KeepsakeCookware

Vintage European and American Porcelainized Cast Iron

Friendsville, Maryland | 69 Sales

KeepsakeCookware

Vintage European and American Porcelainized Cast Iron

Friendsville, Maryland 69 Sales On Etsy since 2017

5 out of 5 stars (23)

Shop owner

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Announcement   For a limited time, we have reduced prices on select lifetime-lasting vintage cookware left after the holiday season. Hurry to find the best buys of the year.

While a big part of our work remains "custom" — doing the legwork for customers who contact us looking for "just the right piece" — Keepsake's focus remains great-value treasures meant to be used every day. Hence, the occasional "live" photo on our site of enameled cookware "at work". We also try to keep a few highly collectible items and, occasionally, pieces of pure historical interest. In particular, we're fond of US-made Prizer, now long gone but with finishes unmatched — at least in our own test kitchen — for their durability.

But Le Creuset remains our premier line. So, we would be remiss if we didn't point out, once more, how Le Creuset — under its own brand name, as well as Cousances — still today manufactures cast-iron heirlooms for the future, mostly from recycled metal at the original factory in northwestern France.

The company's continuing commitment to quality is essential for maintaining consumer interest in kitchenware that bucks all the modern trends. If you've chosen to buy as-new at a deep discount — you've come to right place! It's Keepsake Cookware.

BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: Don't Forget Keepsake's exclusive free insurance on all domestic shipping.

SEE ABOUT SECTION for information about appraisals and consultations.

Announcement

Last updated on Feb 14, 2019

For a limited time, we have reduced prices on select lifetime-lasting vintage cookware left after the holiday season. Hurry to find the best buys of the year.

While a big part of our work remains "custom" — doing the legwork for customers who contact us looking for "just the right piece" — Keepsake's focus remains great-value treasures meant to be used every day. Hence, the occasional "live" photo on our site of enameled cookware "at work". We also try to keep a few highly collectible items and, occasionally, pieces of pure historical interest. In particular, we're fond of US-made Prizer, now long gone but with finishes unmatched — at least in our own test kitchen — for their durability.

But Le Creuset remains our premier line. So, we would be remiss if we didn't point out, once more, how Le Creuset — under its own brand name, as well as Cousances — still today manufactures cast-iron heirlooms for the future, mostly from recycled metal at the original factory in northwestern France.

The company's continuing commitment to quality is essential for maintaining consumer interest in kitchenware that bucks all the modern trends. If you've chosen to buy as-new at a deep discount — you've come to right place! It's Keepsake Cookware.

BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: Don't Forget Keepsake's exclusive free insurance on all domestic shipping.

SEE ABOUT SECTION for information about appraisals and consultations.

Paul

Contact shop owner

Paul

Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
(23)
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About

Visit Keepsake Cookware at Deep Creek Cellars in Maryland

Please visit the retail store for Keepsake Cookware, located in our winery’s gift shop at Deep Creek Lake, Md. (DeepCreekCellars.com). In addition to fine wines, entirely from local grapes, you'll find one of North America's largest selections of valuable vintage enameled cookware.

We’re just three hours from the DC or Baltimore beltways, near which most visitors to Mountain Maryland live. Six hours from Cleveland and Philadelphia. Seven from New York. Two from Pittsburgh.

Wondering whether that old orange pot your Grandmother gave you still has any life left? Or, did you misplace the lid in ’75 the morning after that crazy concert, and the bottom has been sitting unused in the cupboard since? Next time you’re vacationing near us, bring those kitchen remnants along.

Cash paid for old enameled cast-iron! Please email or call ahead, to arrange appointments at the store for consultation, appraisal, and purchase of your vintage and collectible enamelware: 301.746.4349. Also in stock: many original lids and some bottoms in popular colors. (I am also willing to travel to your location for appraisals. Appraisal by photographs, transmitted electronically, is not recommended but in some cases can work.)

We’re located just 6 minutes off I-68, which millions of Americans use to travel cross-country. So, stop by on your way through. That old pot might pay the way!

And just how did I get here? I came to heirloom and vintage enamelware 25 years ago by buying new pieces of Le Creuset (which I still do today). I cook with them daily for my family, and as frequently as possible for friends.

People often remark about the succulence and tenderness of my preparations. “How’d you do that?”

“Le Creuset” is all I can say.

Obviously, cooking is not all or even mostly about the pots and pans. But slow-cooking in porcelain-coated cast-iron seals in foods’ natural moisture, vitamins and minerals, flavor, and, well, somehow… the panache.

And while Le Creuset has become almost synonymous with great enamelware, making cast-iron vessels for cooking goes back at least four centuries, to Le Creuset’s 1553 predecessor— Cousances, absorbed in 1957 to become the famous brand we know today.

