practical and beautiful

Years ago, one of my friends went on a trip and brought me back a gift: a hot pad for my cast iron skillet handle. I’d never seen anything like it before and was completely smitten. Ever since, it’s been in heavy use.

But then, o woe, I partially burned it up while making “steek” on the outdoor cookstove the other week. The hot pad was mangy before, but now bits of charred fabric were flaking into the food. It was time for it to go.

And then a few days later when I was making my birthday list, it occurred to me that I could request a new skillet sock. I already had a pair of my cousin Zoe’s handmade hot pads on my wishlist, so it’d be pretty easy to just add a skillet sock, too. But oh no, Zoe didn’t have any skillet socks on her site! I poked around Etsy, and then around Amazon, too, but, nothing looked right. All the skillet socks were either too flimsy or too tacky. Besides, how could I know if they were properly made, durable and thick enough to keep my hand from burning?

On the verge of giving up all together, I decided I could at least ask Zoe if she’d made them before. Maybe she had a secret stash somewhere? Zoe replied that she had tried to make them, but wasn’t pleased with the results. “But I’d be willing to try again for you if you can wait…” 

“Only if you WANT to,” I wrote back.

A couple hours — HOURS! — later, an email from Zoe popped up on my screen: she had two hot pads finished and ready. (WHAT?? ALREADY?!?!)

Even though Zoe sent me photos so I knew what the hot pads looked like, and even though I ordered the hot pads myself (since my husband said it’d be easier), I didn’t open the package until my actual birthday, be impressed. 

Turns out, the hot pads couldn’t have been more perfect: thick and sturdy, practical and beautiful. I get a kick out of the subtle humor, too: the chili peppers on the one, the coffee on the other — HOT!

They belong in my kitchen, these hot pads do.

Thank you, Zoe!

P.S. I just checked out her site this morning, and now she has a whole selection of skillet socks for sale, lucky you!

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (10.17.16), rich, that thing we do, deprivation.


Leave a Comment