cant decide between Le Creuset and a roasting pan
So I have a some jingle jangle in my pocket that I decided I was going to throw at some new cookware. I'm just having a hard time deciding between a Le Creuset 7 1/4 qt dutch oven or a all-clad roasting pan. I already have a plain lodge cast iron dutch oven or I probably would have jumped all over the LC. Any suggestions. Then again maybe I could just wait a little bit and buy a blendtec blender.
I would choose the roasting pan. I disagree with soupkitten on two points. Your Lodge pan can be used for many of the dishes for which you’d use an LC Dutch oven whether you call is a substitute or not. And an $11 roasting pan probably isn’t going to last you a lifetime as the AC certainly will. I have two roasting pans, one comparatively small, thin, and cheap and the other larger, heavier, and considerably more expensive. The cheap pan doesn’t heat evenly, needs more careful monitoring to keep food from burning, has warped over the years, and is much more difficult to clean than the better pan. I have four different sizes of LC (or LC equivalents) and wouldn’t give up a one of them; but I use my roasting pan at least twice as often as I use any of the LC, not least because I adore roasted vegetables and make them often.
Loki, go with what your heart wants. It sounds like you might want the Le Creuset, but it's a less "practical" choice, given that you already have a dutch oven. Of course, I may be interpreting this completely wrong! You might really want the roasting pan instead. Regardless, listen to your heart for this one--you don't sound like a spendthrift, so this purchase is really important to you. Speaking only for myself, some of my most treasured purchases were not the items that I use all the time. I DON'T use my Dutch oven all that much, but I get so much aesthetic pleasure out of having it displayed. I don't use my panini press that often, but I still LOVE it! It's like the dress that you absolutely love, even if it is the less practical clothing choice. If your choice happens to be the item you'd use a lot, then all the better. But I wouldn't solely base my decision on some sort of dollars per use ratio.
BTW, on a somewhat tangential note, there is a fairly well publicized study on money attitudes, the spendthrift--tightwad index. Interesting stuff regarding how we deal with money (full disclosure: I'm actually a data point in this study and I am well on the tightwad side: needlessly spending money, which I do on rare occasions, actually causes me some psychological pain!) It gave me insight into my own money attitudes. That said, dropping a large (to me) sum of money on cookware that I absolutely love has never caused me any pain, regardless of how little or often I use said cookware! Of course, these purchases are never impulsive (I suspect you don't do much impulsive buiying either).
Also, if you are interested in saving for your Blendtec blender, you might want to check out smartypig.com. Looks like a great way to save for a specific goal, but I've not used it. The funds are deposited into an FDIC bank, but you might want to double-check on the safety of your savings. Still, I might look into it--I want a Musso ice cream maker!