It was Belgians who perfected the hard, sand-based coatings of modern enamelware, but the world knows about Le Creuset because it took France’s amazing culinary history to spread the word. By using the same sorts of cookware that so many French mothers, grandmothers, and chefs use, it’s possible to tap into those traditions — and create your own for your family.

If you want sensual tenderness, cook slower and generally longer, lid-on, in cast-iron.

But, if you also want easy clean-up — without constant “seasoning” of uncoated iron — the hard, porcelain finish of enamelware is the way to go. It’s the original “No-Stick Cookware.”

Yet, because the underlying material is iron, rather than cheaply made aluminum with finishes that flake off over time (exposing you and your family to potentially carcinogenic materials in the chemical finish), the heat is retained better and spreads more evenly.

Good quality stainless steel also has its place — and I occasionally sell it at Keepsake — but it’s more for frying and short-duration cooking.

Now I know Americans like kitchen gadgets, but — spoiler alert — coated iron replaces a crock pot for stewing and soups, plus real heirloom-quality enamelware is far better-suited to basting and roasting and, with just a little care, will last many lifetimes.*

Also, we all know great food didn’t start in Europe. But a key step in classic regional dishes from many cultures is slow-cooking. Roasted poultry in cocoa-laced molé sauce? This great Mexican dish is even more delicious from my #30 Le Creuset braiser! Those great simmer sauces from India and Pakistan? Sorry, mine’s hard to beat, thanks to a prized #24 Le Creuset Wide Round. Jambalaya? No question — much better in my big ole 1952 Cousances Oval.

Whether you visit me personally at our winery shop, or use Etsy’s award-winning customer service portal — with free Keepsake insurance on all domestic shipping and service to many other countries — you’re never too old or inexperienced to start or expand your own collection of cookware worth keeping.

When you come to our shop, you’ll notice the chalkboard sign with a hand-scribbled note: “Make Dinner Tonight.”

Incredibly, many people ask if that’s a reminder to myself.

“No, that’s for you,” is my reply. “Don’t you need a local wine to go with it? Or how about a great vintage pot to cook it in!”

Lastly, try to buy naturally nutritional and environmentally sound organic raw ingredients. Buy from local farmers as often as you can. And, for Americans especially, before it’s too late, slow down, take time — sit around the table more with your family and friends.

Paul
Friendsville, Md.
November 2017

*A fundamental footnote about the trashy, splashy cast-iron pots jamming the Big Box shelves these days. A few years back, when I first started, someone brought in an enameled pot with a dazzling light-to-dark blue gradated finish. The shine was so catchy (and I already knew that Americans love blue cookware), that I bought it, even though it had no maker’s mark and was undoubtedly modern and Chinese. I put it on the shelf, right beside and at one-third the price of the scratched-up, shaggy-looking #24 Cousances that Napoleon himself may have used in an early campaign. Shiny Blue had almost exactly the same capacity. But when I compared it closely to the Cousances, I found: 1) the coated finish on the nearly new Chinese pot was frayed along the edges and surely would not hold up over time, and 2) the metal on the Euro pot was a good sixteenth of an inch thinner, then 3) picking up Shiny Blue by the handles was awkward, because 4) the thing was monstrous — I mean shockingly heavy! It would be like lugging a bowling ball around the kitchen. That provoked me to fetch the scale. Bonaparte’s Cousances: 10 pounds, 2 ounces. Blue: 16 pounds! Imagine the poor quality of the pig iron involved. By comparison, imagine the rigor of innovation and refinement, over decades and even centuries, that went into creating a vessel of such durability that it is also light by comparison to modern competitors! And there you have it: great enamelware, which is still made by Le Creuset, Chasseur and Staub in France today, is also far lighter and, as a result, more enjoyable. You simply can’t have it both ways: if you want something to last forever, buy cast-iron. If you want something to last forever and be immensely, durably fun to cook with, try new or vintage European enamelware.

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  • Paul

    Owner

    Paul is a professional winemaker and writer with a love of good food and what it takes to grow and make it. To discuss your vintage cookware, call him: 301.746.4349, or email: paulr@deepcreekcellars.com. To buy on Etsy, it's free — just sign up!

Shop policies

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Last updated on Nov 29, 2017
Frequently asked questions
Why Don't You 1) Accept Cancellations, or 2) Allow Returns or Exchanges?

I am happy to answer any and all questions before purchase, or even to hold an item for sale until the customer makes a final decision. But, after an order is received, several steps remain to fulfill it. Additionally, one order may affect decisions about the shop's overall inventory and work-flow.

Therefore, please appreciate my need to accept that an order placed is final.

As a veteran on-line vintage cookware buyer, I also know about the routine risks associated with shipping. The best way to avoid complications is to avoid unnecessary shipments due to Returns or Exchanges, thereby raising the overall satisfaction level for my customers.

Again, the key is for us talk as much as necessary in advance of purchase.