Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Episode 64: Satisficer or Maximizer?

AM and I were recently discussing the difference between being a satisficer and a maximizer.  Let me step into teacher mode, for a few seconds, a give you a few definitions:

Sat-is-fice-r (n). One who, in the search for a product or a service, will look for specific criteria and purchase said products or service once a specific criteria has been met. Shirley, a satisficer, found a camera that she liked that had most of the features she wanted, so she bought it.

Max-im-ize-r (n.) One who, in search for a product or service, may find a product that will meet a specific criteria but continue to look until they find the "best" product for them. Jean, a maximizer, refuses to buy a new suit until he looks in every shop and reads the fashion magazines to look for the best cut color for his body shape.

I think that, in the grand scheme of things, I tend to be a satisficer. I see something that I want, something that maybe I have been thinking about buying for a long while, and if looks decent enough, I will buy it.  I don't have to visit the consumer magazines, I don't have to look at the websites. I know that that article of whatever is exactly want to buy.

I'm also a sucker for good advertising.  Show me a good trick or gimmick, something that may make me go "ooohhh" or think that that product is good for me in the long run, and I am more likely to buy that item.  I love a good sales pitch, especially when it ends with "and for a limited time, we'll knock of x amount of money from the original cost".  I love to buy things.

Now, AM and I had been considering replacing my old and ratty cookware.  Old Teflon stuff from IKEA that I had bought ages ago. One pan had gotten so bad that it had a hill in the middle. If you wanted to fry something, you had to get used to using the sides of the pan because the grease or oil or whatever you were cooking in would just run down to the sides.  Most of the pans had deep scratches on them and some of the Teflon was scratching off.  (Some say that Teflon is bad for you, as it will flake off and has harmful chemicals, some say that it is harmless.  I am erring on the side of safety and not going with Non-stick).

Now, we did do some research. We haunted the housewares departments of Sears and Dillards and J.C. Penney's, looking at the Calphalon, the All-Clad, even Paula Deen's and Emeril's sponsored brands.  We coveted that shiny metal cookware.  We went home; we looked at websites; we even checked out a few consumer reports.

And then we went to the State Fair.  And there, for more money that we could probably afford, was our cookware.  Now, like a new bride who is just getting to know her mate, I am incredibly protective of my new cookware.  It was a lot of money, but was it worth it. The demonstration chef promised a world with no more cooking with oils, no more butters, no more frying.  He cooked us up crisp delicious vegetables.  We "oohed and ahhed" at the taste of the succulent chicken cooked without even water, deliciously seared in its own juices.  We had to have this cookware!

So, with the idea of "well, we're investing in our health and in our future" we ordered it.  Of course, we looked up reviews online as soon as we got home and read that it wasn't the greatest stuff, but at this point, I was committed.  I was waiting for my stainless steel, seven layer bridegroom of cookware to come to my doorstep and sweep me off of my feet and into better health.

It arrived 10 days later, all shiny and new.  I immediately went to the fridge, grabbed a few ears of corn and tried to recreate one of the dishes I had seen our masterchef/salesman create at the Fair.  I succeeded in burning the pan.  A good deal of elbow grease and some stainless steel cleaner, AM got the burn marks out. It was then that I decided to read the directions...

Now that we've had it for a few weeks, I am learning to cook again. I am learning to cook with less water, less oils. I am learning the true flavors of food.  Chicken without any seasonings is amazing!  Tonight I made pork roast (which I cut into slices) roasted on the stovetop with onions and garlic.  I used the drippings to make a delicious gravy without any butter that would have been worthy of biscuits and gravy, had we had any biscuits.

Now, I want to learn to really cook!  I want to take cooking classes, and learn how to make foods that make the mouth water.  AM bought a few "low sugar" cookbooks, to help us on our way and I've marked the recipes for salmon, steak diane with cremini mushrooms, fluffy omelets with avocado.  It all looks really great!

In the end, my satisficer instinct wasn't much off with this purchase.  So far, even though I bought it on a whim, I seem to have had a bit of the maximizer instict with me too.  This cookware is supposed to last me the rest of my life.  With the quality of it, and learning how to cook right,  I have no doubts that I will test that claim.

Here's to our health!

Love and Lollipops,


P.S. If you don't burn the heck out of it, it cleans up incredibly easily too!

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