This time of year, there’s a distinct need for extra warmth. A hot cup of soup, a steaming bowl of stew, a perfectly roasted chicken; all of these can get their start in a sturdy, cast iron cooking vessel. These pots and pans are legendary. Some get passed down from one generation to the next, accumulating all the best stories, events and flavors from meals gone by. Others are purchased fresh and new, and then carefully seasoned until they resemble Grandma’s favorite Dutch Oven. Others still are coated in vibrant hues of enamel to be collected and displayed like gems. I’ve got a few of these cast iron categories in my kitchen, but the one that gets the most action is my Lodge Logic, 13-inch skillet.
If you look back in this blog, you’ll see her quite a bit. She just about lives on my stovetop, and occasionally gets slipped into the oven to preheat or to make room for more dishes to be realized. The heat she hangs on to helps me use less gas while cooking and the iron she adds to my meals provides additional nutrition to keep me strong and healthy. She’s hot, to say the least.
She’s also cheap.
American-made cast iron cookware is one of the most cost-effective investments you can make for the kitchen. On average, a good stainless-steel skillet with an aluminum core can run anywhere from $80 to well over $300, and could be made just about anywhere. This skillet can be found at COOK by VENOKADO for a mere $58. I know this has become something of an ad for Lodge. Sorry, I just love it.
I’m also downright smitten with my Cherise-Red Le Crueset Dutch Oven. You’ve seen this beauty in past blogs, holding Bœuf Bourguignon, crusty loaves of No-Knead Bread and silky, savory soups.
A busy workweek has made creating new posts a tad difficult, so, Frequently Asked Friday will have to happen on Sunday this time. The new question: “Do you know any good vegetarian soup or chili recipes?” If you look back over the old posts, you’ll see lots of vegetable soups, usually something smooth and blended (because The Boyfriend doesn’t like to know that there are vegetables in his bowl!). And I’ve never been a huge fan of chili, so I’ve never tried to make it. There was a great one I had a few times at the Pike Place Market, a long time ago, but since then I’ve never attempted to recreate it or find any equivalent. But, now that cooler weather has finally arrived in LA (cooler, not cold by any stretch!) I think I’ll give it a try…in my Le Crueset, of course!
On Sunday, we had our first dinner with a guest for my next book, Sunday Suppers at Home, and my skillet got a workout that day. We had a great meal, with lots of discussion on health, music and food. You’ll get to see the results next year, but for now, Farmer’s Market Frugal is still available, and the price will be slashed on 12.12.12, on Amazon.com, just in time for last minute holiday gifting!
So, I’ll continue to adjust my writing schedule and figure out what meals will be landing on the table, whether I’m home for dinner or not.
Have a delicious day!