Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cherry Picking A Pot

I love my pot because it's part of me. How could I not? Even though I hate it too.

You get older, you get softer. Sometimes you get bigger. It's the pregnancy of age. Can't hardly avoid it.

Get older and you don't feel so much like getting out every 15 minutes. Sometimes not at all. And on top of that your body starts doing things on its own. Getting cranky. Hurting when it shouldn't. Going flabby when you aren't looking.

Hence the pot.

No, I don't like having it, but it's here so I have to deal with it, and I've decided that it's food already paid for, so that helps. I just have to carry it around all the time. That's my penalty. But have someone cut it off? No. No suction either. None of that. It's part of me after all, so I have to love it.

But not too much.

Not like my cooking pot, which I really love. That there one, it was love at first sight, a few years back now, and we've been happy together ever since. I can't believe how lucky I got. Sometimes it just happens. You can't really plan it. Love is sweet.

Gooseberry. That's my pot's name. Gooseberry Patch. Gooseberry Patch 2-Cup Cherry Measuring Cup (K320). Boy, I saw that cup and I bought it. I knew right away that it was for me. I've been good to it and it's been good to me.

Sixteen ounces. Aluminum. Marked in one-third cup increments on one side and half cup increments on the other. Red handle. Built wide and low. Flat bottom with a cherry design stamped into it. We get along just fine, me and my cup.

Granted, she's not for every one.

No lid, for one thing. That's a bother. Well, a bit of a bother. Can't really complain. I use a piece of aluminum foil folded over three or four times. Not too classy but I'm not either. It works. I get by.

The handle. It's there but it doesn't fold. It doesn't fold but it's there. Pick a point of view.

The handle is good for when I use the cup as a cup. And, shucks, it's good when I use the cup as a cooking pot too. Though the handle gets in the way when I stow the cup back in my pack. Can't have everything.

The price was right. Five ninety-five. U.S. dollars, cash, which is what I paid.

I knew this cup was right for me. I knew we were meant for each other. So right away I looked up the company, Gooseberry Patch, and bought me two more, just like that. Now I have three cups.

My first one is darkened from use. I used 'er over wood a few times, though mostly I make do with an alcohol stove (clean), but I did use wood a few times. The smoke and soot stained 'er. I scrubbed most of it off but you can't get it all, so it shows. No dings yet, though. No dings. That's good. My cup is tough, and I'm careful too.

Oh, sure I've tried other things. Had a big pot early on to go with my big stove, but they're both gone now. I loved that brass stove, but after half a dozen years of not using it and knowing I never would again, I donated it somewhere. The pot too.

Then I tried the Wal-Mart grease pot. Got two of them, cut one down, almost by half. Both work fine, the full-height one is especially good for steaming. But it's still pretty big, and relatively heavy. Something like five and a half ounces for the pot, sans the plastic knob in the lid. Good for steaming though. Wide. Flat. Lots of room inside. The steam circulates.

But you know, I don't really cook. Not mostly. Mostly I boil water. Not even that, really, just get it hot. Almost boiling. To the point of boiling, but not over it. No sense in boiling water unless you need it boiling. Just wastes fuel.

Same with food. No need to cook it if you don't have to, so I don't. I take foods that work by adding hot water to them. I do just fine. Heat some water, add it to the food, like instant mashed potatoes, or ramen, or bulghur wheat and so on. (You might call it bulgur but I kind of like the wonky spelling.) Anyway, the instant foods. It works.

It's clean and simple that way. Quick. Add hot water to something in a plastic bag, a zip lock bag, and eat it. The pot stays clean. No washing up. I like that too. I make tea in the cup and rinse it out afterwards. Don't even have to wash it then. It works good. Nice and simple. It suits.

So there's my cup.

I did some checking this morning against other stuff out there. Most all is titanium these days. Can't say why. I have not a clue. Aluminum is so cheap and so light and everyone sells titanium. Which is not cheap by any definition. Or light. So shoot.

Anyhow, I did a little comparison table. My cup, no lid. But aside from that, it stands up real well to anything out there. Especially since I got one on deck and two in the hole.

Though a week or so back I did spot a nice grease pot at Kmart of all places. Much nicer than the Wally's World Wal-Mart grease pot. I should buy one. Just to have. But I'll stay faithful to my Gooseberry Cherry, for sure. Mostly.

Volume Weight Cost volume/$
oz ml oz g
Gooseberry Cherry 16 473 1.8 51 $ 5.95 100 Al
REI Open Country Pot 40 1183 9.0 255 $16.95 70 Al
Snow Peak 700 24 710 4.25 120 $34.95 20 Ti
Snow Peak Trek 900 30 887 3.7 105 $47.95 18 Ti
MSR Titan Tea Kettle 28 828 4.0 113 $49.95 17 Ti
REI Ti Ware Teapot 27 800 4.6 130 $49.95 16 Ti
MLD Titanium Pot 29 850 3.2 90 $65.00 13 Ti

Specs for "Gooseberry Patch Exclusive 2-Cup Cherry Measuring Cup":

Volume: 2 cups / 16 oz / 473 ml
Weight: 1.8 oz / 51 g
Price : $5.95
Height: 3.2 in / 80 mm
Width : 3.7 in / 95 mm (outside diameter)
3.5 in / 90 mm (inside diameter)
Handle sticks out 0.98 in / 25mm
Lip: rolled and smooth


Gooseberry Patch 2-Cup Cherry Measuring Cup (K320)
MLD 850 ml Titanium Pot
MSR Titan Tea Kettle
Open Country 2-5 Cup Coffee Perk
REI Ti Ware Teapot
Snow Peak Titanium Trek 700 Mug
Snow Peak Trek 900 Titanium Cookset