I have this massive Cuisinart red pot. I got it one year when I went to business conference. There it was, sitting in the silent auction. It was huge and certainly not the size someone who cooks for a family of four needs, but as you know, mine is not a family of four – ours is a flock of kids, adults and friends constantly stopping by. The pot gently called to me as I circled it – bring me home, let me go to work, let me do what I was meant to do. Of course back then, it didn’t have the small dings in the lid (the kids clanking it together while trying to wash it) or the blackened marks on the base from sitting for hours while soups and stew simmered, no, when I first saw it, it was new, a blank canvas, and just aching to be filled with stories.
I had to have it.
I placed a bid and when I realized someone else was interested, I bid again, and again with the final result that I was the lucky winner who got to take the red pot home.
Since then, my pot and I have provided my family with plenty of hearty meals. We’ve made friend’s recipes including lentil soup (lots and lots of Kale) and creamy chicken – this week, I’ll be trying a cheeseburger soup that comes with high recommendations. Based on the memories of a magical lunch once provided by friends from France, I’ve made cassoulet in the pot and I’ve boiled enough pasta over the years to feed an army or two.
I don’t use the pot much in the summer, there’s really no need to simmer anything when you have salads and a grill to use, but in the winter, this red pot certainly comes to its much needed service. Is there any better smell than something slowly cooking all afternoon (the lid being strategically lifted in order to make sure the smells dissipate into the household)?
This winter, we’ve had plenty of opportunity to use the pot. My family has been chilled to the bone, friends have gotten sick and needed meals, disappointments have been made to sting a little less through warmth, talk, and caring, neighbors have helped with clearing snow – all of these needs have been valiantly met by my red pot.
Tonight, I’m planning a Coq Au Vin. Hearty and tasty, we’ll enjoy it with crusty bread as we linger around the table telling each other what we did and what we learned during the day. The pot will watch us from the stove, content with the success of its contributions.
My red pot did what it had wanted to do when it chose me to take it home, not only has it provided nourishing and comforting food, but after years of service, it is now finally filled with story after story of family, community, and friendship – which is, after all, the true purpose of any family’s pot.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.
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