Category Archives: kitchen equipment

Feet Of Clay vis-a-vis Feet Of Clay

Folks of my age would remember the ubiquitous wooden “Meat Safes” where we kept our foodstuff, and also pots, pans, bowls and dishes.  While these stood on solid ground they had the proverbial “feet of clay” as ants could easily climb up and  somehow help themselves to the food.

So to counter this “ant-surgency” threat, the four legs were usually shod with Moat Bowls made of real clay (glazed and fired).  The moats were filled halfway with water.  These formed effective barriers which the pesky 6-legged fellas found it hard to bridge or breach.  

These clay moat bowls are a rarity now, being replaced by molded plastic ones in the later years.  The moat concept however lives on — those who have pets at home know what I mean.

Thick & Thin

Her name is Stone, Whet Stone.   I just realized that abrasive gal at the corner of the kitchen sink has been with us for the past 32 years, having followed us in our migration from Penang to Singapore.

A faithful companion I would say, having not only stuck by us through Thick and Thin,but also gone from Thick to Thin over the past 3 decades.  Well she is more curvy now for sure.

I wonder how the modern folks sharpen their knives these days ?  I know of several contraptions that came and went, but as for me, I am still stone-age.

I might have to get a replacement soon before the old faithful breaks into two; perhaps should send her by Poslaju to Easter Island as her final resting place.

Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

We thought so — it just made our humble roti smell and taste like progress.

Each slice of bread was lovingly clasped between the two halves of the toaster (each half made from ‘chicken wire’ mesh with a frame), and one had to skilfully control the charcoal ambers below, the distance from the heat source as well as the length of time.   Any distraction could turn one’s breakfast into idiomatic toasted catastrophe.

The last time I saw one of these ‘gadgets’ was perhaps 40 years ago.   Not sure if others have seen or used one in recent times.

Of course with the advent of modern electric toasters, all it takes is to push a button and a lever, and sit tight and wait.

My Old Flame – Earthy & Fiery

The old faithful Kerosene Stove of course.   Earthy, as the fuel she used was called ‘Minyak Tanah’ which meant Earth Oil (“thor ew” in Hokkien) and Fiery, as she could burn and sizzle anything and anyone that got on top of her (literally)

It was in the mid 1960s when we made the Quantum Leap from firewood/charcoal to kerosene as cooking fuel.   The most widely used brand of stove was “Butterfly”.  As a matter of fact, I never saw any other brand.

With proper maintenance, the stove produced delightful blue flames that provided many hours of culinary excitement in the kitchen.   With the advent of LPG as the new cooking fuel, the old flames had to recede into the remote corners of memory.