Now, if you’ve followed me on social media for a while, or (unlikely, I know) have come across me in person and the subject of cooking food comes up (even less likely, which is odd, because I like food a lot), then you’ll probably know about me and steel pans. And if any of the above situations rings a bell, and you don’t know about me and steel pans, then it’s quite possible that you were nodding along happily and paying no further attention to anything I was saying. That’s ok. I’m hurt, I’m offended, I feel like we haven’t given these interactions the same level of importance, but it’s ok.

I can no longer cook with non-stick pans. There, I’ve said it. Once upon a time, I couldn’t do any of these things with a steel pan – you know how it goes, you heat it up, you throw some oil in, the oil burns, you throw the food in, the food sticks and burns, you throw the food away and start again with the teflon-coated pan and whatever ingredients you have left – but now, I can’t really do any of it with a teflon-coated pan. Or for that matter, with the clever ceramic pans that I bought in Homestore and More, which are non-stick once and then never again. No, now it’s all about correct temperature, timing, heating trajectories, oil, the tools, the sense of how the food should be, the very nature of metal and heat transfer, like surfing on a wave made of feelings and context and hot egg. I think I can cook anything in a metal pan now (in so far as I can cook, but that’s a discussion for another day). I don’t need non-stick surfaces any more.

I miss the teflon-coated pans sometimes, though. Life was simpler then, like when we had the big fifty pence pieces. Do you remember them? Ah, magic.