Scenes from a Kitchen – The Weight of Love – Cleaning the Cajun Classic

It may seem an odd sort of heirloom, this large incredibly ungainly, enameled dutch oven which is barely three years old and has already begun to chip from steady use. But for me its weight is exactly what the title of this post says…love…because it was a gift from my father several Christmases ago, only a year or two before he passed away. It is true that my sister-in-law hunted it down on the Internet and wrapped it, but it was my father’s great delight to give gifts to his children and grandchildren that had meaning–I can still see those eyes twinkling and that wide smile–and this was one of his best to me. I am also very pleased that he got to see it put into use a time or two in the year or so he lived with me before he died.

Today, trying–and not having great success–to clean the blackened bottom of the pot, I was struck by both the sharp color contrasts and patterns of the pot itself but also the pattern of the soapy water bubbling over it.

Aside from the personal affinity with the one who gave it to me, I cannot tell you how happy this pot itself makes me. The red-orange color scheme cannot help but warm one’s soul a little just by looking at it. Go ahead, try. I also like the weight, even though to merely lift the lid is a chore, and when it is full with the lid on, well, it legitimately takes two people to carry it with its handle. I believe it is a 16-quarter.

These pictures actually do a poor job of showing one how big the pot actually is. Below it sits in its sunny window, like a dense little sun itself, waiting for the next time it can do its thing in cooking up some dal or curry or spaghetti or rice or soup. Ah, soup. I cannot wait until the Autumn!

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