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Monday, May 31, 2010
I have a blue pot too
Like Tresna, I have a blue pot. It is French and heavy and sits on the top of the kitchen cupboard. In the summer it gets a little dusty because this is my winter pot. Almost too large to use on the gas, it simmers quietly on the woodstove, puffing steam. It takes its summer holidays out in the pizza oven, creating delicious roast meats and cooking huge pots of beans and has even starred in a cookbook!
Ten years ago we had a spell of very cold wet weather while I was catering for a residential retreat. It looked like the food would be lots of thick soups, hearty casseroles and warming curries. In the afternoon break, I had been relaxing with the weekend papers, ogling the advertisements from kitchen wholesalers who were offering Le Creuset at half price. I was mentally adding the larger casserole to my ‘must have’ wish list when someone in the room asked what colours they came in.It was soon time to start dinner – in a stainless steel pot that somehow didn’t seem as wonderful as before.
At the end of the job, the participants presented me with a heavy parcel containing the coveted pot which they had ordered from Sydney via express mail, as a thank you gift. It was an overwhelming surprise.
My pot has become a treasured old friend. It takes some looking after, as do all precious objects. I make sure it doesn’t get too hot on the stove top while empty and in the oven when it has its lid on, guard it against extreme temperature variations and never clean it with a metal scourer. It must be dried carefully before putting away so its iron rim doesn’t rust. If it ever does, I oil it. In return, it has given me many hours of long, slow and gentle cooking.
The pot lives up high in a place of honour with the remnants of my grandmothers’ dinner service. I hope that like the china, it will survive long enough for me to pass down to the next cook in the family to use and care for and hopefully feel some of the warmth and generousness of the many meals they have served together.
Read about Tresna’s pot on her fabulous blog: http://www.tresnalee.com/