Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Second Hand Soviet Kitchenware

As I hesitantly left my Sunday morning coffee behind, the four of us decided to go on an adventure. While Tajikistan is home to many natural wonders, it wasn't the mountain lakes we had in mind. Although considering the 108 degree temps predicted for the day, it might've been the better choice. Instead we decided to go to the second hand "market" near the train station.

Vendors lined either side of a narrow road, some lucky enough to find shade. Atop blankets and sheets of plastics, vendors toted their wares. Two things struck me. The addage that one man's garbage is another man's treasure is alive and well. And that Tajiks don't throw anything away. Whether this is a Soviet state of mind or a hold over from the rough economic times during the civil war (which frankly, persist today), the free market was thriving.

Everything could be found from old sink taps, to clothing, to rusty pipe fittings, to lonely lids to teapots, to old lighting fixtures. I'm sure that if I wasn't dripping sweat from my head like I had a hose attached to it, I could have found many treasures. But as it were, in all my schwettiness, I focused on old soviet kitchen items.

Here's a cookie mold. The forms on the right are pretty deep and I figure that the left side is to help the middle part of the cookies cook evenly. I need to find a cookie recipe that might work....maybe a madeleine recipe? The perplexing part is that the handle is some sort of plastic composite, like bake-lite, and I'm guessing it's not oven proof.

Now these molds, I'm guessing, are for chocolates.

Because when you put the two sides together you get these holes. Aren't they screaming for melted chocolate to be poured in?
These weigh a ton. There's a mortar and pestle and a tray. Stainless steel? I don't know that I'll ever use the mortar and pestle for spices, because the first thing that popped into my head when I saw it was that it came from a laboratory and not a kitchen. How 'bout a little uranium in those freshly roasted indian spices?
Until the 9am temperatures drop below 90 degrees, I don't think we'll be hitting the second hand market again. But it was fun to hunt and peck for the 30 minutes we could stand the heat!


Anonymous said...

I am so thrilled you worked in "schwettiness" after our discussion yesterday. :D

A Broad Living Abroad said...


pang5 said...

My fella, who grew up under communism in Czechoslovakia has seen that first "form" before. He said his mum still uses it for chocolate. You put melted choc in there and then put the whole thing in the fridge to harden. I suppose you could put some cream filling in and then paste a base onto them afterwards.

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