In My Kitchen – August 2013

As all who know me would guess, this month’s In My Kitchen post is going to be a bonanza.  I have been away and that means shopping for things for my already packed  kitchen.

I would love to have bought more but we were at our limit.  We were allowed 60 kgs on Emirates.   We started out at about 30kgs all up and came home with 60.5kg plus The Rooster and the keg (see below) as hand luggage.  The purchases did include two very heavy cookbooks but there were also a few things for my kitchen.

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In my kitchen:

Is this absolutely fabulous coffee pot.  I wish I could tell you I bought it in Lebanon but, alas, I bought it at Feira da Ladra (thieves market) in Lisbon.  We didn’t see them for sale in Lebanon so when I saw it, I had to have it.

Below are two photos I took of pots in our hotel, the Mir Amin Palace at Beiteddine.  They were huge – about 50cm tall.  Mine is about half that size. I would love to know where it came from and how it got to be for sale at the Lisbon thieves market.  The lovely Maus polished it for me.

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Whilst we are on the topic of brass things…

In my kitchen:

Are two Greek brikis for making coffee.  They were a gift from our host in Portugal, Gerlinde.  She bought them in Greece about 30 years ago and they have been languishing on the top of her kitchen cupboard for ages.  Now they live with me in Bridgetown.  The darling Maus polished them toooooo.  She is a gem.

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In my kitchen:

Is my new cataplana.  Isn’t it beautiful? I know a stainless steel one would have been much more sensible but who could resist a beautiful handmade copper one?  I bought it in Barcelos.  It was hand-made by José Fernando da Cunha.  He is about 80 years old and has been working with copper all his life.  His shop is one of the oldest houses in Barcelos. I wanted to buy everything in the shop but Emirates’ luggage limit was at the back of my mind and I resisted.

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A cataplana is used to prepare Portuguese seafood stews.  It is traditionally made of copper but, nowadays, you can get stainless steel ones.  As you can see, it is shaped like two clam shells hinged at one end.  It is sealed by two clamps on either side.

Cataplanas originated in the Algarve but now they are popular all over Portugal.  I read that they are the forerunner to the modern-day pressure cooker. Once clamped together, the steam is trapped and the food is cooked in the sealed environment.  José assured me that the seal was not perfect and it wouldn’t explode.

In my kitchen:

Is this lovely oval frying pan.  I bought it in a second-hand shop in Azeitão.  By this time of our holiday (we were on our way back to Lisbon) Gerlinde knew to look out for cookware shops, copperware shops and second hand shops.

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In my kitchen:

Is my new keg.  We were in the market in Barcelos when I spotted this beauty.  I have wanted one for ages.  I checked them out in the Barossa but they were pretty expensive. My plan is to store my vinegar in it.

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In my kitchen:

Is this divine pitcher.  It is by Vista Alegre Atlantis and the pattern is Transatlântica.  I wish I could tell you more about it but the catalogue is in Portuguese.  All I can make out is that the designer is Brunno Jahara, it is described as a penguin and it is lovely.

2013 07 23_0508 copyNow for my Lebanese purchases.  There are not many.

In my kitchen:

Are these fabulous kebab shishes.  Maus amazes me sometimes.  She knew I wanted some so when we went into the old souk in Tyre, she was on a mission.   (She also asked at a thousand shops for a quality falafel maker but all the ones we saw were the same as I already had.)  Before long, she had these guys.  They are solid stainless steel and weigh a tonne.  They certainly added to the weight of my case.  I was a bit put out they didn’t have elaborate brass handles so Maus then went on a mission to find fancy handles for me.

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This is the result of her endeavours.

In my kitchen:

Are some more shishes.They are not the same quality as the ones in the above photo but, at least, they have handles.  I have asked Maus to make handles for my good ones.

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And now for Dubai ….  There was only one purchase.

In my kitchen:

are Maus’ acrobat picks.  They are part of the Mukul Goyal collection.  She spotted them in the hotel shop.  It was a big decision which item in the collection  to buy.  She settled on these.

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In my kitchen:

Is this beautiful olive oil pourer, a gift from the lovely Colette. She bought if for me in Paris from O & Co, an olive oil specialty shop.  It now lives next to my stove.

2013 07 28_0531 copyIn my kitchen:

Are these mushrooms picked from the block.  We are so lucky to have a patch growing underneath an Acacia Baileyana only a few feet from our house.  This time of the year, I regularly go out with a bowl and pick enough for dinner. For those of you worried about identification of edible mushrooms, I highly recommend Morrie’s blog,  Tall Trees and Mushrooms  and, in particular, his post Identifying a Field Mushroom.

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In my kitchen:

Is another batch of the Doc’s Ultimate Oatmeal Cookies.  They are, without doubt, our favourite biscuit at the moment.  If you haven’t made a batch, you really should.

