In My Kitchen, September 2015

Today I went to the market in Nong Khai and bought some treasure for my kitchen back home in Australia. I tried very hard to exercise restraint but some things have found their way into my luggage. I am sure they are weightless.

Ka tip Khao or rice steamer.
Ka tip khao or rice steamer.

I bought this little rice steamer from an 82 year old woman who pointed to her stomach, then to mine, and told me that I needed to exercise, like her. What, am I that fat? Must be the Chang beer or maybe the Pad See Ew. After we mimed our way through this funny episode, she handed me some change, a little local and unasked for discount! I loved this Ka Tip Khao so much, I went and bought another from the Sadet market. The young folk working in the kitchen ware shops laughed hysterically, seeing it draped over my shoulder like a handbag. Why? Another crazy conversation in Thai followed. You have to laugh.

Rice serving bowl.
Rice serving bowl.

I then bought a lovely rice serving bowl for a few dollars. It’s very light weight, and I can always shove my undies inside it for the journey home. One can always justify some purchases! Like these cute little blue cups below, just two for a dollar, which can fit inside the rice bowl.

Cute little tea cups
Cute little tea cups

I found a shop dedicated to painted rooster ware. It’s nice to specialise!

Painted rooster ware pottery.
Painted rooster ware pottery.

I purchased this little saucer for my kitchen for 30 cents and now regret not buying a few more for small gifts.

Irresistable.
irresistable rooster bowl

Thai, and Asian markets in general, always remind me of my intense desire to set up an outside Warung, or small street kitchen, back at home. I’ve had this desire since 1979, the first time I went to Indonesia and the feeling just gets stronger. I gazed longingly at these wok burners on stands, and have about 50 photos of them, all different models. Heaven on a stand. I am sure I can pick one up in Melbourne although at a cost! My Warung will be made in time for this summer.

Big wok burner on a stand.
Big wok burner on a stand.

Then these little beauties caught my eye. They are the heavy metal Darth Vader model of charcoal burners. You may have seen these in the past: they came as cement filled buckets or in terracotta forms. I want one badly.

Charcoal BBQs
Small Charcoal BBQs

It is great to see that Thailand is still making these highly decorated kitsch enamel ware plates. They are not in the same street as the old, collectable Chinese ones, Nancy, but they do wear nicely and gather a bit of patina. I didn’t buy any- now how’s that for discipline!

Still made in Thailand. Enamel ware trays.
Still made in Thailand. Enamel ware trays.

This In My Kitchen post comes directly from Nong Khai, in the North East of Thailand, a small town that stretches along the banks of the Mekong river facing Laos, a parallel universe across the bank. But now I’m in my last few days here, and I long for my home kitchen, and a Pizza would go down very nicely too.

Thanks Celia, the hostess with the mostess, for this enjoyable monthly event. Β Head toΒ Fig Jam an Lime Cordial for further kitchen inspiration.

71 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, September 2015”

      1. I am at ease knowing that πŸ™‚ I bought lots of little bowls from Portugal for gifts and they were very well received. When you are in the shop they look a bit ho hum because there are so many there but when you get home they suddenly look very exotic.

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    1. Thanks Ardys. I am heading off to Bangkok for 3 days on the way through, so will definitely score a pizza there and a glass of wine. Now I have to work out if there’s time to get more rooster bowls.

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  1. Being restrained rarely works. I always regret the things I don’t buy… rooster bowls definitely… which then requires some form of backtracking. I wouldn’t have been as disciplined with the enamel plates. Lovely post πŸ™‚

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    1. I considered ways of getting the enamelware into my suitcase, then I remembered all the Chinese ones I have at home already. As Nancy said, between the two of us, we could open an enamelware shop.

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  2. I think between us we could open up an enamel ware shop. My guy down the road has disappeared so I haven’t bought any new plates in months. But I did see another cart yesterday in a laneway that I might have to go and suss out. I stuff small items into shoes and boots too – there’s always a nook or cranny in a suitcase for small things!

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    1. great idea Nancy, might go back and get more rooster bowls to shove in Mt T;s shoes.
      Go and check and check out that cart down the laneway- treasure might await.
      The other thing I am partial to is old textiles, or new textiles if it has been hand dyed in Indigo. So you can imagine, not much room for boring stuff like clothes.

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  3. Some lovely goodies to bring back home! Your conversation with the steamer lady made me laugh. I remember going to Singapore and walking into a clothing store and the store keeper saying – “extra large for you” – I’m a size 8!

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    1. Yes, I get this in Bali- X Large, where I generally take a size 12. I don’t even bother with clothes in Thailand so more room for kitchen stuff and Textiles ( my other passion)

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    1. This holiday has been so relaxing= we don’t do much. The rice steamers, I think, are meant to be steamed. This is the old way of serving rice in the country. Might explain why the young things were having chuckle, in the age of the rice cooker. I have noticed that old fashioned steamed rice is so much more digestible. If I don;t use them this way, they can hang about as decor in the kitchen.

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  4. Lovely! Some beautiful finds that will always remind you of fabulous trip! I love you join my Trinkets and memories challenge with this post too if you want. It is a great fit! Love your finds! I must get back to Thailand some day soon!

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    1. We spend most of winter travelling, off and on for three months, but find Asia more to our taste ( and budget).Tropical heat makes my skin soft, I don’ catch any Melbourne bugs or worse still, Asthma, my aches disappear, I walk a lot more, and spend the hot hours reading and writing. It is one of those small luxuries that comes with retirement. I feel quite blessed.

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  5. Yes more rooster bowls, but I guess that by the time you read this it will be too late! Textiles are my big weakness too when I travel, but I always seems to be able to squeeze more in. They bring me enormous pleasure! Love the rice steamer?.

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  6. All very justifiable! I think you could be perfectly justified chucking out some undies too if necessary. Those rooster bowls especially appealing to me and I might convert my verandah kitchen to a ‘Warung’. I’ve seen similar burners at Springvale and Richmond not all that expensive from memory.

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    1. A small haul really, I was tempted by those big enamelware plates but not sure it thy would pass as hats on the plane. Fortunately we have quite a few ‘Little Vietnams’ in Melbourne so will purchase my wok burner on stand there, though very partial to the Thai versions.

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    1. i wonder why took so many clothes and one useless pair of shoes: I wore the same three outfits over and over again, as the laundry services are so cheap. Next time, I take the empty bags.

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  7. I loved this in my kitchen from Thailand. I never feel guilty about buying this kind of stuff while away. You just have to fit it in some how. I would dearly love one of those wok burners too

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  8. Francesca, what delightful tales (and photos) from your travels! (I also loved your oat & jam slice tribute to Selma a couple of posts hence… was reading ahead… xo.) Food bloggers must give customs officials a real run for their money — lol — it amazes me (continually) all the goodies IMK’ers bring home in their suitcases! Enjoyed peeking at yours (and your packing tips.) Take care, and hugs. πŸ™‚ (P.S. Remind me to buy the bamboo steamer I spotted at a local thrift shop recently — brand spankin’ new! I don’t think anybody around here knows what it is, but I’m picturing perfectly steamed rice, potstickers, dumplings, & more. Yours has more “character”, though, and a fun story to go with it!

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  9. I love Thailand! Haven’t been there for a couple of years & we miss it so much! You’ve made me want to go there again, soon πŸ™‚ Love your new silver serving bowls, your steamer (I would have worn it as a handbag too!!) and cute rooster saucer. I love the sound of an outdoor kitchen – let me know if you find any wok burner stands. Happy holiday & safe return for next months #IMK x

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