Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gratin Dishes and First-World Dilemmas

I am thinking about shopping and consumption a lot lately and here’s why: because I can and because I would like to buy certain things.  Like a gratin dish.

Let me assure you that I am feeling quite privileged and spoiled about this situation.  In my mind, I’m still a graduate student living on a reasonably modest stipend.  I should be shopping at Goodwill and secondhand stores, and I’ve done none of that since I moved to Texas.  When I lived in Evanston, just north of Chicago, I lived a few city blocks from many thrift stores.  Now, the nearest thrift store is a few miles away, and I just haven’t been in the mood for a bike ride and thrifting adventure.  Do you know why?  Because I spend all my best hours working!  First-world life indeed.

Anyway, perhaps you have noticed that this blog has its very first sponsor,, part of the CSN family of stores.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love working with CSN Stores.  They’ve sponsored giveaways and product reviews here and at many great blogs around the internets, and to me, it’s a pleasure to work with them.  I’m always cautious about commercials and advertising on this blog because I want the focus to be on cooking and writing, not buying stuff.  But the main reason we cook is so that we may eat, and if that isn’t the definition of consumption, then I’m throwing away my dictionary.

Recently, CSN sponsored a little advertising on my other blog, Feels Like Flying, and as a result, I’ve had a $35 gift certificate burning a hole in my electronic wallet.  I’m leaning toward buying a gratin dish because I don’t own one, and it seems like a useful thing to have around the kitchen.  But here is my dilemma: most of the time I’m cooking for one.  Should I get a small dish for my small-scale cooking projects, or should I get a larger dish for those days when I’m feeding a crowd?  For the small-scale days, I like this one-quart Le Creuset gratin dish, which happens to match my soup pot:


For feeding a crowd or making lots of leftovers for myself, I like this three-quart Bonjour gratin dish in rouge (rouge! so fancy!):


Neither item is very expensive (~$25-30), and I know I’d get years and years of cooking out of them.  Which one do you like?  Am I completely spoiled rotten if I buy both of them?  I like to shop in bulk—it’s so efficient!  And I can be a bit of a priss who is difficult to please, so when I find something I like, it seems like the smart thing is to go for it with gusto.

Wallet, prepare to be opened!

* CSN Stores did not sponsor this post, but they are sponsoring this blog.  We have a business relationship, which of course means that I am biased.  Such is life in the marketplace!


Chrissy said...

I think you should get the bigger one. Even though you're cooking for one usually, you can always eat the leftovers. Also, a gratin seems like something I would usually pull out for guests, not quite an every day dish. And of course, you can't go wrong with rouge!

Rosiecat24 said...

It's true that I usually cook with the idea that I'll eat the leftovers at work, so you make a good point! And a new gratin dish is a good excuse to have friends over for supper :-)

One point for rouge!

Lindsey said...

My favorite ceramic bake ware is Emile Henry. All of the pieces are hand crafted in France. They are beautiful, can go from freezer to oven, and are SOOO easy to clean! I have their lasagna pan, loaf dish, square baker, pie plate and their 4 quart dutch oven. I also sent Theresa a loaf pan! Hands down my favorite cookware! :)

Rosiecat24 said...

Oh, Lindsey, I love Emile Henry bakeware too! It is gorgeous and so easy to use. It sounds like you have a full set! I just have a set of their little ramekins, which I use all the time for prep work and for baking. They were one of my best kitchen purchases.

Thanks for your comment :-) I love that you gave Theresa a loaf pan. She's become a kitchen wizard!