There is an unending array of kitchen gadgets, from Ginsu knives to high-end mixers, but nothing comes close to one of the oldest of utensils — cast iron cookware.
I admit to occasionally watching a shopping channel as they hawk kitchen products.
I don't buy anything, but it's entertaining and I admire how good the hosts are at making you believe you really need a banana slicer, a cordless warming tray, a zero-gravity magnetic spice rack, a Star Wars toaster that burns an impression of Darth Vader into your toast (yes, they actually have those) or an automatic pepper mill.
Really, if you're too lazy to turn a pepper mill by hand you are probably already living solely off Little Caesars and Banquet chicken and don't need a pepper mill anyway.
But no kitchen invention has held up like cast iron cookware, which have been around for more than 2,000 years.
I remember my grandmother hauling out the heavy iron skillets and filling her old farmhouse with savory smells.
Unlike the Teflon coated pans that scratch and wear out in a few years, the cast iron ones are indestructible, meaning you can use them for generations.
And they are the multi-tool of the kitchen, working on stove tops, in ovens, over coals, grilling, frying, searing and even baking bread.
With everything from muffin pans to skillets the size of a tractor tire, collecting cast iron can be a life-long habit. I've bought some new, but garage sales and second-hand store finds are best for picking up pieces for a few bucks to add to the collection on the cabin wall or cupboards at home.
It doesn't matter what they look like when you get them — scratches and decades of rust can be dispensed of with some salt and a little scrubbing. Then, a coating of oil and a couple of hours in a hot oven brings them back to their seasoned, stick-resistant prime condition.