Sunday, November 11, 2007

Super Sale On My Beloved
Lodge Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven!



We interrupt this food and farm blog to let you know that if you've been thinking about buying a 7-quart Lodge enamel cast iron Dutch oven, now's the time. Although I still haven't gotten around to posting recipes for the delicious things I've made in mine since receiving it as an early Christmas gift last year, believe me when I tell you that this baby cooks like an absolute dream.

I've been impatiently waiting for summer to end so I could pull it out and get back to slow cooking all those wonderful, wintery, cozy comfort food dishes like beef short ribs and lamb shanks (which I made last week while my mother was visiting). Dutch ovens are ideal for the busy/distracted/disorganized cook or farmgirl; there's nothing like knowing that if dinner ends up cooking for an extra two or three hours that it's only going to taste even better.

And you don't even need to follow a recipe to make a fabulous meal. Once I simply browned a few packages of what our butcher had labeled boiling beef (from one of our own grass-fed steers) in olive oil, smothered them with lots and lots and lots of sliced onions, popped the lid on, and put the whole thing in the oven for about five hours. After devouring a large serving of the melt-in-your-mouth results I couldn't believe there wasn't more to this dish. Time and a good Dutch oven are the secret ingredients.

So why am I mentioning all this now? Because I just happened to notice that Amazon.com has the 7-quart Lodge enamel cast iron Dutch oven on sale for an amazingly low $99.99, with no tax and free shipping. The list price is $197.99, and Amazon.com normally sells it for $164.99.

I have no idea how long the sale will last. The other day I got all ready to tell you about how my favorite bread pans were on sale, and an hour later it was over.

It's definitely an investment, but this beautiful Dutch oven should last a lifetime. I know I plan to keep mine forever. It would also make a very special gift, and the gorgeous red couldn't be more festive. It's also available in a stunning dark blue and a bright apple green.

Last year the Lodge enamel cast iron Dutch ovens rated highest in a comparison of similar items in Fine Cooking magazine--including Le Creuset. It also received rave reviews on Amazon.com. I went with the larger 7-quart size and am really glad I did, but it does weigh about 17 pounds empty. (The 5-quart version is available at Amazon.com for $139.95, also with no tax and free shipping.)

And now back to our regularly scheduled crazy farm life programming.

23 comments:

  1. Hmm. It just so happens that I am cooking a pot roast in an inappropriate pan in the oven even as I type.

    This offer is very tempting. Nice blue color. Hmmmm...

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  2. I was wondering are those pots really worth it, i used to have a cheap one from a discount store and it was very slow to heat up and even slower to cool dow so it wasnt very good for careful cooking, it always boiled even if you turned off the heat. do the more expensve ones really make a difference?

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  3. I agree that such pots can do wonders for baking: while I do not have the one pictured (I am living abroad), I know that the one I use allows the meat to cook in its own juices, and with little seasoning comes out just so tasty!
    May I take this opportunity to express my fan sentiment for this site. I came across it looking for pesto recipes, and as a result of the pizza stone pizza blog, I am trying to order my own baking stone.
    I also enjoy cooking, and had to move abroad to realise that I too like making winter store. If you want recipes (though it is too late in the year now) for roast pepper salad that keeps through winter, let me know.
    I was thinking of this site when I read Rabindranath Tagore's "Glimpses from Bengal". If it is not too cumbersome, I will just cut and paste that extract, in case you are interested in affirming reasons why certain life choices are worth it!
    "The more one lives alone on the river or in the open country, the clearer
    it becomes that nothing is more beautiful or great than to perform the
    ordinary duties of one's daily life simply and naturally. From the grasses
    in the field to the stars in the sky, each one is doing just that; and
    there is such profound peace and surpassing beauty in nature because none
    of these tries forcibly to transgress its limitations.

    Yet what each one does is by no means of little moment. The grass has to
    put forth all its energy to draw sustenance from the uttermost tips of its
    rootlets simply to grow where it is as grass; it does not vainly strive to
    become a banyan tree; and so the earth gains a lovely carpet of green.
    And, indeed, what little of beauty and peace is to be found in the
    societies of men is owing to the daily performance of small duties, not to
    big doings and fine talk.

    Perhaps because the whole of our life is not vividly present at each
    moment, some imaginary hope may lure, some glowing picture of a future,
    untrammelled with everyday burdens, may tempt us; but these are illusory."

