Aluminum Pot

Four quart aluminum "mirro" pot
Four quart aluminum "mirro" pot

 I walked up the stairs to my grandmother’s apartment, listening to the sound of oil crackling in the pot.   It was lunchtime, and I knew by the sound and the yeasty smell, that she was making “puffies”, her own version of fried dough, made with leftover pizza dough. 

As I walked into the kitchen, I saw the familiar all-purpose aluminum pot on the stove.   A four quart pot, worn and dented, with a handle partially encased in a black wooden cover, a hinge on the side, making it easy for the cook to grab the side of the pot and tip it to pour out its contents.  The lid had a hinge on one side, a black pull handle emblazoned with the word “Mirro”, and a flap which, when opened, exposed holes designed to let steam escape from the inside.  My grandmother used this pot for everything:  boiling water for pasta, braising the bracioli for Sunday sauce, simmering artichokes stuffed with garlicy homemade breadcrumbs, and, of course, puffies.  I don’t know where the name came from, but it perfectly described the way the dough morphed from a slightly wet, flat thin circle into an inflated, airy, slightly browned, tasty delight. She’d top the puffie with sauce and cheese, or somethimes with a bit of powdered sugar. 

The ageless pot, with a few more dents, still serves my family, though it has lost its wooden handle and has a few more dents.   

Place(s): New Haven, Connecticut

– ML

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant