I love the thought of equipping my tiny kitchen with all the latest and greatest eco kitchen gadgets and utensils and cookware.  The reality is a) I can’t afford it and b) I don’t have room for everything.  I have one counter which is 84″ X 24″ (and the sink takes up most of it).  Then it holds the dishdrainer (no dishwasher) and the coffee pot and electric kettle.  I do most of my prep work on a bamboo chopping board on top of the stove.  See, I told you it was a tiny kitchen.  Oh, and the counter, yeah above it and below it are about the only cabinet space we have.

Thus you can now see the reason for the two large and one small stainless steel racks you find in restaurants.  They hold most of our canned goods and almost all of our gadgets, like the bread machine and rice pot and microwave and toaster oven.  One even has hooks at the top to hold my pots and pans.

When my husband and I married, we had a set of pots and pans you buy in a box together.  They were all Teflon coated.  My grandmother, as a wedding gift, gave us a second (and newer) set.  Most of my baking items, such as casserole dishes, were Pyrex (’cause that was what we had growing up).  My mom and mawmaw had both used cast iron skillets, but I found them rather annoying since the Teflon was soooo much easier to clean and care for.

Enter in my eco-birth about three or four years ago.  Teflon is bad stuff, ya’ll.  I was in a bind.  I didn’t want to use these pots and pan sets I had collected over the years, but we had little else to use.  I had my pressure cookers, which are stainless steel, but that was it.  Everything else was Teflon.  So, we purchased several Lodge brand cast iron skillets (these come preseasoned and are easy to cook and clean when properly maintained).  My mother in law bought us an double burner cast iron griddle.  For Xmas, we got a stainless steel sauce pan.  We are slowly, but surely, converting our cookware.

My dilemma, something I run into often, is where to buy other items I would love to try out.  The iron skillets are easy, you can get them at Target, Walmart or any yard sale around these parts.  But finding bamboo, really nice and affordable stainless steel, or recycled glass cookware?  Yeah, good luck with that.  As with many specialty items, we would have to order these online.

One of my favorite eco sites to buy from is Green Feet.  (BTW, they have an awesome podcast called More Hip than Hippy, you should check it out!)  I have been eyeballing  their cookware for over a year.  There prices are very reasonable, and not just on the cookware, but shipping from their warehouse to our neck of the woods in SC is expensive.  And this is the problem I run into with any purchasing any cookware on any site online.  The good stuff?  Yeah, it’s heavy.  Shipping companies?  Yeah, charge by the weight of the shipment, as well as distance.

Example:  I really, really like their Cast Iron wok (we cook a lot of Asian meals here).  It is only $77.75 (I get a 10% GreenStep member discount of $7.78).  6 Day shipping will cost me $10.33,  which is about the cost of FedEx and UPS ground services, USPS is $22.43, UPS 3 Day is $23.78, FedEx 2 day is $33.05, FedEx overnight is $48.53 and UPS Next Day is $59.82.  Even going the cheapest route, the 6 Day delivery, will put my cost to over $80.00.  This makes me sad.  ( I have not been paid to endorse Green Feet, I just love the company and what they stand for and am in no way picking on them for their shipping costs, the costs are what they are and would be this for any online purchase from any online store.  I AM picking on the shippers, though.)

Then, this afternoon, I got an email from Natural Home magazine.  They were telling their list about a sale they were having on their Natural Home product line.  I clicked on the link and what did I see?  The big red and white bullseye of Target!  Yes, Natural Home is now being sold by Target.  So I went to Target’s website.  But doing a search for Natural Home brings up a whole host of things not related to cookware, but you can’t search for the manufacturer on their site.  I looked on their site for a few minutes before giving up.  I guess I will have to make the 30ish minute drive to Florence, SC to get to the closest Target.  You know, when I can find the time to go.