mine is actually the very first baking sheet I ever owned, given to me by my mother when she visited my first post-college apartment and was mortified at my kitchen set-up (or lack thereof). This baking sheet has seen it all. Some might say its silly to get attached to an object like this, but to me, it's part of my history as a cook.
Do you keep one old baking sheet in your cupboard, too?
Related: In Praise of American Cheese
(Image: Emma Christensen)