My first ebay experience ended well. Long story short (ah, blog life), I have long-since wanted a cast-iron cornbread skillet in the shape of hearts. Frivolous, you say? Uber-girly, you say? Yes on both counts, but at least I have good reason.
When I was little, my grandma and I would make cornbread. We'd make it for boyfriends (mine), family dinners, and, yes, even A.P. US History final projects (don't ask). And we always made it in her classic, ancient, perfectly seasoned cast-iron cornbread skillet.
Grandma lived in her own house until she was 93 and when she had to move out suddenly due to illness, my aunt called me and asked if there was anything in the house I wanted as they packed things up, gave them away, or moved them to grandma's new home as the assisted living place. Grandma didn't have super fancy things, but she did have nice furniture in her house, not to mention a to-die-for rose garden, but I knew there was only one thing I'd ever want: the heart shaped cast-iron skillet.
My aunt sounded doubtful, and maybe she didn't believe me. After all, I don't ever recall sending her any of the love-stuffed muffins. Whatever happened, I never saw hide nor hair of that cornbread skillet.
I gave up on the family side of the search and went online. Lodge, the only US manufacturer, doesn't make the heart-shaped skillets anymore. (Believe me, I work in food. I would've pulled out the big guns if I thought they had one in storage they'd send me.) So every once in a while, I'd check ebay and my search for "heart shaped cornbread skillet" would bring up anything from a heart-shaped wreath made of corn husks to a cornbread mix that incorporated hearts of palm. To be cooked in a skillet.
My grandma passed away this spring at the ripe old age of 97, and I just knew that I needed that damn skillet, so to ebay I went and I found (by God's grace, I'm sure) not one, but 4 skillets. I almost bought all of them, but instead found one that had never been used. Rather, it had been displayed in a lady's home for decades, decorating her kitchen hutch. Now she was moving out and didn't have space to take it, and wouldn't I give it a good home?
So I did what any experienced ebay guru would be. I let the bidding expire then paid full price, plus shipping.
But now I have my skillet, and there will be lots of cornbread eating in my life ahead, especially on July 24th, on what would've been grandma's 98th birthday. I may even stick a candle in there, for good measure.