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  4. Edgwick Farm11/12/2007 7:32 AM

    Thank you! Just bought the green apple one.

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  5. Thanks for the heads up, I have always wanted one of these:)
    Saw this in an e letter and it made me think of you. November 17 is Homade Bread Day. Under it was this quote
    "I am going to learn to make bread to-morrow.
    So you may imagine me with my sleeves rolled up,
    mixing flour, milk, saleratus, etc., with a deal of grace.
    I advise you if you don't know how to make
    the staff of life to learn with dispatch."
    —Emily Dickinson, American poet (1830-1886)
    Have a great day I enjoy your blog so much!

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  6. I would love to have an enamel pot because they are so pretty. I have several regular black cast iron dutch ovens and they work wonderfully. I wouldn't be without them!

    Thank you for all your recipes! I think I'll put something in now (noon) for supper, since I have to leave for town. Thanks!

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  7. Funny, FarmGirl, but I was *just* about to e-mail you and ask your advice on purchasing a Dutch oven. And now I have your answer! :-) Great timing.

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  8. Thank you for posting this! I have a 5-qt and have been coveting the larger ones... I went and bought it as soon as I saw your post - what a deal!

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  9. Time and a dutch oven...I don't have the time, unfortunately, except on weekends. My crockpot helps some.

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  10. Lordy this was just what I have been waiting for; cruising Ebay for one of these has become a minor pastime and this is a way better deal than anything I saw there. Wa-hoo!

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  11. ok...your mother came to visit again and you didn't invite me??? I know you cook all that yummy food when she visits. I know you enjoyed her visit.

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  12. Hi Jenn,
    That blue is gorgeous. It wasn't available when I got mine, or it would have been a tough decision between it and the red.

    Hi Michelle,
    It sounds like maybe you're expecting the wrong kind of results from your Dutch oven. One of the main reasons cast iron has long been so popular is because the heavy, thick metal allows for heat retention and even heat distribution.

    A cast iron pot is going to take a little while to heat up, and then it'll hold that heat--so if the contents are already boiling, yes, then they would probably keep boiling after you turned off the heat (or even took them completely off the hot burner).

    When you say "careful cooking," I'm thinking you mean foods that require just a short time to cook at a fairly specific temperature. These would probably be better done in something like a heavy stainless steel saucepan or skillet (if you want one that cooks beautifully, will last forever, and is worth every penny, I highly recommend an All-Clad Stainless Steel Fry Pan). Dutch ovens are more suited for things that slowly simmer or bake for a long time: soups, stews, roasts, and those "lesser" cuts of meat like beef short ribs and lamb shanks. Hope this helps! : )

    Hi Greta,
    Thanks for your kind words. I know you're going to love your pizza stone. We had pizza last night and Joe said it was one of the best I'd ever made. Nothing special about it except top quality ingredients, homemade dough--and that 500 degree baking stone!

    A roast pepper salad that keeps through the winter sounds wonderful. I would definitely be interested in the recipe. I had a pretty small pepper harvest this summer, but I have high hopes for next year.

    And thank you so much for the excerpt from "Glimpses from Begal." It's absolutely beautiful--and so true!

    Hi Edgwick Farm,
    You're quite welcome! I do love that apple green. And I bet you're going to love your new Dutch oven and will end up using it for all kinds of stuff. For some reason it took me years to get around to finally getting one, which was especially ridiculous since we have whole steers and lambs butchered and end up with all those "lesser cuts" I mentioned above (which, to me, are actually some of the best cuts of meat you can buy because they're so full of flavor) that just cry out to be tossed in a Dutch oven and slow cooked for hours and hours. And now I can't believe I survived so long without one. : )

    Hi Andylynne,
    What a wonderful quote! And I had no idea that November 17 is Homemade Bread Day. Sounds like I need to get a bread recipe posted for it. Thanks for letting me know. : )

    Hi Connie,
    Cast iron really is addicting, isn't it? I have an enviable collection of various skillets and other items, and yet I still find myself drooling over shapes and sizes I don't have. It's bad. ; )

    Hi Miss Kitty,
    What great timing. I love it.

    Hi Anon,
    You're very welcome. I bet you're going to love the 7-quart. I'm so glad I went with the larger size. When I was trying to decide between 5 and 7-quart, a friend assured me that he cooked meals for six in his 5-1/2 quart. But since my motto in the kitchen is More More More! bigger usually works better for me when it comes to cookware.

    Several years ago I was about to invest in a high dollar non-stick skillet that I mostly wanted for cooking scrambled eggs for myself. I was all set to buy the 8-inch size, but the girl at the kitchenware store convinced me that the 12-inch skillet was the way to go. I said I only needed to cook eggs for myself, and she said, "There's no reason you can't cook just two eggs in a big skillet. And think of all the other things you'll be able to use it for, too." I'm so glad I listened to her. I've used the heck out of that big pan!

    Hi Daisy,
    Yeah, slow cooking in the oven is like baking bread--you don't have to do much actual hands-on work, but you do have to be around to check on things. If it makes you feel any better, it actually takes me 2 or 3 days to make a 5-hour Dutch oven dinner because I end up having several false starts! Thank goodness for homemade frozen pizza. ; )

    Hi Heather,
    LOL your comment cracked me up. Well this'll be like two gifts in one--a new Dutch oven and all that free time you won't have to spend cruising ebay looking for one. ; )

    Hi Beverly,
    Um, yeah, well, my mom did in fact come to visit, and I kinda sorta (okay, totally) forgot to invite you. ; )

    She sneaked in for about 10 days, and I have to tell you--we ate very, very well! Besides the tried and true (and required) favorites like caramelized onion & garlic pizza and lamb shanks (though we did make a new variation this time), we tested out several interesting new recipes from cookbooks I've been reviewing, and there were some definite winners. I even took some photos, so who knows, maybe I'll get some of the recipes posted soon. Stranger things have happened. ; )

    As always, I thank you all for taking the time to write. I love to hear your stories and always appreciate your feedback.

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  13. I hate to burst your bubble, but... I got 1 at Sam's Club last year for about $60.

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  14. Hi Anon,
    Wow, that's a great price if it was for an actual Lodge 7-quart enamel Dutch oven. I do know Lodge had a big price increase several months ago (I'm guessing due to the high cost of gas and the skyrocketing price of anything made out of metal--you wouldn't believe how much fencing supplies have gone up).

    Last year the 7-quart Lodge was $119.99 on Amazon.com, but then it jumped up to $164.99. (Right now it's $197.95 if you order directly from Lodge.) Sounds like you got a super deal. : )

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  15. dinner belle11/13/2007 6:44 PM

    I love my Le Creuset enameled cast iron stockpot -- didn't know Lodge even made them. I've never seen them at their outlet store in S. Pittsburgh, TN. Maybe I was too busy drooling over all the other goodies they have!

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  16. It's way past time for some news about, and new photos of, CARY!

    please?

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  17. Hi Dinner Belle,
    A Lodge outlet store? That sounds like a place where I could get into a lot of cast iron trouble! ; )

    Hi Anon,
    I know, I know, you're totally right. It's WAY past time for news and photos of Cary. What on earth is the hold up? Just this morning she had her (now big) nose poking through the barn gate like she used to do when she was little, waiting for me to let her out. I tried to snap some photos, but I don't think you'll actually be able to see that cute little snout in them. She isn't nearly as cooperative when it comes to photo sessions anymore--not that she ever really was! ; )

    I'll post an update soon, I promise. No, really, this time I mean it. And don't worry, I haven't been putting it off because there's anything wrong. Cary is as cute as ever (though there's lots more of her than there used to be) and is doing just great.

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  18. I swear by everything produced by the Lodge folks--it's fantastic cookware as opposed to the flimsy stuff with the more "elegant" looks. Every serious cook should have Lodge products in their kitchen!

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  19. Thank you so much for the tip! It is now the number one item on my Amazon Wish List.

    C'mon fambly! Buy me the Dutch oven!

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  20. I got a bright red Lodge for Christmas last year as well! Hubs listened:) It has become the new love of my kitchen life. I don't know how I got along with out it!

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  21. Oh forgot the added benefit..the pot doubles as an upper body workout. It's heavy, especially when full of something wonderful;)

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  22. NC Mtn Cabin Dweller12/30/2007 2:25 PM

    Have you tried both the Lodge Enamel & Lodge Color lines (much less expensive with diff lid knob)? Is there a big difference in quality and cooking between the two. Can't find any online information on this.

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  23. I just got a 5 qt. Lodge dutch oven as a present. I cannot raise it off the table - how bad must it be with a 7 qt. one! :)

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