The is the inaugural posting in my "Reggie's Five Favorites" series in which I share with you from time to time, Gentle Reader, selections of what I consider to be my top favorites in a particular category. As outlined in the December 12th posting in which I introduced the series, these favorites will be culled from the many and far-ranging categories that I think will be of some interest to those who read this blog. Categories covered may include such things as books, ceramics, hats, films, household objects, tools, music, and more . . .
Today's posting focuses on cookware used on the stove-top or in the oven. I thought this would be a good place to start at this time of year when many of us are particularly focused on the pleasures of hearth and home. Boy and I both enjoy cooking, particularly when we are at Darlington, and one of the pleasures we take in it is having a well-considered collection of good quality pots and pans. Over the years we’ve assembled a core group of cookware where the common theme is utility, heft, good design, performance, and pleasure of use.
Here are Reggie's Five Favorites:
1. All-Clad Stainless
At the top of my list is our collection of stainless steel pots, pans, and roasters manufactured by All-Clad Metalcrafters. I love them because they are versatile, durable, attractive, and a snap to clean.
2. Le Crueset Dutch Ovens
The grand-daddy of enameled cast-iron dutch ovens or casseroles, we have one in almost every size, all in the iconic “Flame” orange enamel--the only color worth having as far as I’m concerned. These are perfect for making stews and soups, and for braising.
3. Cast-Iron Skillets
Often relegated to the back of the cupboard in today’s kitchens, if even there. I have cast-iron skillets, in several sizes, that I regularly use when high-heat searing or frying is called for. They are easily picked up at tag sales and junk shops. The trick to prevent rusting is to season and maintain them with a light wipe of vegetable oil after each use.
4. Antique Copper Pots
Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they are a marvelous conductor of heat as well. Despite the infrequent bother of having them re-tinned when needed, the joys of owning and using antique copper pots far surpasses the modest maintenance they require.
5. Old-fashioned Lobster Pot
Found in the kitchen of every seaside cottage, these inexpensive spatter-enameled 4-6 gallon warhorses are a joy to boil up a mess of lobsters on a summer’s afternoon.
So, now that you know what my favorites are, what are yours?
All photos by Boy Fenwick