Having married a Pakistani, and learned to cook Pakistani food from my mother-in-law, I have ended up with some things in my kitchen that are pretty strange. Things I would not have known existed before. There are many, many of these kinds of weird things in my kitchen. So many that perhaps this should be the first installment of a regular series of "Weird Things In My Kitchen." Not to mention that when we bought our decrepit old house, we inherited seven mice. They're no longer with us, but maybe there are even weirder things just lurking around waiting for me to discover. Even weirder that some Pakistani cooking implements, perhaps?
Like this thing - what is this thing? It looks like a hand or something.
It's really a serving utensil for rice, I don't know why it has to look like it has knuckles at the top, though. The little one is for serving dessert-y type things, I guess. We never have enough of these when dinner party time rolls around, though. Maybe I'll bring back a caseload of 'em next time I go to Pakistan.
And what about these kettles? These are the three kettles I could find within reaching distance of the stove. I know there's one more in the cabinet, and two more out in storage boxes, too. My husband has a love of making tea and seems to collect new kettles every time he goes to Pakistan. He's been there twice without me, and he brought back more without prior approval, and now I'm swimming in tea kettles.
The one on the left is the very first tea kettle. The one M brought with him on his maiden voyage to America. The kettle I had my very first cup of tea from. The kettle that we had in our first newlywed apartment. The kettle I used to make crappy tea for my mother in law when she visited for the first time. The kettle that I learned how to make good tea with when my sister-in-law visited. The kettle I left on the heat too long so that it's plastic handle melted and stuck to M's hand when he came to finish making the tea I'd forgotten, leaving a burn on his thumb. Even though we have a 2nd, newer kettle the same 2-cup size, neither of us can bring ourselves to part with that beloved first kettle. (The last one is a 4-cup kettle we use when we have visitors, like when my mother-in-law is visiting.)
These things are among my favorite weird Pakistani kitchen thingies I have in my house. It's a simple twist of wire - any guesses as to what it's for? I first saw them in Karachi and asked my father-in-law to go out to the metal market to get me one. He brought back two, in two different sizes. The shopkeeper had asked my father-in-law if he was planning on starting a tea-shop business. Because these are for selling tea!
These little cups hold about four ounces of tea, and in Pakistan young men and boys roam the streets and shops, taking orders for tea. The sell the cups, filled with sweet, milky tea, for five rupees each. That's the equivalent of about six cents. The wire carriers go out filled with cups of tea and they come back empty. I've never had a glass of tea on the street like that, though.