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[Photo – CC Attribution – sskennel]
Aubergine, Flame, Cherry, Caribbean, Dijon, Cassis… if you are a Le Creuset aficionado, you may recognize these words as the colour names for these enamel coated cast iron pots. If you have no idea what I am talking about, rest assured, that out there in the world there are folks who are very much obsessed with this brightly coloured cookware. Like me. This stuff, or perhaps Staub cookware instead.
The thing about these fantastic pots is the standard handles can only get so hot in the oven and there are times that you really want to be able to leave the lid handle on and bake the pot at more than 375°F. If you are a very generous gift giver, you could go ahead and purchase the Le Creuset pots off of the registry and top it up with a stainless steel handle, safe to 500°F+. Your thoughtfulness will not go unappreciated, as the recipient is likely already a die-hard-loyal Le Creuset fan, or is about to hit the ground running!
Now, for some/most of us, Le Creuset is a bit out of our wedding gift budgets. However, if you happen to notice that another kind soul has already purchased the pots off of the registry, you can charge in as a valiant hero by providing the appropriate number of handles! Making a fake bouquet out of these handles might make for an awesome wedding shower gift! At the time of writing, they are $12.95 each on amazon. Your recipient may not even know that they will want these, so if they have registered for the pots, it is a fairly safe way to deviate from the registry (disclaimer: do so at your own risk!).
The stainless steel handle is something that I have been meaning to buy for myself, but have not yet got around to doing. I am the lucky owner of one large dutch oven, that my spouse LOVES to cook in. I am all for things that cause a more even distribution of cooking duties. As a savings tip, Le Creuset is fairly frequently available at Winners and Home Sense stores in Canada. With a few months of stalking, you may be able to pick up a good deal on one for a friend’s wedding in a colour and possibly even size that they want. If you are unsure whether they would appreciate all sizes, check with them first! In my experience, most of the items are seconds and it is usually due to the paint or enamel being a little bit thinner in one spot on the exterior. Make sure to check the item thoroughly and provide your recipient with a gift receipt. I have not seen one yet, but make sure not to purchase one with a chip in it, as it will rapidly deteriorate.
Is anyone else a slave to the alter of good enameled pots? A Staub piece is in my future… someday.