Sunday, August 16, 2020

My Life in 50 Objects, 8: Enameled Cast Iron from Vermont

This oval Dutch oven (or cocotte) looks like Le Creuset, but it is literally from a Dutch company, DRU. This pot belonged to my Aunt Nita, and I took it from her kitchen after she died in 1997. I wonder whether she brought it from their seven-year sojourn in Paris in the 1950s, or one of her many trips back over the years. I don't remember any particular dish she made in this pot, just that it was lovely and substantial, and it fits my kitchen's color scheme.

            The internet tells me the company was founded in 1754 as a blast furnace making cast iron products, though it now concentrates on gas-fired heating and wood-burning ovens. Its enameled cast-iron cookware is now sold as “mid-century vintage” at websites like Olde Kitchen and etsy; it’s much cheaper than Le Creuset, but seems just as sturdy and long-lasting.

            I don’t use this pot often because its shape seems most suited to roasting a chicken, and its surface area isn’t as big as a round Dutch oven would be—I think. But I did use it last night to sauté four chicken thighs, then sautéed onions and mushrooms, and braised it all together—really delicious. And I have a deep round Le Creuset covered skillet, which is my kitchen workhorse. I think I should start using the DRU pot more often.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

SOLTuesday: Local Damage from Storm Isaias today

The storm came through New York City fairly quickly, with only a few hours of wild wind and rain, and the damage was much worse along the coast, in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens. But up here along Riverside Drive between 111th and 114th Streets, there are lots of branches broken off, and even some trees down.

And turning to the right, all these little branches

Here’s what I saw when I crossed Riverside Drive.
Near the mayhem above.

A much bigger tree was uprooted down in the park.

A skirt of branches
Leaf litter

And large branches block the promenade along Riverside Drive

Meanwhile, it's dusk, and the raccoons have come out to forage, while residents have started feeding them, which is probably not a good idea. Raccoons are wild animals. They are not domesticated pets.


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