Sunday, June 30, 2013

I bought a pot



No, silly, not that kind of pot. I bought a stainless steel pot. “Why?” You ask. Well I’ve been thinking about cooking. I got this brand new stove and I bought some pans but I’ve been thinking about making some stews or big meals I can refrigerate and eat over and over and over again.
Watching all those cooking shows they all seem to have this big pot to put all the ingredients in and slow cook them down before adding all the liquids. I think these are called Dutch ovens. I asked some friends about preferences of cookware and they all recommended Dutch ovens. Of course I did my usual search of the Internet and the local stores where I would probably shop for one.
I’ve got some BIG stew pots from my father’s club that would do the job, but I kept thinking about this Dutch oven. An 8-quart cast iron pot with a ceramic baked on cover. I understand the cast iron thing. My family had a cast iron frying pan. It was always on the stove. We cooked everything in it. Eggs, then hamburgers, then ham, and then who knows what with just a brief visit to the sink for a wipe out. There was probably a cake of food on that pan that was cooked before I was born. They still make these frying pans but I decided not to buy one, for now.
So I looked at the Dutch ovens and thought about making the trip to Target to pick one up, but as usual couldn’t decide what brand. Then I noticed there was a 5-quart model. So now I have to decide whether I want a BIG pot or a little pot.
It is kind’ a like watching the Tour de France and thought I ride a bicycle everyday, I’m not even getting close to these twenty something’s. They go faster than a lot of cars in my neighborhood. So when I climb on my pony and pedal to the store, I crank up the gears but it only puts more pressure on the chain rather than my heart.
Pretty darn exciting stuff, but this is what happens in the ordinary times. As it has it, I was walking through the grocery store, picking up the usual stuff to keep the critters full when I turned the corner and wandered down the aisle that holds the magazines. I stared at all the colorful covers and found no interest, but behind me was the cooking “stuff”. There is a 5-quart pot. It is stainless steel with a glass top and a price that is cheap. My mind races to constant to-do list and scans the “Dutch Oven” file. Should I wait and go to Target and look at Paula Deen’s discount “because we are dropping her” line or Rachael Ray’s pans or order on-line or keep wondering whether or not to buy one of these thing, so I pick up the pot and put it in the cart.
Once home now the stove is full of pots and pans. The best part is I can take the “Dutch oven” off my to-do list. Will this post fill my requirements? I don’t know but I can always go back and get another one. If it does then it was a cheap solution to solve my worries.
Shoot, I haven’t even fired up the grill to burn some hot dogs and hamburgers and peppers and corn yet. These pots and pans will probably stay pretty pristine until winter. I’m hoping for a nice week of snow so I can hunker down and actually cook. I’ve got a great recipe for chili but I haven’t made it in years. Then again, living by myself in a snow bank with a pile of chili might not be a great idea?
I’ve got a slow cooker that would probably do the same as a Dutch oven but cooking seems to be about utensils and procedures. A slow cooker, from what I understand, is throwing a bunch of stuff in a pot and covering it up and letting it simmer for hours. So is the Dutch oven for the same purpose but on the stovetop? Again the cooking industry has more methods and varieties and variations to burning and heating dead animals than anyone could ever imagine. Also, the aisles are filled with items that proclaim themselves as food that can be quickly prepared in the microwave.
It is time to go inside and heat up the stove and prepare the Sunday lunch including flank steak, mashed potatoes and green peas. It is still too hot to cook for long hours and no one else is around to share in the conversation of “why don’t we add this spice” or “that taste terrible”. The menu is basic as is my lifestyle but now I have a pot.
PS. You want to eat really, really good stuff? Become a crewmember of a cooking show. Now that’s a good eats.

1 comment:

Art said...

Good story sir. The advantage of a dutch oven over a slow cooker is that you can sear and saute' ingredients before you add liquid and 'slow cook'. The key is 'heft' you want that dutch oven to HOLD heat so that once hot you can reduce heat to 'super-low' and it still cooks without either losing too much heat or scorching your food. Have fun!