DYI Potholders

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Last year at the IDOS World Championship Cookoff, something unexpected happened.  Just before the semi-finals began, almost all of the other teams stopped by our cooking area to bring a gift that represented their home town and shared a word of encouragement.  And then again just before the finals, more gifts were shared!  This gift-giving ritual happened in the midst of all of the pre-competition jitters and anxiety and was a complete surprise!  Each delivery made me stop for just a moment, putting aside worry about recipes, spices, and countless other details.  Each brief interuption to the stress of preparing for competition, was a gift.   Each delivery of a gift was a moment to shake a new friend’s hand and remember that friendship is always more important than competition.

All of the gifts were personal and shared something special but one stood out.  I have held on to this special gift over the past year – a homemade blue scrubby with a cute and catchy poem attached.

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I loved this little gift!  It was handmade, used recycled nylon, served a useful purpose (cleaning out cast iron), and made my heart smile with its fun poem.

We had not heard about this tradition, so we didn’t have a gift to share in return.  I decided then that if we returned to Sandy, Utah, we would bring gifts.

Thus began my search for an appropriate gift.  Over the past year, I’ve kept a look out for gift ideas but never found anything that spoke to my heart. Nothing seemed to be just right. I wanted a  gift that was (1) inexpensive or less than about $5, (2) homemade, (3) celebrated cooking in cast iron. Sounds like a simple task but it was not!  Finally, I read a post on the Cast Iron Facebook page about homemade potholders that instantly caught my attention, and my search for gift ideas ended!

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Potholders are essential in any kitchen, indoors or out.  Picking up a hot pot, hot skillet, or hot pan out of the oven, requires protection that fits easily in hand, is flexible, and washable.  I knew immediately that this was the perfect gift for us to take to WCCO.  Made out of colorful, inexpensive, 100% cotton, this would be a perfect gift I could make for each team.

I am almost finished crocheting a beautiful stack of potholders and am ready to pack them up for our trip to Utah in a few weeks!

In the next post, I will show you how to make these easy potholders.  What is your favorite DYI kitchen project?

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