I ended up with a little TV in my kitchen after my Aunt N passed away 3 years ago. One thing led to another and I became a die-hard Food Network fan. It's only fitting since Aunt N was a bit of a foodie herself!
I'd watch the shows while making dinner and soon bought the cookbooks of several hosts. Every show had these brightly colored pots and pans as background props (and occasionally they'd cook in them too!). The photography in the books highlighted the gorgeous pieces of enamel and iron like they were the focus of the recipe. I eventually developed pot-envy. Why do they flaunt these spectacular things in front of my face (as I cook in old cheap pots of J's or T-fal pans that belonged to his ex-girlfriend)? hmpf! Once I figured out what they were, the holy grail of cookware LE CREUSET, I wanted my own! But holy crap, who can afford to cook real food when they've spent all their money on pots?? I've been dying to get my hands on this stuff for years but just couldn't get myself to shell out the dough.
Fortunately, I didn't have to because J finally realized that giving a girl like me fancy cookware is better than jewelry! For Christmas, I was lucky enough to receive a 5 piece (count them!) Le Creuset set! I got a 3.5 quart dutch oven (with lid), a 9 inch skillet, and a 1 1/4 qt saucepan (with lid). Unwrapping the astronomically heavy box led to much squealing and celebration! Christmas felt like Christmas again!
For those of you who don't know the brand, Le Creuset makes high quality enameled cast-iron cookware. It's oven and dishwasher safe, needs no special treatment like regular cast iron, food won't stick or burn (you have to really let something go to get it to burn in one of these), it heats up evenly no matter how skewed your cooktop burners are, and all their products come in several fun, bright colors. It is a bit pricey, but I think if you're someone who does a lot of cooking, it will end up paying for itself (after you eat Ramen and oatmeal for the first 6 months that is. I think that's actually written in the warranty). It'll last long enough for you to pass on to the next generation, and as a bonus, it can be used as a weapon (the small pot I got weighs 6 lbs!! My cat weighs 7.).
I excitedly used them tonight for the first time. It's so nice to finally be able to cook delicious meals in good pots!
Next, on my list: the 7 1/4 qt dutch oven and 12x9 casserole dish. Maybe I'll spring for one of those myself. Tax refund is coming! Then you'll have something to look at in my pictures other than my ugly stove from 1983.
All text and photographs © 2008, 2009 Food is to love / Andrea Quigley