I have been cooking pretty seriously for 10 years now, and spent about 8 of those wondering about getting a Le Creuset dutch oven pot — the first year I was too busy devouring cookbooks. And then the next 8 years I would look at Le Creuset pots, wonder if they were really worth the price tag, and move on. After a few years of that, I decided they were probably worth the price tag *but* if I was going to pay that much money I had to absolutely completely love it, including the color and the size.
And of course, I could never decide on the color. Red was too cheery, cobalt blue too dark, carribbean too cheery (though I could see myself owning that more than the red) — you can see the issue. And size/shape was a whole other problem. And I was always worried I would not use it enough though, the more I cooked, the more I could see that owning a dutch oven made complete sense. Still, I couldn’t quite make the plunge.
This past January, I read this post on what makes a good basic set of pots and pants on Kim O’Donnel’s Mighty Appetite blog. She has a skeletal set of mix and match pots and pans — kind of like me — and she said the following about her Le Creuset dutch oven:
The Le Creuset four-quart enameled cast-iron pot came into my life about seven years ago, and we’re still in love. I cringed when I plunked down $145 for that pot, but in hindsight, I can say I haven’t regretted a cent.
And then it hit me — not the fact that I would get great use out of such a piece in my kitchen, because I knew that — but that those pots were getting more expensive every year, and had I bought one 5 years ago, I would easily have paid 30% less. Never mind if I had bought it in 1999 when I first thought of getting one.
Somehow, the fact that those things get more expensive faster than inflation is what pushed me over the edge to stop procrastinating. Starting the day I read Kim’s post, I got to work deciding which pot I would buy. Since I already had two fairly large round pots (non-cast iron dutch oven size), I liked the idea of an oval shape. Plus the beauty of oval was that they started at 5 quart in most colors, so I didn’t have to decide between a the wider ranges of round sizes (which start at 2 3/4 quarts).
Color was still my stumbling block but I decided I wanted a neutral — most of my cookware is grey or greyish blue, and my appliances are all black (and yes I’m matchy-match about certain things, unapologetically so). I decided I could probably live with Cobalt Blue if I couldn’t find a Dune oval pot easily – I liked how Dune was a nice neutral, but at the time the oval one seemed hard to find.
The best place in New York or DC to look at Le Creuset is hands down a big Williams-Sonoma store so I figured I would do my in-person comparisons there, and then order online from Amazon.
And, as luck would have it, the very nice person at Williams-Sonoma (who heard an abbreviated version of the story you have patiently read through, assuming you are still reading) said “you really need to see the new color that just came in — I think you might like it.”
And there it was — the Slate color (which was and still appears to be a Williams-Sonoma exclusive) — and I loved it right away, and would probably have bought it on the spot except the store literally only had two pots in the color, and both were round.
In case you are wondering, I use this pot all the time and love it and love the color and it was well worth the wait. And it looks perfect in a tiny city kitchen.
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