Thursday, March 01, 2012

Big Blue Mama

I just realized I've been a little remiss in introducing one of my most favored, most loved, and one of the newest kitchen gadgets in my cooking arsenal.  I guess you haven't been formally introduced yet, but I'd like to take the time to introduce you to someone whom I affectionately call "Big Blue Mama".  
"Hello, " says Big Blue Mama, "nice you meet you."

Isn't she a beauty?  I bought her about 6 months ago as a nod to my increasing love of the Pioneer Woman's cookbook and she has quickly turned into my go-to pot for many a recipe.  This particular pot here is a Lodge 7.5 quart dutch oven in Caribbean blue, and I took the advice of many Amazon reviewers and opted to also buy the stainless steel Le Creuset replacement knob, because she originally came with a plastic knob that was rumored not to stand up to high oven temperatures.  Le Creuset, by the way, is the much fancier, Frencher, (MUCH more expensive), version of this same pot, sold in the $240 range. (Not to mention use of a fancy French pot requires you to use a long cigarette holder, look down your nose a lot, and mumble "oh la la" and oui" as you simmer your soups).  My Big Blue Mama here on the other hand is still a high quality kitchen tool, and an excellent investment at a much more reasonable price of $73.  Sometimes you can find a great sale and get one in the $50 range.

First of all, she is HEAVY.  You definitely need two hands to do any lifting.  Matter of fact, she's heavy with nothing in her.  This can be handy though, if you need some extra upper body strength training.  Unlike Rapunzel and her deadly fry-pans, I'm not sure how this could dissuade any home intruders, attackers or palace soldiers, well unless you dropped it directly on their toes...  The inside of her is white sealed ceramic, which has a nice smooth surface for even heat distribution, and incidentally also makes clean up a breeze.  Clean up, by the way is hand washing with warm soapy water. 

Plus, these little babies are VERSATILE.  Anything you can do in a crock pot you can do in a dutch oven.  Anything on the stove top and almost anything cooked inside the stove can be prepared in a dutch oven.  They cook soups and stews beautifully, big hunks of meat for roasts, whole chickens, hot oil for frying, desserts, you name it, Big Blue Mama can handle it.  I've heard you can even do casseroles, bacon, biscuits, pizzas, artisan crusty loaves of bread, pies and cakes.  Low and slow is the best route with these bad boys and my food has been turning out wonderful so far.  Since I'm planning on using her a lot in the near future with my new soups and recipes, I just thought I should give her a proper introduction.  Next, I might even write her a catchy theme song.

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