Have you drawn a blank trying to figure out what you want for Christmas? Starting in October and November, me and sisters start the phone calls and emails back and forth regarding what we are getting everyone and what we want and what our husbands need. I hate telling people exactly what I want, but none of my family is around me these days to know my taste and needs. So I am here to help you with those awkward conversations and give you a few ideas regarding gifts for the cook (or aspiring cook).
Every Tuesday until Christmas, I will bring you some gift ideas that are cost conscious. I would love to have some wonderful cast iron enameled cookware or Dutch oven, like Le Crueset, but for me, it's just seems impractical to spend $300-400 on ONE pot. Last year, E got me an off-brand one from Sam's. It's the best thing I have ever cooked with. LOVE IT and it was only $30-40. Kohl's has a line of Food Network and Rachael Ray Cookware with good prices and you can always get a good sale at Kohl's. If you haven't signed up for their email service, they will send you a $5 off coupon.
Check Amazon. They had some good prices on cast iron cookware as well. Also, Mario Batali and Paula Deen have their own "celebrity" cookware that is fairly reasonably priced.
Why do you want a cast iron pot? What can you do with it? The question is, what can't you do with it. Soups, Stews, Roasts, Chili, ... You can do anything with it! You can cook with it on a stove, in an oven, over a fire, it's just so versatile and cleans well too. I find myself using this pot at least once a week in the summer and twice a week in the winter time.