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I recently acquired and restored a gate-marked 19th century 8-quart dutch oven, and this weekend I'm going to give it away to a family in New Hampshire. I can't post this on the group because we've been discouraging giveaways to strangers, and I can't post this on my own Facebook because they're on my friends list and will see it. So, I have to confess here.

These are new friends I visited for the first time last week. They're very nice people, and they live in poverty because they are struggling to recover from some very tough times – they were both homeless and drug users for a while, until they met one another, cleaned up and married, and had two kids. One of the toddlers is autistic; and they have several health issues themselves. When I saw in their kitchen that they only have one small cast iron skillet, I felt I needed to make a donation to help them out. Among other things, they need more cast iron for cooking to increase their iron intake. So, I'll be visiting them on Sunday to give them the big 8-quart pot, a Lodge chicken fryer, and a Lodge 12-inch skillet. I also have a spare chef's knife to replace their dollar-store kitchen knife. None of these had been acquired at great cost; the chef's knife was purchased for $5 at a flea market, and I've been working to get it sharp and in working condition.

Meanwhile, the main reason for giving away the gate marked pot is because I already have a BS&R #10 sized dutch oven, which is about the same size. Having two cast iron pots of the same size would mean one of them would gather dust while the other was used. Given a choice, I'd prefer the BS&R because it's a lot thicker, and I prefer thick iron for use. Also, I'd only paid $15 for the gate marked pot – it was an exceptional bargain. So, I'm really not losing a lot of money by giving this stuff away to friends who need them.

Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest.