Purchased My First Le Creuset

motherof3sonsJuly 27, 2013

While on vacation I visited my first Le Creuset outlet store and fell in love. The sales clerk was an older woman that told me why she had some pieces and not others. We talked about surface space vs. depth and the variety of uses. The multiple color choices were almost overwhelming until I spotted that deep dark eggplant color - aubergine. The first meal in the 4 1/2 quart pot will be a pot roast for my Dad's 92nd birthday.

Tell me how you use your Le Creuset and what pieces you own.

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Mick Mick

I have a French Oven 2.5 QT, a skillet with a grill, various stoneware pieces - bakers and a utensil crock. All are Caribbean Blue (well, the utensil crock isn't).

I use the skillet for paninis. The french ovens are great for stews and chilis.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 10:32PM
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akl_vdb

I have the traditional pot in cherry. It's beautiful. I use it for risotto and chicken with sauces. I now want a typical dutch oven for the bottom surface area.
Congrats on your new pot!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 10:49PM
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liriodendron

I inherited my Mother's LC pots, which have had 50+ years of hard, daily use, so they're fairly beaten up.

Most of the wooden handles have heat damage (which is probably fixable, just need to turn/carve some new wooden pieces, I think.) But the insides have many places where the enamel has completely worn and chipped off, down to iron so I no longer think it's a good idea to cook in them. I'm afraid of getting little shards of the enamel in my food.

I'm been pondering what to do with these as tossing them seems a waste since they can't be re-enameld, alas.

But I've solved the problem: I plan to use them as bread baking cloche pots. I'll line them with parchment and bake mini boule-style loafs in them. I already use my own LC for bread, but mostly in larger pots. I was able to unscrew the wooden handles and that leaves me with just a cast-in rod that goes inside the wooden handle. I can just have that cut off, if necessary.

So when your handsome aubergine raoster gets too tatty, you can still look forward to using it as a baking pan.

L.

.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 11:37PM
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homebuyer23

um, did you say le creuset outlet store??? No idea they existed! Off to see if theres one near me!

Congrats on your pot, let us know how you like it. We're going to induction & I plan to buy myself an end of remodel gift of a Le creuset dutch oven!!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 11:43PM
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motherof3sons

Thank you for sharing how you use your LC! I am so excited to add this to my kitchen inventory!

Liriodendron you are blessed to have inherited such a wonderful gift. My mqost prized kitchen item is a handwritten recipe by my grandmother for Waldorf Astoria cake. It holds such wonderful memories.

Homebuyer - I purchased from the Tanger Outlets in Foley, Alabama (Gulf Shores area). The salesclerk said they ship.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 12:25AM
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a2gemini

Wow - so wonderful to have the original pans from your mother. I am sure they are filled with memories.

I have a 2.5 Staub and a Dutch oven LC(I think 4.5 but maybe 5)
I also have the grill pan and press - love that one!
The Dutch oven is great - I can start things on the stove and dump into the oven to cook slowly or just leave on the induction cooktop to do the same thing.
I looked at the large one but decided it was just too big to handle!

I bought the LC pieces at the outlet - they were first quality. Chitown has an outlet and a couple in Michigan.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 7:15AM
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EAM44

Oh, use them in the best of health! They are wonderful and the aubergine is gorgeous.

The pieces I bought myself were in Indigo, now discontinued :( But most of my pieces are inherited from my parents, both amazing cooks and incredible people who my siblings and I miss terribly and constantly aspire to be like. All of their pieces were in Flame, and my favorites are the 9 qt round French (dutch) oven, and a pan they don't make anymore, that looks like the LC deep skillet, but is white enamel on the inside and has a lid. I try to replicate my father's braised rabbit stew (based on my mother's recipe that he "borrowed"; they were pretty competitive in the kitchen) in the former, and my mother's coq au vin and Thanksgiving stuffing in the latter. Oh thank you for making me think of these pans and the history that makes them so beautifully heavy!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 7:18AM
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shannonplus2

I bought my LC at an LC outlet store in Pleasant Prairie, WI. The outlet stores sell "irregulars", but I had to put my glasses on to find the small marks on my two french ovens (for some reason LC calls them french ovens instead of dutch ovens).

I love the Dijon color because it is so sunny, and just says to me "Provence region of France". LC makes another yellow color too, but I haven't seen it at the outlet store.

The first LC I bought was the 5-1/2 qt. french oven, which I use to make my famous spaghetti sauce and my beef stew plus other things. Then I realized the 5-1/2 quart was too small for my meatballs and spaghetti, and suddenly 5-1/2 quarts seem puny! So I bought the 7-1/4 qt. french oven. I also have the LC cast iron trivet to set them on, naturally!

Note that sometimes the LC outlets have sales that discount the discounted prices even more. Sometimes the sale is only on one color, for example, or on one style of cookware. Sometimes it's storewide. When you go to an outlet store, you can ask to get on their mailing list, and you will then get postcards for the sales.

I have to add though, that for casserole pans, I choose Emile Henry over LC. I think Emile Henry makes perfect casserole pans, while LC's expertise is more in enameled cast iron.

Here is a link that might be useful: Le Creuset Outlet Stores

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 10:07AM
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ILoveRed

Wonderful stuff. You will love it. I have several pieces. My two favorite are the 9 qt Dutch oven and the medium sized braising pan.

My braising pan came from an outlet. A tiny mark in the paint and it performs beautifully. My youngest sons favorite meal is a tough round steak braised for several hours in this pan and is delicious.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 10:15AM
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legallin

I also just purchased my first, a 3-1/2-Quart Dutch Oven in Cherry, on Amazon's Deal of the Day/hour, although I have not had a chance to use it yet. Looking forward to adding to the collection, especially since I will be moving near an LC outlet store, and will be getting an induction range.

Just curious, do those of you who have a collection match the colors, or do you get a variety??

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 10:32AM
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nosoccermom

I have several pots and several of the oval and small square stoneware dishes, most of which I bought at Home Goods. My colors are blue, red, light green, and orange.
As an aside, one of the ovenware dishes broke under the broiler. I called LC; they asked to mail them the broken pieces and replaced the dish with another one.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 4:08PM
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akl_vdb

I have cherry, but would add with different colours if the right deal came around. I like them all!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 5:07PM
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nosoccermom

Oh, and another suggestion. Because I use my pots for very hot roasting, which sometimes burns them, I've started to clean them with a little bit of bleach. Works like a charm, even on fairly old pots that are scratched.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 5:17PM
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azmom

We are addictive to Le Creuset, we have been collecting their cast iron pieces for over 25 years. We have most of their products.

Many years ago DH spent a few years in France and acquired big collection of Le Creuset in flame color. I had my own collection in royal blue color. After we got married, we put royal blue collection in boxes stored in garage, hopefully some day we would use them in our future 2nd home.

Once we acquired all the regular ones, we started specialty cookware, such as pate terrine, au gratine, fondue set and large paella pan. My most recent purchase is Moroccan Tangine.

I really cannot say which one I like the most; since each one has its own purpose.

Now the kids are grown, we have talked them to start their own collections. When we run out of ideas, Le Creuset is always a perfect gift for them.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 5:38PM
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a2gemini

Tonight, I used my grill and panini press and had awesome grilled cheese, arugula, and green cherokee tomato sandwiches.
I served gazpacho (from my vitamin) with them - yum!

My only concern is the weight of the items. I just found out I tore 2 ligaments in my wrist (which occurred a few years ago) and it might make lifting these beautiful pans more difficult

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 5:49PM
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potterstreet

Great topic! Bought my first piece for $1.00 at a flea market years ago and have been adding pieces steadily since then. I must have fifteen pieces in flame. I love my LC, use it daily and wouldn't trade it for the world. My favorite pieces are my braiser and my huge dutch oven. Love them!

Enjoy yours! They're in a category of their own!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 5:53PM
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sparklebread

Love each and every one! Some are worse for wear than others, that is for sure. My collection is courtesy of my mom's annual birthday gift to me. My adult children borrow them as they insist food taste better when cooked in them. Unfortunately, the pieces don't always seem to make it back home!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 6:11PM
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chinchette

I have a big kitchen but lack of space curbs my habit. Just got a new one two weeks ago. DH found it at Williams & Sonoma way on sale. I want to hear what you all cook in them. I mainly use them to make a brisket which I slow cook for about 6 hours.

We also use them to keep party food hot. Such as a million sausages and burgers off the grill, go into the Le Cruset. I don't use aluminum foil so I like to let a chicken rest in them with the lid on instead of tenting.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 7:14PM
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oldbat2be

Hi hi! Long time no talk, always nice to see your name pop up. Happy birthday to your Dad, what a nice christening of your new Le Creuset. Hope the whole family will be there to enjoy. I have one big casserole which I use occasionally; good thread, would like to know more bout how people use theirs. Best, oldbat2be

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 8:47PM
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sanjuangirl

I have a big blue gumbo pot that looks just like Eames and another smaller Gumbo pot in light blue for smaller gumbos. I also make jambalaya in both.

Guess mine are my Cajun cooking pots!. Every time my family sees them out, they get excited!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 9:01PM
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beekeeperswife

I use my 8 qt green pot for boiling water, many many years ago my mom was coming to take care of the kids while dh and I went on a cruise. I told her to use that pot to boil water becuase the water would boil quickly. She laughed when we got back and told me couldn't lift it empty, she opted for the Farberware. I also make incredible short ribs in that pot, start on the stove then off to the oven. Stew in it too. Soup of course.
I have the grill pan (hate to clean it), several sauce pans, bought at various places including tag sales for next to nothing. Love the wood handled ones!

And then there's my beloved doufeu. Mine is blue, but here's the story of it:

" Originally introduced in 1934 by Le Creuset, the doufeu features a recessed lid designed to hold ice rather than embers. The doufeu can be used just like any round or oval oven, but it has added performance benefits when it comes to slow cooking. As moisture begins to evaporate inside the doufeu, the cool ice-filled lid causes this moisture to condense. Specially designed dimples on the flat interior of the lid then direct the moisture back down onto the food. This self-basting effect minimizes the need to add additional water and ensures that food remains moist, nutrients are not lost and flavors intensify. Even when the ice in the lid melts, the self-basting process continues to function, as long as water in the lid remains below the boiling point. "

Oh, my colors are blue, green, flame, I'm colorblind when it comes to my LC--I always buy when I find deals and don't care about the color!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 10:43PM
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flwrs_n_co

I have quite a few pieces--bakers, dutch oven, a stock pot, and a grill pan. I use all of them, but the one I use the most is my 6 3/4 qt. round wide dutch oven. I love to make inexpensive pork roasts with lots of onions, garlic, chiles, and peppers in it. Cook it low and slow and the meat will fall apart. And clean up is a breeze! I also use LC for pot roast, brisket, stews, and chicken. I'm sure you'll enjoy your new purchase for many years to come!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 10:58PM
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julieboulangerie

Oooh! I have a 3.5 qt (blue, not sure if it's the one currently in production, though) and 5.5 qt (cherry) round, and a Dune colored small braiser.

The braiser is my favorite for chicken stew/chicken and dumplings. Easy to make a fond, easy to deglaze, and a breeze to clean up.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 2:32AM
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cat_mom

I have an old LC skillet; black enamel outside, grey inside. I wanted a skillet I could use to make tarte tatin for dinner guests years ago. I was shopping in Bloomingdale's, and they might have been out of stock of the one I chose?? In any event, they found one in the back, that was a discontinued item/style/color/size, and could "give" it to me at a significant discount, so I got it.

I have two French/Dutch ovens, both in their satin black (discontinued color.) It's a satiny-matte black, with the same color/texture interior enamel. I got my 7.25 qt round French oven at a somewhat local cooking store (Chef Central) during a holiday promotion, pre-price-increase "sale" event, with a 20% off coupon! I also have the 3.5 qt round French oven, which I had tracked down online (Ira Woods) after the satin black had been discontinued.

I don't use them all time, but I like using them when I do.

FYI, I was told to use BKF for cleaning, and it does a great job keeping mine looking great after use--it removes the "stains" left behind on the enamel (when cleaning with just dish soap).

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 1:06PM
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motherof3sons

I am overwhelmed by the stories so many of you shared. This has been a wonderful thread!

Diva - I wanted the skillet, but DH loves our George Foreman for paninis. Perhaps I won't take him LC shopping with me in the future!

aklvdb - Love risotto! Will definitely keep it in the list of recipes to try. The sales clerk kept talking to me about the bottom surface area. She uses hers for stuffed peppers.

Liriodendron - Your story of inheriting your mother's LC warms my heart. Today, my elder sister and I discussed beginning the process of going through our parent's home. Mom died 33 years ago and Dad will never be able to live in the house again. We both talked about the treasures we will unearth that bring back a flood of memories. I am happy you found a new life for the LC.

Homebuyer - Get that LC dutch oven! My end of remodel in our former home was refurbished Kitchenaid Epicurian. It lasted 10 years and I passed it on just a few weeks ago.

a2gemini - The premium outlets by Aurora are fantastic! I will be in Oak Brook in October and plan to stop at the LC store! You just had to mention the 'V' word again! I am trying to decide if I really "need" one. I do plan to purchase one for my dot-in-law who is a dietitian and expecting her first baby. She makes the most unique dishes and I know she would truly appreciate its value.

EAM44 - In the best of health is exactly how we plan to use the LC piece! I can just picture "dueling cooks!" You are most welcome for the memory jogger!

Shannonplus2 - The dijon is fabulous! 5 1/2 quarts is puny??? How many people do you feed??? Good point about the sales being limited to specific colors. I chose the aubergine partially because of the color, but more for the 35% off sale! I must check out Emilie Henry!

Red_Lover - I hope my family will have some favorites with this LC piece. I have a roast sitting in the frig defrosted that I hope to cook tomorrow. Had planned to serve it for Dad's birthday, but he is back in the hospital.

legallin - I will watch Amazon! I will probably buy pieces in a variety of colors. As a kid we had Fiestaware in every color. I still have fond memories of the color place settings. My LC will go from stove/oven to table regardless of color!

nsocccermom - I looked at the stoneware but decided to start with the cast iron. The sale clerk told me that any stoneware and also the cast should start in a cold oven. Let the pan heat up with the preheat function.

azmom - DH and you both had collections! That is amazing. The Moroccan Tangine is a beautiful piece. You must share the results of the meal prepared in the tangine!

Potterstreet - $1. Really??? Do you keep all the pieces enclosed in a space or are they open for all to see? I will certainly enjoy our new piece!

Sparklbread - What a beautiful display! I tried to talk DH into the soup pot. We have some wonderful stock pans that he will not relinquish. Lucky you to have a mom that recognized the value of good cookware. Why is it that our kids "borrow" stuff that never makes its way back home??? I thought it was a phenomenon for my family only. :-)

Chinchette - I love that you DH brought home a pan from Williams Sonoma! My DH loves to walk through cooking related stores, but he never makes a purchase. Any reason why you do not use aluminum foil? Great idea for resting a bird!

OB2B - Hello my dear GW friend! Life has been very busy and time is limited. As soon as all the window treatments arrive, I plan to do a full reveal of the kitchen.

Sanjuangirl - I would be excited to see those pots on the stove knowing what is typically served in them! YUMMM

Bee - Who needs a steam oven when you can have a doufeu? Thanks for sharing the story. Lucky you to find so many pieces on sale. I think the weight is what kept me from buy LC for years. I have arthritis in my hands and I always felt it would be too much weight. I practiced picking up several in the store and decided it was definitely doable.

flwrs_n_co - Lucky you to have so many pieces! My stomach is growling after reading your post!

Julieboulangerie - So many people mentioned braiser! I must find a braiser! Another person that is color blind on their LC pieces.

cat_mom - lucky you to get a "deal" on your first LC piece! Will check on the BKF for cleaning. I looked at the black, but the 35% off kept drawing me back to other colors.

Thanks everyone for sharing. I truly enjoyed reading and responding to each of your posts. Bon apetit!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 12:53AM
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blondelle

liriodendron, I don't know what the warranty is where you live on them but in the US it's over 100 years. They replace them free of charge for you. It's worth a shot to contact LC and see if they will offer you any new pieces or reduced prices on new ones. They do make replacement handles for you pans too. Here they give them free if it's from normal wear.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 8:54AM
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cherigw

I have 3 peices. . .all in Dijon Yellow. . .grill pan (which I also hate to clean, but it does such a great job!!), a 2 3/4 qt oval dutch oven ( love the small size---perfect for small roast or chicken ) and my fav, a lidded terrine. . . just the size of a lasgna noodle. . I use it a lot to make a "three serving" lasagne. . one to eat, two to freeze!!. But. . . my "beauty queen" is a Staub 3.5 quart dark green (Basil?) Pumpking Cocotte with a brass stem. Don't use it often, but it makes me smile every time i walk into the ktichen!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pumpkin cocotte

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 1:02PM
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cat_mom

Oh that pumpkin cocotte is a beauty!!! It would make me smile, too!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 2:12PM
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compumom

Enjoy!! I've recently acquired a number of pieces-- DH was with me when I was shopping the outlet and got carried away! I loved the aubergine color, but I returned them and exchanged for the azure blue. The purple looked awful in my kitchen :(

DH pushed me to overbuy and I'm not using the 10" skillet like I had planned. I find it gets over hot and I end up overcooking the protein. The weight of the pan combined with the long handle is cumbersome. On a bright note, I love the signature braiser, it gets used quite often!
Off topic, I love their nonstick skillet. I bought an 8" for morning scrambled eggs and find it is far superior to Calphalon or Cuisnart's product!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 3:30PM
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a2gemini

Mother3sons - Repeat after me
"I need a Vitamix, I need a Vitamix, I need a Vitamix" and then you will be convinced to get out of the AVBM club!