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And finally… Ages ago, I promised Anne from Life in Mud Splattered Boots, that I would include a photo from my kitchen window.  I had to do a photo merge (this is three photos stitched together) as I couldn’t get the whole view in one photo.

This is the view from my kitchen window and it is GREEN.  It is a pity the sky isn’t blue but you can’t have everything.  I just love it when it is green. For so many months, it is brown.  The trees on either side of the photo are our next door neighbours but the tall trees in the centre of the photo are ours. It is a long skinny block.

BridgetownIf you would like to see what is in other bloggers’ kitchens this month, visit Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  Celia hosts In My Kitchen each month.


40 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – August 2013

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed the glimpse of your kitchen goodies, Glenda, from gleaming copper and brass to sleek, modern treasures — and your priceless view! I could go for a cup of coffee looking at that — or maybe a kebob with a side of mushrooms. 😉

  2. I’ve been waiting for this post!! Couldn’t wait to see what you’d bring back from your travels and you certainly didn’t disappoint! So many treasures!
    We must both have Wog coffee on our minds. Wish we lived closer, and could’ve sat down for a coffee together. You bring those delicious cookies, i’ll bring the baklava 😉

  3. Glenda…you brought home a KEG in your carry-on? And all those huge metal skewers? Hahahaha…woman, actually women, you amaze me! I went shopping with Roz for cataplanas once, so I know exactly what they look like. And I’m DELIGHTED to see so much copper in your kitchen, because it means you’ll have to come back and visit me in Sydney to get it all recoated at some time in the future! By the way, my favourite thing? Maus acrobat picks! 🙂

    • Oh … Maus wins again … 🙂 Those skewers (shish) weren’t in the hand luggage. If we had tried that they would most certainly have been confiscated as deadly weapons!!! Yes, I am afraid the cataplana is lined with tin so will have to be recoated though I can’t imagine me using it so much that the tin will wear off. It is not like a frying pan. Notwithstanding that, a Sydney holiday sounds good.

  4. Fabulous treats in the kitchen. I was particularly taken by the cataplana – I’ve never seen one before and can see why you opted for handmade, a treasure! and oh so many beautiful reminders of your trip, and all those meals to enjoy too.

  5. Hi Glenda,

    Thanks for the plug 🙂

    You are lucky to have a regular supply like that. I wonder if the tree has something to do with it? I wouldn’t mind getting a culture of those some time and perhaps even establishing a few Acacias to see if I can achieve the same result. They look a little like they might be from the Agaricus arvensis group. Do they have any hit of an almond smell to them?



    • Hi Morrie. I am so glad you commented. I was wanting to ask you whether I should leave some rather than pick them all. I don’t want to diminish the supply. You most certainly can have a culture (whatever that means). We are in Perth at the moment but will be in Bridgetown towards the end of next week. I would love advice on how to encourage them.

      • I don’t think it makes any difference how many you pick. The organism is resident in the soil and doesn’t rely on the spores to keep going. These organisms can last for centuries.

        • Thanks Morrie, I thought I may have to leave a few so their spores get scattered (or something?). So glad I can eat the lot. What does getting a culture involve?

  6. Glenda, next to Celia, you always have the most wonderful treasures in your kitchen. We also have a mini keg – think it used to be my father-in-laws. I have never used it for anything – think I need to re-look at the idea.
    Have a super day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  7. I knew you’d bring back lots of interesting things to show us! Looks like there’s going to be a lot of polishing to be done. What an amazing view from your window – thanks for sharing it (I do like to be able to “place” people whether in a room or view or whatever).

  8. Airline luggage limits are a terrible thing when on holidays – I am impressed at the quantity and quality of your souvenirs – I hope you will enjoy many happy memories in having them around the kitchen. I love the frypan and then olive oil pourer – so stylish – and the view out your window is just lovely

  9. Pingback: In My Kitchen August 2013 | What's On The List?

  10. What a treasure trove! You certainly did bring back some very nice things, Glenda. These are so much more than souvenirs. There beautiful, tangible reminders of time spent elsewhere. They’ll only increase in value as the years pass.

    • Thankyou so much John. I agree entirely. I think it is so important to buy at least one thing when you go on holidays, just to remind you …

    • Hi Roz, you would be most welcome. The house in Perth is quite small but there is plenty of room in Bridgetown for guests. Did you ever use the cataplana? The only thing I thought I would use it for was rice, but I am open to suggestions.

  11. You have been out spending-but your purchases are all so lovely!
    And shopping while visiting another country is the right thing to do. Love all the copper- but especially the pan- and if Maus is happy to polish it then it’s all good!
    Thanks for sharing your great purchases!

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