My trip to Canada over the holidays inspired a long list of things to bring back to Germany: brown sugar and vanilla (of course), a Bath and Body Works candle, vanilla Earl Grey tea, flexible plastic cutting boards, specialty salad dressings, and many other tidbits that I could stuff into my boots for the voyage home (literally).
One such item that I had to bring back that I could not fit into my boots was Claudine. Oh the story of Claudine, where to begin? I fell in love with the look of Le Creuset French ovens probably after seeing the movie Julie & Julia. Julia Child cooked with the iconic orange Le Creuset French oven and I thought it just looked so good on the stove top. Suddenly Le Creuset was on my radar. My sister-in-law has one (it’s an oval French oven in the Carribean colour and it’s gorgeous). I’ve wanted one for a while but it didn’t make sense to me to get one before moving to Germany.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “Why did you get a Le Creuset pot in Canada just to bring it all the way back to Germany?”. Along the same lines, you’re probably also thinking, “Isn’t Le Creuset made in France, and don’t you now live about one hour from the French border?”. Or the even more logical, “Isn’t Le Creuset sold in most kitchen stores, um, you know, worldwide? Because they are kind of popular, um, everywhere?” Why yes, yes they are.
Ok, ok…I looked at Le Creuset pots in Germany. They have them here, of course. But the thing is….they are pretty expensive. And I love to score a deal. And I couldn’t help but remember that there is a Le Creuset factory store outlet at the Seattle Premium Outlets just outside of Seattle. Which is about 3 hours (with the border lineup) from Vancouver. Which is where I was heading over Christmas. So obviously it made sense to fly to Vancouver, drive to the outlets, buy this pot, drive back to Vancouver, fly to Toronto for a stop over, then fly back to Germany, right? Right.
The Le Creuset factory outlet store has a big selection of items for the lover of all colourful cookware. I knew I wanted to get a little French oven. Well, a bigger one would have been great, but these things weigh a ton and I had to think about what would fit into my carry on luggage. So I settled on this beautiful little Cobalt Blue French oven. They were 40% off which made my heart go pitter patter.
Funny little side story…on the way back to the border crossing, my friends and I were going over what we needed to declare at the border and we were running through the list of stuff we bought: clothes, groceries, a pot, etc. I said, “You know, girls, I’ve been thinking about the use of the word ‘pot’ and I think we should say ‘pan’ or something else…” We all had a good laugh and in the end, we decided on calling it a ‘casserole dish’. No problems at the border, they just waived us through.
On the way to Toronto and eventually back to Germany, I stuffed the pot full of every small item I could fit in there to save on space (pajamas, t-shirts, the aforementioned Bath and Body Works candle, etc.) and in the corners of the box some random small items (lip balm, a square of fudge, clip on santa hat, etc). Think I’m kidding? I’m not.
Her inaugural meal atop our stove? Penne alla vodka with shrimp and it was divine!