And it's not just any dutch oven. It is the mack-daddy, enameled cast iron, Le Creuset French Oven. When it arrived, I immediately named it Simba because I wanted to take it to the top of a mountain and hold it up high so that all the creatures of the forest could genuflect upon it.
There are other dutch ovens out there. I've heard that Costco's are actually very comparable and less expensive. I looked at Martha Stewart's ovens and they looked okay. But I don't own a Coach purse. I spend a reasonable amount on shoes. Is it too much to ask that my kitchen be a little brand-obsessed? (Full disclosure: Simba was a very generous wedding gift. However, if nothing else in our registry had been fulfilled, this was the item that I would have purchased for myself. When I looked at the registry, and the dutch oven had a check next to it marked "fulfilled," I, myself, felt a little fulfilled.)
Simba has been good to us. I have made Julia Child's famous Beef Bourguignon, several other soups and stews, spaghetti sauce with meatballs, and tonight I am making Stout-Braised short ribs for an early Christmas dinner. When the dinner is ready, I expect it will look a little like this.