Monday, October 13, 2014

A Dutch Oven at Last

My brother-in-law, a garage-sale genius, happened upon boxes containing 5 brand-new 5-1/2 quart enameled cast-iron Dutch ovens manufactured in France by Le Creuset--among the world's most desirable cooking vessels, retailing today for more than $250 each. The owner asked $20 for each, my brother-in-law shelled out, and then asked on Facebook if anybody wanted one. I did! I did! I said next time I was up in Wisconsin I'd pick it up and pay.

My sister of took one of the five, blue to match her kitchen, and selected this sunny color for mine. When I saw it I was so delighted I wanted to roll on the floor, and packed it like a baby in blankets and towels for the ride back to Missouri. For three months I've done nothing but admire it,  and get up the nerve to use this item, coveted for years, almost purchased after our wedding except we chose instead a more practical stainless-steel kettle and never regretted it. But it was not an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven, the kind that outlives its happy owner, who becomes a cookin' fool for roasts, slow-baked beans, oven-cooked stews and all.

To prepare, I took a delightful class in baking artisan bread in a Dutch oven. A large mirror hung over the classroom's workspace so all in the room could see what the instructor did, and we got samples. Today--now that it's baking season--there's bread. Yes, the pot is heavy. But it's not as if I have to carry it in a backpack. I love anything that is both practical and beautiful. If it's food-related, all to the better.

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