More and more these days, I'm starting to feel like a grown-up. I don't know if it's the fact that I am a business owner, or if it's the hipster kids who walk around without a care in the world (who I can't connect with at all), or if it's the pop culture references that I don't get (although when have I ever been hip to pop culture references??), or if it's cause I just turned 33 -- the age Jesus was when he died for all of our sins. While I'm not ready to die, let alone for all the ills of humanity, I do sense a shift in my thinking these days that feels like I've entered another stage of my life.
I think back on 10 years ago -- I had just moved to NYC and was barely scraping by on a meager paycheck as an office assistant at an architecture firm. What's more, I was also interning at an art magazine, fantasizing about getting an "in" into the glamorous art world of New York. What would I say to that 23yo Kayoko? Never stop dreaming! I loved my time in NY and don't regret it one bit. But my 20s were definitely a time of indulgence, world travel, and not so much focus. But where would Umami Mart be without NYC?
Fast forward 10 years later, and while I'm overjoyed at the fact that Umami Mart is now a growing business (never stop dreaming!), I'm actually not making that much more money than when I was 23. While many of my friends are now home owners (Go Yoko!), mothers and fathers, corporate executives and successful career people with plush 401ks and full medical benefits -- I am just starting to grasp the reality of being a Financially Responsible Adult. This means it's not just about "making rent". I've always been okay at saving money, but I never really took retirement or home ownership very seriously. Or kids... I still don't know how people do that.
So I'm trying to take my finances more seriously now that I am Jesus' death age. The other week, I looked at my credit card statement which told me that I had spent over $600 total in restaurants. On my income, that's just crazy, and can basically never happen ever again.
Well, that's solved. So I'll cook more, ok! Another thing I cut? My American Express card. It was great when I was an avid traveler (I was stuck in Madrid once without an ATM card and the Amex office saved me), but I never used the points for anything, and all the while they charged $100 every year for "membership". Dumb. I hate any kind of "fee" with an undying passion.
I had 14,500 points to use before canceling the card. With it, I got an 8-inch All-Clad frying pan.
It was a New Year resolution of mine to start collecting good cookware. It is invaluable and I need to stop being a cheapass and start paying for nice equipment in the kitchen. This is a great start. All-Clad, All American!
The first thing I made in the pan was of course a fried egg.
It's a little on the small size, but it's a start. And the pan looks great next to my kettle!
I have to say that it is SO NICE to have a pan that distributes heat evenly. And it was pretty non-stick which was a relief. However, I have a question for you All-Clad fanatics: How do you clean the oil from the pan once it cools? The sides get all gummy and gross.
As one chapter closes, another begins. Here's to balancing budgets, saving for the future, and cooking at home with the first All-Clad addition to Kayo's Kitchen!