Have fun shopping in Aurora - I ended up buying a few boring black pieces as I already had a mix of other colors...

Unfortunately, I have run out of room for new pieces in my new kitchen - but wait - I just noticed my ice cream maker - I can drop that in the basement as I make my scream in my V now! So, maybe room for one more item!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 4:19PM
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liriodendron

@Blondelle,

I am in the US, too. I believe the warranty is only for the original owner, which I am, of course, not since I inherited them.

LC pots are great, but not immune to wear and tear. All of the pots that were in my Mother's kitchen are missing patches of the porcelain, right down to the metal. I could deal with the exposed iron, but it's the possibility of further porcelain flaking off into my food that makes them unusable as cooking pots. I suppose I could steam stuff in them with one of those basket steamers. But it seems silly to heat up the mass of a LC just as container for boiling water.

That's why I was so tickled to think I might use them as baking pots for bread (with a parchment liner so the dough and pot never meet.) I already use my own LC as covered bread pans, for which they fabulous..

L.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 9:52PM
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motherof3sons

A2G - you make me laugh. I remember when we were both ABB. The VM is certainly on my list!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 10:30PM
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oldbat2be

Window treatments? Look forward to seeing! For me, window treatments are replacing an old window with a new one... :) As are many others, I shall be looking forward to your reveal. (Love that tile!). Need to send you an update of our fire room/dog room. Progress has been very slow but we're getting there. Next week, we start on our family room remodel wahoo! Best, oldbat2be

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 10:37PM
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azmom

I was so intrigued when I first learned about cooking with a tagine. I had to have one.

In order to save water, people in Northern Africa came up with an ingenious cookware. Using a high, slopped lid to allow hot air rises to cooler top, forms condensation and returns to the food on the base. So cooking with a tagine only requires a few tablespoons of liquid. It makes sense since it would ensure fuller flavor without being diluted.

I knew I should pick a true tagine made of clay with Moroccan pattern, but opted to one made by Le Creuset for its more durable cast iron base. Of course finding a royal blue color to match our existing collection helped too.

I love cooking with Le Creuset Tagine. I brown, sauté the food in cast iron base first, add spices and liquid, close the lid and let it slow cook. While cooking, adding ice cubes in the small hole on top of the lid to promote condensation is fun. I started with Moroccan recipes, now I cook Indian, Italian, Chinese, African and American stew dishes with red, white meat or sea food. The dishes always turn out moisture, flavorful and tasty.

add photo

This post was edited by azmom on Sun, Aug 4, 13 at 11:00

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 11:24AM
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trailrunnerbiker

seven years ago as I was finishing our kitchen remodel I found a Saffron 7.5 qt covered pot. it was on the back of a shelf and covered in dust in Tuesday Morning. Price....$100. I snatched it up. never wanted another piece and there are no more Saffron ever. So I am content. I use it all the time. Soup, stew, braises and best of all I use it at 500 degrees to bake my wild yeast sourdough bread. The handle finally disintegrated and it looks like c$%^ inside but it still cooks like a dream. If you ever see the real Saffron let me know ...I might get another piece..:) c

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 10:00PM
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a2gemini

mother3sons - LOL

Not sure I am ready for tangine - Do I have to join the ABTG club?

Trailrunner - keep you eyes peeled to ebay - a couple saffron vessels recently sold! - Oh and your bread looks so wonderful - someday, I will learn to make bread outside of a shhh - BM (bread machine) - I know - heresy but not enough time in the day...

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 10:14PM
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azmom

a2, Oh yes, you will love tagine :-).

I find I use tagine more and more often. For just two of us, the size is ideal. It requires such a low heat that does not heat up the kitchen even during our terrible summer. It is perfect for winter dishes. I love to try exotic recipes and spices with it. Tonight will be something with Saffron.

I have been reading postings about Vitamix. Need help with the justification to get one when we already have 2 food processors, one heavy duty blender, one juicer, and one hand blender?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 11:23AM
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