My kitchen is typical New York-size, or simply put—small. Because of the limited space, a nice look is always a big bonus for any new pots, pans or appliances, as they will most likely end up as a visible part of the room, sitting on a counter-top or the stove. With this in mind, I was happy to find La Chamba's selection of beautiful clay dishes. Their rustic clay casserole is a new favorite in my kitchen, and the charming design makes a nice addition to my the stove-top even when not in use. All natural and unglazed, each dish is hand-crafted in the village of La Chambar in Central Colombia using local clays. At first glance, I thought the dish would weigh as much as my cast iron pans, but the material (blackened during the firing process) is surprisingly light and easy-to-handle. The pot is safe for use in the oven, microwave, and stove-top, though its deep oval shape is ideal for slow-simmered stews. My first try on a homemade gumbo turned out great, cooking for hours without sticking to the bottom, which made for a delicious meal with easy cleanup.