I grew up on a country road in Michigan. Back then, before Amazon, e-Bay, QVC or much of anything else except for the Sears Roebuck Catalog, there was the door-to-door salesman.
One afternoon, such a salesman appeared at our front door. He was selling cookware. My grandma already had cookware, but it was stuff she had inherited or picked up along her 35+ years of marriage and none of it matched and much of it was the old cast iron pots and pans - functional, but not very pretty. The cookware this gentleman was selling was contemporary looking and it cooked the food evenly and apparently cleaned up pretty well too! My grandma was sold and she bought the whole set.
I don't remember what my grandpa's reaction was, but I do remember that he built an entire cupboard in the laundry room in which to store all of the new cookware and that we ended up only using them for special dinners - like Sunday. After grandma passed they were used more and more and eventually, when we were cleaning out the farm house and settling the estate, Mr. Pete and I got the cookware. By my estimation then, these pots and pans have been doing duty for over 40 years - not a bad investment by my grandma!
I had a similar incident happen to me this year. A friend of Sam's graduated from high school and was kind of trying to figure out what to do next. She started selling cutlery from Cutco. She called me to make an appointment. I wanted to help her out, at least to practice her sales pitch, but I told her that I probably would not be buying any cutlery.
It wasn't that I didn't NEED cutlery. Mr. Pete and I had picked up pieces bit by bit over the years, and I did get the family Turkey carver from my mom. But most of the grocery store paring knives and other knives only lasted a few years and I would have to say that working with them was anything but a pleasure and probably a lot of the time was just plain dangerous!
Sam's friend seemed to know all of this. It seems she had met my kind before - mom on a budget making due with lots of different knives from wherever for many years. She was prepared for us. She had Gabe bring in my best knives and we proceeded to have a cutting contest - through rope and leather. My, it was a lot of work with my old knives, but her Cutco knives went through them like butter!
You probably can guess what happened. I ended up purchasing the Essential Cutco Set of knives - a nice paring knife that fits my hand and cuts well, a fork, a sandwhich spreader that also works for frosting and serving cake, a big cutting knife and a petite carver. I also got the super shears.
A 4-piece table knife set was thrown in as a bonus.
After having these for a couple of months I have to say it was worth the investment. These weren't cheap. But they have saved me a lot of time in cutting and chopping and I certainly realize how much extra time it takes in the kitchen with bad knives.
I'm not sure how Mr. Pete feels about them. But I do know that he uses them just about every day for something or other and he seemed to like them a lot when cutting up a pineapple for fruit salad. The shears get used daily too and if I use them to cut up food they can be taken apart easily and put into the dishwasher.
They sit prominently on my stovetop for easy access. The kids see and use them all the time. I can't help but think that maybe someday, my kids or even grand kids will talk about my knives and how after determining ahead of time I wasn't going to buy a thing, I ended up buying and using this nice set.
Works for me!