Hypothetical here: a friend asks you for a recommendation for a pan or a pot or a knife or anything else you are considered to be knowledgeable about. What do you do? What questions come to your mind when asked? Do you ask for their budget? How will they use it? Or who will use it or how will they take care of it? Or, do you just give them a solid choice that you know will work for them based on knowing your friend and his/her family?
Why do I ask? Well, when I was a bit younger, many always asked me for recommendations, as I would save for 6 month to buy 1 pot, vs. buying 3-4 crappy ones, so when my friends are over and I serve them a perfectly cooked steak (I only splurge a few times a year, but when I do, i'd like to be cooked perfectly), they are astonished at the results and ask how did I do it. After I showed them my sous vide machine, then a 15" cast iron pan that I preheated in oven at 400f for 20 min and then use it to get a perfect sear on my tomahawk, I can just see them wondering "wow, so much work...I can't see myself doing it". Last year, I was over at my friends house, he bought beef fillet and then cut into 1" thick pieces, preheated oven to 450 and cooked it for 4 min per side. To me, it was near a capital crime. I had to move away from the kitchen. Yes, in the end, it was tender, but it has no flavor... boiling it would have been simpler.
Now days, when asked and knowing who my audience is, I just recommend basics, If someone wants a knife below $100, I'd recommend japanese style zwilling or a shun. I won't waste my time talking about sharpening, hand washing, not to use bamboo cutting board, or anything else that would make me shiver when I was younger.
I suppose, I would to come off as preachy, but I tried to change. Now, if I have a captive audience, then ya, I could go on into minutiae that matters, as I imagine most of you here can to.
So, here comes my question: Do you still try to educate or change? Or just save yourself a headache and just offer them a right now, vs lifetime solution? Any interesting stories?
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