Well, after spending way too much time window shopping, this morning I decided to order a few things. Actually it was an email from Le Creuset announcing that today was the last day of free shipping that got me going.

So off I went to Cooking.com to place my order. Decided on a 9 inch non-stick fry pan with lid and an 11 inch saute pan with lid, both by All-Clad. The reviews of both were sterling vs. Calphalon’s and since they’re within $20 of each other, on sale and had free shipping, I was okay with this gift to myself.

Entered all the info into the secure cart forms, got to the end and clicked on “place order” and NOTHING happened! What?? Tried it four times with no success. Called customer service but they’re closed on Sunday. Not a good thing for a business to do this close to the holidays. By tomorrow I may have a nasty case of buyer’s remorse and not even place the order.

Being frustrated by this interuption in my retail therapy, I went over to Williams-Sonoma where my cart contained “my” stainless steel Le Creuset knob (can’t wait to get it) and a 10″ Lodge pre-seasoned cast iron fry pan plus a 17 slot Wusthof knife block with scissors and sharpening steel. Knife Block

I’ve been wanting a block since I moved in six years ago but they were always in the $60-80 price range or came with a full set of knives. I really don’t need any knives, since I’ve slowly acquired a nice array of good knives whenever I’ve found a brand I like on sale. A few years ago, I realized the sad state of my knife collection from being stored loose in a tray in the silverware drawer. Every knife was damaged, dinged or had a bent tip. Plus this block is only $49.95.

Justified this purchase in my mind by recalling how a year ago I brought all my knives to the Joann Fabrics knife sharpener. Unfortunately it was a new guy. He arrived in a large truck with grinders and workshop set up in the back of it. Sadly, unlike the former sharpener, he did not know what he was doing and it shows on the knives. Since this cost me $40 I decided not to have them re-sharpened till I could give them a safe home in a knife block. This time I’ll use the person my stylist uses since I know she’s super picky about the bevels and all that.

Have to say, there have been moments when I was temped to buy one of those magnetic strips but the kitchen in this rental has no wall space for it to be mounted.magnetic knife strip Plus I could just see Ms. Coordination here, bumping or getting caught on one of the knives and having it fly off and stab me. I really have no desire to visit any more doctors in 2012. No thank you.

Went through all the rigamarole of filling out the ordering info at the Williams-Sonoma site only to find that it said my email ID was taken! Well, yes, by me! The window even had a little “Hello C.” at the top of the page. So I called W-S tech and they didn’t know what to do so they forwarded me over to customer service where I was placed on eternal hold.

Now I don’t mind holding since I have about 2,000 unused minutes on my cell, but after about 20 minutes my neck hurt and I was getting annoyed. Retail therapy 😦 thwarted once again.

In the past it was a rare day if I bought anything online, but A. who lives in the other house on this lot does it all the time. I know because I often find her packages on my door step. So I figured what the heck only in my case I don’t get what the problem is.  By tomorrow my W-S order may just shrink to the new lid knob. Oh well, saves me money.

On a totally different note, P. and A. invited me over for dinner yesterday for the holidays which I thought was really nice. I’m so lucky to have such kind neighbors! She made a delicious ham with fresh green bean casserole and red rose potatoes cooked in rosemary. Yum. I brought a bottle of 2009 Ravenswood Cabernet which was as good as I hoped it would be.

Also gifted them a jar each of this year’s spice mixes, the LA/LA (Louisiana/Los Angeles) cajun mix and Herbs de Provence (which I make every two to three years for gifts) wrapped in a French tapestry kitchen towel I just bought. When it was time to head home they sent me off with a doggy bag. As I said I’m very fortunate to have such great neighbors!