Make fun all you like, but I have an excellent relationship with my crock pot and it does the heavy lifting for me while I’m slogging away at work. It was only a matter of time before I saw recipes for Dutch ovens. And who doesn’t like a piece of cookware that goes from the stove top to the oven?
Me apparently, because have you seen the prices for these things? They are 3 times the price of the combination of a frying pan and baking dish, which separately do the jobs of a Dutch oven. Le Creuset comes in as the French couture option, at a whopping 4 c-notes ($400). Does it pour my wine for me too and bring me a croissant in the morning? That might be worth 400 bucks. The “affordable” versions are $100 and change. It’s a pot for chrissakes, that has more than one purpose. I know I’m older and $100 bucks doesn’t buy all that much these days, but it should get you more than one pot IMHO.
But then I remembered the Dutch oven my mom used when we grew up. And I remembered that it is a Dutch oven from Holland.
Stick that up your croissant, France. My dad grew up there (I wrote a book about it, and it’s no longer available online, but I still have copies I can send), and we went there once as a whole family. I think the oven was acquired then, but I cannot verify or deny. My mom passed away in 2020, and the oven was still around at my dad’s house, but it’s been COVID, and hard to visit, so I kept forgetting about it. Also, I have 3 siblings, and I wanted to be mindful; maybe someone else coveting it as much as I did (not possible, but it’s good to seem benevolent). Or maybe my 93-year-old-father still uses it. I would look like a real a-hole if I took it from him.
But then I would come across a recipe and think of that damn haute cuisine Le Creuset version. I became like a foiled evil villain in a cartoon, shaking my fist at the sky: I don’t need to empty my bank account! I could have my family’s Dutch oven!
Bless my oldest sister who kept remembering, and on her last visit to my dad’s house, actually procured the Dutch oven. Turns out it was sitting in the way back of a cabinet collecting dust. She secured it, brought it to me, and we made a fabulous pot roast in it. And now, it is, utterly, undeniably, pry-it-from-my-dead-cold-hands mine.
And I felt like I won the lottery. Ain’t life weird? Or maybe it’s just me. Either way, get your hands off my authentic Dutch oven.