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I've quite a lot of fry pans and pots with no lids, as do many folk. Rather than using an ill-fitting lid that falls into the contents, or burning your fingers on an upside-down dinner plate, perhaps an expandable/retractable stainless steel lid with a nice knob would be a welcome addition to a kitchen.
I'm picturing one of those collapsing veggie steamers, but without the holes.
Universal Pot Cover
Per supercat's observation [waugsqueke, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]
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||Love it - imagine being able to stack your pots in the drawer, like Cat-in-the-Hat hats, without having to figure in the lid storage interference which significantly reduces available storage space. Simply collapse the lids to their smallest diameter, and stack them in the small pot, which is in the medium pot, which is in the big pot, which is in the giant pot.
||It's a very useful idea, but I want a design. Could you keep it nearly airtight and still allow it to vary in size? The plates in a vegetable steamer aren't typically very closely connected. (Alternative: alumin(i)um foil.)
||As an alternative, how about having a lid with consecutive rings on the underside to allow it to fit on any of several different sizes of pot/pan?
||[potted] I would think if the "petals" overlapped tight enough, it would be as close to airtight as a regular lid. The tightness would also keep it the size you adjusted it to. Now I'm also thinking spring-loaded, to keep in tight against the inside of the pot rather than just on the top....