Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Crucible

"May your home always be too small to hold all of your friends."
~ Irish Proverb

Yesterday I went shopping with my friend Marlaina for what turned out to be a housewarming gift for me.  Marlaina had many housewarming gift ideas, from a set of sheets like hers to a Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner.  At one point she even mentioned getting us a new dishwasher.  Crazy talk.

Deciding on something was hard for me because a) I'm not great at deciding on things I want, and b) it's even harder when it's an expensive item.  I sometimes do so much research on products that I wind up never getting them at all.  One time I got a Coach Hobo bag as a gift but decided it just wasn't practical, so I returned it.

Then we started talking Le Creuset.  I've always been a fan of this cookware - my father had a few pieces when I was younger and I'll never forget the colorful enamel exterior - Flame, Le Creuset's signature color.

Le Creuset (pronounced, roughly, "Luh Crewsay" and meaning "the crucible" in French) is a cookware manufacturer in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France.  They've been making cast-iron cookware the same way since 1926.

Each piece is sand cast and hand finished and then they're sprayed with at least two coats of enamel that becomes resistant to damage during normal use.  All of the cast-iron pieces are made at the company's foundry in Fresnoy-le-Grand.  They have a 12-step finishing process that requires each piece to pass through 15 pairs of hands to ensure there are no flaws or imperfections in the finished product.  They come with a lifetime warranty.

Once I decided that I wanted a Le Creuset Dutch Oven, we went shopping.  The Dutch ovens come in sizes ranging from 1 quart to 15.5 quarts.  In the photo above, you can see the 13.25 quart round dutch oven in Marseille (blue), and next to it the 15.5-quart oval dutch oven in Palm (green).  Aren't the colors beautiful?

Mostly, I wanted to go into a store so I could feel the weight of the pot.  Cast iron is extremely heavy and sometimes a really big pot is just too much to handle.  But when I picked it up it wasn't as heavy as I thought it would be, even while I swung it around pretending I was washing it.  I also imagined how heavy it would be when full, and how hard it would be to lift off the stove or place in the oven.  It seemed doable.  The more I looked at them, the more I fell in love.

Once I warmed to the idea of owning a piece of Le Creuset, I knew I had to go big.  I would use a pot like this for Sunday gravy, to make my grandmother's stew, to cook a pork roast, to deep fry, to make soup.  For any of those things, especially if I'm cooking for family and friends, I needed the capacity.  And because this can go from stovetop to oven, and it cooks evenly and retains the heat, I knew it would become one of my most-used kitchen products.

So...I got the 15.5 quart Oval Dutch Oven in Palm.  The color is GORGEOUS.  In person, it's even better.  I'm so thrilled!  It's an absolutely fabulous housewarming gift and I know I'll get many years of use out of it.

I'd like to thank Marlaina and MacG for adding such a great piece to my kitchen wares. I'm not sure if this factored in the decision making prior to purchase, but they'll totally be benefiting from all of the awesomeness I plan to cook in it!

And I've already told Ed that if he ever decides to kick me to the curb, the pot is coming with me! 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2016: Find Yourself
2015: Bringing Back The Library Card
2014: Moab Muster
2013: Farm To Garden
2012: You Know You’re Getting Old When You Start Carrying Your Own Sugar
2011: America Runs On Dunkin’
2010: Los Links!!
2009: Here Kitty Kitty Kitty
2008: Intense Eddie Friday
2007: It’s An iPod, Not A wePod
2006: Doing The Wade
2005: It’s A Numbers Game

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