Problem with Heavy Cookware? Boundaries, Brown & Brand

Boundaries of steel

I was watching American professor, author, and podcaster Brené Brown, being interviewed by Russell Brand the other day. Several things struck me as I watched, but one in particular has stayed with me.

She was talking about compassionate people and what they had in common, and by way of example she referred to people who maybe find God in everyone, or people who connected to everyone. And she then asks Brand what he thinks these people have in common. Spirituality being his first guess.

But no, whilst researching human behaviour it turns out that the one characteristic these people all have, are “boundaries of steel”. So these are people, who are very compassionate to others, but they wouldn’t subject themselves to the abuse of others. In other words, they could still love someone well, but they knew when to say “no” (with kindness compassion and without judgement).

The reason that this has struck a chord, is because Babette and I used to talk a lot about boundaries over the years. Undoubtedly because we were sometimes crap at them, with our children, our friends and our colleagues at work. But particularly with our children, and of course each other! Over time we got a bit better at it, but it’s a hard thing to do (speaking personally) to set boundaries kindly, only to see the other person taking it badly!

Actually, because overall our love and appreciation of each other was fundamentally quite strong, when she set a boundary that I didn’t like, it frequently took further discussion for me to appreciate where she was coming from, and when appropriate, change.

And, much of the time, she’d return the compliment, when the tables were turned.

But it wasn’t easy. It didn’t come naturally to either of us, and yet if you’d asked either of us, about boundaries during our 28 years of being together we’d have always said how important they were… nowt so queer as folk!

So that’s why it struck a chord with me. Does it with you? Or are you all boundaried up!


To product

Sometimes customers come in looking for cookware, pick up a piece of Le Creuset castiron and remark on its weight, and sometimes that’s the end of the story. If you’re in that camp, for whatever reason, maybe a dislike of heavy cookware or for example you have arthritis and find lifting heavy things painful, then I may have an answer for you.

A while ago John Day, who is the agent for one of our major suppliers, Grunwerg’s of Sheffield, showed me some enamelled cast aluminium casseroles. They came in a range of sizes and they were really light. So light in fact that I dismissed the idea as not really us (light usually means poor quality and/or poor heat distribution), and also partly because they appeared to be copying Le Creuset in style and I’m not keen on plagiarism, however flattering it may be.

But some of my colleagues disagreed with me and pointed out that there was a significant demand for light but good quality. Cutting a longish story very short. We borrowed a piece from John, tried it out and didn’t find it wanting. In fact it performed very well, which is largely down to them being made of aluminium which spreads heat fast and evenly*.

They come in 5 versions and in two colours, Black and Cream. Two sizes of shallow casserole and three sizes of deep. They are nonstick coated inside (which I think is a shame, as you need to be wary of not using excessive heat, as any nonstick will burn off if treated in a cavalier manner**) but that apart, and to my surprise, I’ve got very little to say against them. They even look nice.

So, if you want your “Le Creuset”*** to look the part, but not weigh a ton, then you could do worse than try one of these. Prices are pretty reasonable as well, from £50 to £89. But for this weekend you can take 20% off by using the code COMMI20 at checkout on our website or tell us who you are if coming into the shops.

As with everything we sell, if you try it , don’t like it, you may return to us for a full refund.

*Paul tells me he did a Ragout in it when trying it out, and got very good control over all the aspects from frying the onions to reducing. He was very impressed by it but did warn me that the side handles get hot very quickly…looking on the bright side that supports my assertion about the fast heat transmission of an aluminium body.

** Cavalier is turning it up to 7 without oil or food in it. DON’T do it!

***Ok no, not actually Le Creuset!

So that’s it. I’ll leave the last word to Tim Kreider,

“If we want the rewards of being loved, we have to submit to the mortifying ordeal of being known.” Tim Kreider. Essayist and Cartoonist

A good observer of human kind!

I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.


Kind regards



Andrew Bluett-Duncan


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