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9:59 a.m. - 2011-06-12
Hot Pot.

Sam's Club is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

And what I got yesterday along with Milk Bones, paper towels, and Frosted Mini-Wheats was something like THIS.

Mine's a 6.5qt and it's dark red, but you get the gist. A fantastically weighty, enamel over cast iron dutch oven. Be still my heart. I've been lusting for one of those for years. Mick was a bit befuddled, he thought I already owned all the pots and pans in the world. Truth is for someone who likes to cook as much as I do, my cookware arsenal is really pretty skerce. A handful of non-stick frying pans of varying diameter which I mostly just use for eggs. A 14" cast iron skillet that takes two hands to lift even when it's empty. Five saucepans. An ancient T-Fal spaghetti pot. Two ginormous stainless steel stock pots, the smaller of which is my go-to 'do everything' tall pot. The other workhorse is a deep, stainless steel, chicken frying pan with straight sides and a tight-fitting lid. Sucker's as big around as a manhole cover. I use it, and the shorter stock pot, nearly every time I cook.

And anybody wondering why someone who usually cooks for just three people needs such Brobdingnagian cookware hasn't been paying attention. One of those people is Mick, remember? Plus Wolf has entered the human dispose-all stage. The kid's consumed more food in the last 6 weeks than he had for the previous 13 years combined. It's awesome in a force of nature kind of way. My former air fern 'three bites and he's full' child is often still at the table finishing up the scraps after even Mick is stuffed and waddling away. Amazing.

So, the new dutch oven. If you peeked at the link you might have seen the price of the Le Creuset. Hundreds of dollars. Outrageously pricey. Like the Kitchen-Aid stand mixer I yearn for but cannot bring myself to shell out the big bucks to buy, a Le Creuset dutch oven was just too rich for my cheap-ass self. Oy, I wanted one though.

My patience and fiscal prudence was rewarded. I got my new beauty for…$30! With a lifetime warrantee no less.

Dumbfounded. Almost wet myself I was so shocked and excited. At first Mick was a bit sniffy. To his non-cooking self $30 seemed to be a bit steep for just one pot. I'd gotten a whole set of pots and pans a couple years ago for $95, right? Then I clued my guy into just what a bargain the Member's Mark version was compared to the Le Creuset. His turn to be dumbfounded. Couldn't believe I was for real. I pointed out that serious cooking requires serious tools. For instance, his beefy chef hero Robert Irvine's favorite kitchen knife cost over $1,000. Well! This put a new spin on things. If his bromance ideal, Robert Irvine the gym rat gourmet, was a fan of the big money chef's tools then it was A-okay for me to have the same.

Yes, I've twitted Mick many, many times about the overt homoeroticism of his chosen sports. The muscle man thing especially. Outraged at first, he finds it funny now. During his body building competition days Mick was oblivious to the man-love vibe. For real. Early on when talking about our pasts and the body building thing came up I laughed myself sick over Mick's convenient blind spot about it. "Uh huh. A bunch of guys get together to get pumped, oiled, and then stand around together on stage wearing nothing but speedos while other guys ogle you and decide who's got the nicest bod? Nope. Nothing gay about that!"

Hey man, I calls 'em likes I sees 'em. Sorry to bust your bubble about the he-man mythology you imbued your whole 'muscle as art form' gig with, but you and the other glistening, speedo-clad hunks weren't gladiators, you were the backup dancers for the Village People. Throw in a Liza Minnelli drag queen MC and it'd be a smash on the bath-house circuit. 'Mick O'Gaelic and the New Conan Revue'.

Ditto with the bike riding. Ever watch a bicycle race on TV? Hours and hours of whippet-thin guys with beefy thighs and great butts in skintight spandex. And the majority of air time is devoted to scenes from the butt-cam perspective and we get loving close-ups of many, many young buns flexing. Then a sudden crash cut to the front view of a guy with his jersey unzipped sitting up and dousing himself with a water bottle. Oooo…sex-ay! Ever since I was unkind enough to bring Mick up to speed on the calendar boy aspect of the TV coverage he's not feeling quite the same about watching every second of the Tour de France anymore. The daily standings and a couple highlight clips are fine.

Sometimes I regret being such a snark. Everybody's entitled to their illusions. It's cool to like what you like. Mick's innocence (or deeply buried and firmly ignored recognition) hurt no one. Kind of mean of me, huh? Though it might have come up anyhow in another guise as we worked on gender expectations and definitions. I had a tough time for a long while with this. Unable to cope with Mick taking care of me, too foreign. It was beyond the usual manly courtesies like opening jars and killing bugs too. "Wait. What? I should go in the house and you'll bring in all the groceries by yourself?" "What do you mean you took a personal day so you could drive me to the doctor?" If I agreed to this cosseting were there other freedoms I was trading off without knowing? Where did gallantry stop and smothering sexism begin?

HA! I'll tell one place it reigns. We found out the hard way yesterday that in our family The Guy Drives. Mick is a HORRIBLE passenger. The worst kind of side-seat driver. As a treat I offered to drive, Mick's sicker than sick of his commute and would enjoy the break, yes? Good God! We didn't even get a mile from the house before he had me a gibbering wreck. Telling me when to turn, wincing, huffing through his nose. Slow down! Speed up! Look out! That guy's pulling out! Could. Not. Believe. It. He knew he was making me bonkers too, but couldn't stop. We finally got to the mall and before we went inside I told him he had a choice- he could cut the shit and passenger like a sane person, or he could drive all the time but he loses the right to bitch about it.

He did the driving for the rest of the day and not a peep about what a chore it was.


Wise choice, oh husband o' mine. ~LA

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