Tuesday, March 30, 2010

tools from the bazaar

I'm really back now. The details of day to day life require my presence, and I mean really require it, so I've stopped leaving pots and the stove and daydreaming of little cups of Turkish tea. I'm moving at full speed.

Which, I admit, is not that fast. There is a lot to keep up with. Sadie had her first piano lesson, it's almost time to plant radishes, and I'm working on some, well, let's just call them big projects.

And then there are the lawn signs. I never thought I'd see my name on the lawns of Great Barrington, but the signs are about to be in the mail, and if you have a prominently located lawn in this town, you could be the proud owner of one.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves here. I've been talking about the town budget and the future of the library all day. I know some people think I'm a little nutty for this, but I really like thinking about these things. But at the end of the day, I'm needing a break, just for a few minutes. I need to talk about that thing that makes my heart soar, makes my soul sing.

That's right. You know where I'm going. Let's talk about kitchen gadgets.

Today, it's not food processors or yogurt makers. I want to show you a little assortment of kitchen tools that I found at the bazaar in Istanbul. I know I've been back for a while, and I promise that once I get this out of my system, I'll stick to the goings on in my own kitchen. It's just that when I was wandering the tiny paths of the spice bazaar, the grand bazaar, and the wood bazaar, I kept seeing things that I wanted to show you. These are just the treats I stuffed into my suitcase. I wish I could show you the home smokers in the metal bazaar, but I couldn't take one back on the plane. I've got some pretty good ones, though.

This beauty is called the limonmatic. It screws into a lemon, and then you squeeze the lemon and pour out the juice. The most lovely thing about it, I think, is that you can squeeze a little bit of juice, snap the top on, and put the lemon back in the fridge. It basically turns a fresh lemon into one of those little plastic lemons that you can take a bit of juice out of here and there. Brilliant, isn't it? I know! But that's not all!

I have never seen so many beautiful wooden spoons in one place. I came home with a small variety, but this is my absolute favorite. A wooden slotted spoon! I love how the holes are so randomly placed, like the person who made it really wasn't paying attention. This spoon makes me smile every time I look at it.

This is a sieve. I haven't used it yet, but I look and it and adore it every day. If I don't use it soon, I'm going to have to figure out how to wear it. I don't know why things just aren't as pretty in kitchen shops over here.

And then there is the the rolling table. I saw this in use at the organic bazaar, and I told Molly that I was taking one of them home. Normally they are used by old Turkish grannies to make several traditional kinds of flatbreads. Lissa and I each bought one, and we carried them around Istanbul for the better part of a day, along with two extraordinarily long rolling pins. We got the best looks, and even some comments about the how funny it was that the tourists had bought grannie tables. I like to think that we got a lot of respect that day, but more likely people thought we were a bit crazy. Most Americans bring home rugs and silks from Turkey, but we went for rolling tables.

And here ends my career as a travel writer, for now at least. Thanks for taking this trip with me- I promise there will be more in the future. But back to the kitchen now, and to this little town.


  1. Love the lemon juicer. I've seen the corkscrew variety (in stainless steel) but not with a cap!

  2. Love all of these, and I think you may have to add "granny table importer" to your list. So great. xx