Grief takes a long time to end. I get just tearful just thinking of lasagne and well up uncontrollably when someone mentions chicken marengo or haddock and prawn cobbler.
I remember all the happy meals we shared together. Her sitting there in the middle of the dining room table , radiating so much warmth.
Now she has gone but we still have the memories. of the good times we had together. Of grouse with red cabbage, beef carbonnade, Boeuf a l’orange, cidered lamb and dumplings,
We will be in mourning for our Le Creuset casserole dish for a long time. At Christmas, a a freak accident no one could do about and the cooking gods ordained, we lost a much-loved but thankfully not irreplaceable member of the family.
One of our beloved Le Creuset casserole dishes suddenly and inexplicably fractured and had to be put down.
It had been with us for over thirty years. It was a wedding gift from my wife’s late mother. It served us faithfully for three decades. Its sister 24cm oval dish is still going strong. But our kitchen just wasn’t the same without our big French meringue.
Until its replacement arrived with the company’s condolences.
“Built to last and crafted to withstand the test of time,” Le Creuset products carry lifetime guarantees. From frying pans, skillets, braisers, fondue sets, doufeus, Kone kettles, roasters, woks, Balti pans, crepe pans and dumpling dishes to tagines and cassacours, Le Creuset is THE luxury ovenware and pre-eminent bakeware manufactuer.
And nearly one hundred years after it was founded , today’s cookware is still tomorrow’s heirloom with the iconic French dishes being passed down generations. Le Creuset is a high value designer brand. It is kitchen royalty.
Every item made by Le Creuset ( from the French for cauldron or melting pot) is hand-inspected by ten craftsmen to ensure the highest craftsmanship. The pots are sprayed with a minimum of two layers of enamel, to protect the piece inside and out and to add the colour.
The famous orange volcanic orange flame colour was inspired by the fiery orange of the molten iron used in the casting process, and it was the first colour Le Creuset produced when it was launched in 1925 at the Brussels Fair by two Belgians- casting specialist Armand Desaegher and enameller, Octave Aubecq – who from their foundry in Fresnoy-le-Grand, Ausine in Picardy , two hours north of Paris, started producing enameled cast-iron smooth-lid “French ovens”, “cocottes” and “coquelles”.
In 1957, Le Creuset purchased Les Hauts Fourneaux de Cousances, and started producing items such as grills and fondue sets.
Cookery writer Elizabeth David promoted Mediterranean cooking in the UK. The blue range was created for her. In the 1950s, the designer Raymond Loewy introduced a futuristic type of cookware. Ribbed bases appeared and looped lid handles were replaced by stainless steel or phenolic knobs. The color Elysées Yellow was introduced.
In the 1970s, Enzo Mari designed distinctive “Mama” Dutch ovens and saucepans with domed lids and typical handles. In the 1980s JC Barrault’s “Futura” line was launched.
Le Creuset first used the logo with three concentric rings in 1972 . The company was purchased by South African, Paul van Zuydam in 1988.
In 1995, it began exploring new product categories: stainless steel, stoneware, silicone, enamel on steel, textiles and forged hard-anodized aluminium. Le Creuset now comes in colours like Volcanic , Cotton, Dune, Cerise , Oyster, Cashmere , Hibiscus and Provence Lavender. Discontinued colours such as black onyx and cactus have become collectors’ items. Le Creuset also partners with kitchenware retail brands such as Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table. To manufacture their iconic cast-iron cookware, Le Creuset uses standard sand-casting methods.
Prices range from around £200 for a Le Creuset saucepan to a £500 15.5 qt oval Dutch Le Creuset also make kitchen utensils and accessories like trivets and stoneware teapots and soup bowls.
The latest in chic enamelled cast iron cookware is Le Creuset’s Marseille blue Quidditch™ Signature Round Casserole with a solid brass Golden Snitch knob on the lid, embossed with three Quidditch™ goal rings.
A hundred years on, Le Creuset is still the cast iron way to great cooking. But we shall never forget her. Our first. We will always remember her.
At 180C, 350 F, Gas Mark 4.