Even as a kid I loved enamel ware. Take me to a disposal store- and they were real disposal stores back in the day- and I could be found hovering around the shelves of enamel plates and mugs. I don't know quite what it is about it, maybe the colours (although I am very picky about particular colours), maybe it's the oldy-worldy charm of it. Finally I got my hands on a big enamel mug to sadly learn the lesson that metal convects heat a little too well. When we were growing up mum always had an enamel bowl under the sink for the dripping, not the 'tap dripping' but the fat rendered off the Sunday roast dripping. And really I am coming to the conclusion that that was what made those Sunday lamb roasts so heavenly. I hate the 'new roasts' with their fat sliced off, dry, tough and inedible, you have to soak them in marinades and oils to make them a little juicy and what's the point of that? Thanks to movements like Slow Food we are getting back in touch with the tried old ways of cooking. Dripping and lard and all those flavoursome (naughty) fats make things like roasts and pastry and plum puddings so deliriously good.
And that's what enamel ware conjures for me- good 'plain' cooks baking delicious meals in kitchens without gadgets, a few pots and pans, a handful of utensils and a good oven.
Yesterday's mini haul included four matching enamel pie dishes (two large, 1 medium, 1 small) and three large russet enamel bowls. Then there was the to other Chinese enamel bowls I didn't get that I am slightly kicking myself over. Oh well.