I’ve been asked to go ‘round the horn to inquire here whether there is sufficient interest among the Cookware crowd in starting, participating in, and supporting a free, private (i.e., not under the auspices of CH/CBS) lending library of pots, pans, and maybe more. What is being considered is much like some of the trade-arounds that have been done among the Knife Mafia, except with pots and pans and a much wider base of evaluators.
This idea is not new—there’s been loose talk about it before. Why sink $200, $300, even $400 into a new piece of cookware without actually trying it first? Why not compare what you already have with something you’ve never used? Why not cross-train on different things, so you can make a valid A-B comparison, and maybe even avoid mistakes?
What *is* new is that—finally—the right person, Duffy, has stepped forward and kindly offered to serve as Head Librarian. Aren't you relieved it’s not me?
We are long on ideas, so for now anyway, please refrain from offering suggestions/rules/objections. Instead, it would help us immensely if Hounds would give us Yes/No/Maybe answers to the following questions:
1. Would you like to be able to “check out” a pan for 2 weeks at a time if it cost you nothing but both-way shipping and insurance?
2. Would you be willing to donate a needed pan to the Library as a condition of joining?
3. Would you be willing to leave a security/damage/overdue deposit with the Librarian to guarantee timely and undamaged return?
It’s our hope that, if this catches on, we’ll accumulate a decent collection, and that perhaps we can convince some manufacturers and retailers to donate items—and hopefully Chow will contribute items it has reviewed here.