Now, one thing you must know about me, I don't like to pay full price. I wait for sales and I do like markdowns. I also don't mind buying what are called 'second runs' in the Le Creuset world. It just means they're not first quality, and may have some slight imperfections, but the lifetime warranty remains in place.
The larger of the two braising pots has some slight discoloration on the lid, and being on the outside, I know it won't affect food or the cooking process.
The smaller braiser has a couple of very small, almost imperceptible scratches, and are also on the outer surface. I was also doubly blessed in that those two pots were in EXACTLY the color I had hoped I would find, the off white tone called 'Dune', but which I think of as Linen colored. Those are the colors that Lucinda and Ina often use in the shows, and well, I fell in love with the look. An added bonus was the little red casserole dish, which was added to the purchase as a gift from the store. I happen to already have a similar red pot from the Lodge cast iron collection, which I got at Walmart at a very good price. My other Le Creuset pots are in cobalt blue, but that's fine that they're not all in matching colors. I actually really liked the new "Kiwi" color which is a green apple color. Gorgeous, and would look so cheerful in any kitchen, but none were available in discounted prices.
One other thing which also made me very happy was a popover baking pan, as I had recipes for popovers, but no specialty pan. I do have muffin pans, but since popovers rise high like a souffle, I wanted to be able to have the full effect.
And last but not least, was an ebelskiver pan for making those delectable puffy filled pancakes. I have had my eye on this little gadget on numerous trips to the outlets and the Williams Sonoma store, but always talked myself out of buying it, not quite being able to justify the expense. I kept convincing myself that it would just be another gadget in my inventory of kitchen 'stuff', and that I probably wouldn't really be making a lot of stuffed pancakes, however cute and small they were. But I always thought in the back of my mind, that making them for my Grandsons and making them happy to enjoy something delicious would be enough of a reason to have it in my stash.
And of course the corresponding batter mix for said little apparatus. I know there is a recipe for making them from scratch, but I'd like to first see how they taste so I can compare to made from scratch.
And so these are the things which delight and make me happy. No designer clothing or jewelry for me. Just the little things which help me be a better cook. For me, cooking and baking are just a small way to show my love for my family. And there's nothing wrong with that.