Time to post my photos for the monthly photo challenge that Eileen has been organizing. The theme for November was Tools. These are some of the tools I use for my hobbies and cooking:
Flower Arranging - especially for Japanese-style arrangements:
|Kenzan, Shears, Floral Tape, and Container|
Knitting and Crochet:
|Knitting Needls, Crochet Hooks, and Stitch Holders|
|Knitting Tools in Use|
Sewing Tools: Including my mother's tracing wheel.
Kitchen/Cooking Tools - Just a few of the specialized tools found in my kitchen:
String Hopper Mold and Trays
|String Hopper Mold and Trays|
Once the dough is made, it is put into the hollow mold and pressed down with the top of the mold and pushed out in long strands or "strings" through the openings in the bottom of the mold onto the woven trays and steamed. Once steamed, the resulting mound of dough strings are removed from the trays onto a plate.
|String Hopper Mold|
|Coconut Scraper - Table Top/Rotary Version|
|Coconut Scraper, Ready for Use|
One holds half of the opened coconut against the round head and the teeth will scrape the coconut when the handle is turned. When I was a child, the coconut scraper we had in our kitchen was a bench model - a low bench with a stationary, flat metal circle with teeth attached to one end; you sat on the bench and scraped the coconut by moving it against the teeth of the metal circle with your hands. Since we used fresh coconuts and coconut milk was used in all our curries, scraping the coconuts was one of the first tasks of the day and one of the first sounds one heard after waking up!
And finally, a specialized, grooved bowl for washing rice, that we call "nambiliya" (I don't think there is an English name for it):
In my childhood home, we had an earthenware version of it, but this is a metal one that we brought with us. The raw rice to be cooked is placed in the bowl with water, swirled around with ones hand, and then, the water is poured out, using a rocking motion, into another container, along with the top layer of rice. More water is added to the bowl and one repeats the swirling and draining the water and rice, as many times as needed to remove all the rice from the bowl into the other container. The whole purpose of the exercise is to remove any small stones and grains of sand that might be in the rice - back in the days when rice was threshed on the ground, one always found some tiny stones and grains of sand in the rice and, if the rice had not been properly washed before being cooked, one would bite into the stones when eating the cooked rice! The swirling of the rice helped to cause the stones to fall down to the bottom of the bowl and the grooves helped to catch the stones while the top layers of rice would be washed into the other container. One usually had to wash the rice three times before all the stones could be removed. In addition to rice, lentils (especially the small red lentils), used to be washed in this same manner to remove any stones. These days, however, all the rice and lentils I buy seem to be clean enough not to need being washed in a nambiliya. Even so, I keep my nambiliya, just in case!
Those are my photos for Tools! Thank you, Eileen, for posting this monthly challenge.
In December, the Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt begins. Eileen has posted the list of prompts - there are 20 prompts and 3 alternatives.
It is so lovely to see other people's kitchen tools, especially those that have a specific use in their cuisine. I have a wooden "lemon reamer" based on the design used in Elizabethan England over 400 years ago.ReplyDelete
Glad you enjoyed seeing the photos, Angela. I imagine lemons were quite prized back in Elizabethan times.Delete
These are great Bless. I especially love your cooking tools, they are things I've never seen or knew about - very cool!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Martha. :)Delete
Brilliant! So interesting. Love all these! I wouldn't have recognised the rice washing bowl but I have seen rice washed in the way you describe. Also seen the coconut scraper, but I think on TV. I'll ask mum if she recognises your nambiliya. It'll be an interesting test!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Lady Ella. I am intrigued by the fact that your mother might recognize the nambiliya. Is she south Asian or been to south Asia?Delete
She's from India.Delete
In that case, she might recognize the string hopper mold, too - or, at least, know what they are; we call them "indiappa" in Sri Lanka and in south India, at least, they are called "indiappam" (a lot of Sri Lankan food is similar to south Indian food). :)Delete
Mum had no idea about string hoppers, but she was impressed by your coconut scraper as the ones she was used to were simple spikes, over which you had to manoeuvre the coconut - so far more basic than yours. She had not seen a nambiliya like yours, but told me about a utensil that does the same job. It is a kind of horseshoe shaped wicker tray (like a winnowing fan) that can be shaken in a variety of ways to separate various foodstuffs. She can't recall the name in either Hindi or Konkani though!Delete
The coconut scraper I grew up with in my childhood home had a serrated edge, like teeth, against which one would move the coconut to scrape it. We have a type of winnowing basket we called a "kulla" in Sinhalese, used to remove impurities from rice and other grains. :)Delete
The kitchen tools are fascinating, especially the String Hopper Mold. And I expect you would need to be quite careful when using the coconut scraper. XReplyDelete
Something a little different than the usual kitchen tools! You do have to hold the coconut rather firmly, when scraping it, but, one soon gets the hang of it. :)Delete
A great collection of tools. I have never heard of or seen a coconut scrapper, but what a great idea.ReplyDelete
Thank you! These days, I tend to buy already scraped, frozen coconut, but, the coconut scraper is there, just in case!Delete
I'm fascinated by your Sri Lankan kitchen tools. Are the stringhoppers difficult to make - I wonder because I know how much you love them but I don't recall you ever making your own. That's not a criticism by the way, I just wondered!ReplyDelete
Thanks for joining in. The December theme is 'Christmas'.
Glad you liked them! Stringhoppers are not exactly difficult to make, but, I haven't made them, myself. My mother used to make them. They may be made with either rice flour (preferred) or wheat flour (cheaper) which has been steamed first. My mother would steam all purpose flour for 1 hour, let it cool, sift it, and store the flour in a container for use. One mixes the flour with enough water and salt, to make a fairly stiff dough. My problem is, I don't have the strength in my hands to squeeze the dough through the openings at the bottom of the mold. You don't want to make the holes any bigger, either, because you want the "strings" of dough to be fine so they don't turn gummy when steamed. I have seen some "modern" stringhopper molds that are table top models where one pulls a handle to press out the dough - they are not exactly inexpensive, but, much easier to use!Delete
Oh, I didn't realize there would be a December Monthly Challenge, as well! What fun! (I thought the WPSH was it!)
I'm going to try to be clever and take some Christmas photos which also fit one or more of the WPSH prompts. 😂Delete
Ha, ha! Double duty photos! Why not? :DDelete
Lovely to see your unusual tools. I'm glad we don't have to go to such lengths to wash rice now. I buy a huge bag of rice and when I use some I just rinse it in a mesh colander.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Bushlady. Preparing the rice for cooking used to be quite a production when I was a child, as first, the rice had to be picked over to remove any grains that still had the husk and any that were discolored, then washed well, before being cooked. I still wash my rice in a bowl, but, will try your mesh colander method, one day. :)Delete
I really enjoyed seeing all of your tools and hearing about how they are used.ReplyDelete
Some I've never seen before.
I especially like the look of your flower arranging tools.
Thank you, Debra. :)Delete
That was interesting. I'm fascinated with the coconut scraper. We only had coconuts as a special treats and my father would crack them open and remove the meat with a knife.ReplyDelete
Talking about washing the stones from the rice reminds me that when I was growing up, one of my jobs was to wash dried beans and look for any little stones that might be in them.
Glad you found it interesting, Live and Learn. We used to put pieces of the coconut meat on top of various dishes, such as cooked chick peas. :) I guess there were things over here, too, that had to be picked over and cleaned before cooking. :)Delete