In addition to a fun toy, I got Jesse a set of cast iron skillets for Christmas. I'd started out looking for new non-stick pans, but became seduced by reviews of cast iron. Like everyone- right? -we used to have cast iron, but I think we got rid of them after we received a set of Calphalon when we were married. Nowadays, they come pre-seasoned, and the difference between them and the Calphalon is amazing.
Today, for example, I made Nigel's chicken stew recipe, which calls for browning the marinated chicken parts and then adding cooked cannellini beans, and sauteed leeks which have been brought to a oil with water and the rest of the marinade. The chicken browned in a manner that I haven't seen in years, and the flavor was SO much better than the last time we cooked this dish. The Dutch Oven is also designed with those bumps in the lid,which catch moisture and send it right back into the pot - I don't think any steam escapes that lid.
Also, when I fry my over-medium eggs, they come out perfectly browned and crisped on the edges. I really did choose them for Jesse, but I'm loving them myself.