Friday, September 16, 2011

Cobalt confession

It was the humane thing to do. I had to buy it to rescue it from the indignity of sitting on a shelf in the discount store.

It was dark outside, raining and windy. I should have been at home ironing napkins. But I went out to see if I could find a new bathroom rug like the old bathroom rug that got ruined when I spilled bleach on it. As I was walking through the back of the cluttered discount store I glanced down the cookware aisle. There among the cheese graters and the cheap Teflon frying pans I saw something blue and noble. I walked toward it, thinking it was going to be an inferior imitation, not the real thing. It was indeed the real thing—a Le Creuset cobalt blue buffet casserole, 12-inch diameter.

It was half the retail price, and even at that it was expensive for me, especially since I wasn’t planning the purchase. I paced up and down the aisle. I put it in my cart and walked around the store, thinking, thinking, examining my conscience. I flirted with the front of the store, wondering if I should put it back, when three Armenian men presumed I was in line and stood behind me. Or maybe they were Russian. That did it—I was afraid that the Armenian men would get the blue pan if I put it back on the shelf. I didn’t want them to take it back to Armenia and boil goat meat in it. They simply could not appreciate it.

So I bought it, all the while considering that it was returnable, that perhaps I could foster it for a few days until it was safe to bring it back to the store. I brought it home and washed it. I put it on top of my stove. I introduced it to the other cookware and noted that it looked especially beautiful next to its cousin, my beloved Le Creuset cobalt blue Dutch oven.

I just pulled out the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for sole meunière and I think I have the perfect pan to cook it in.

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