Take the lid off it

“This is the local hotpot!”, said Elizabeth as she lifted the lid of her serving dish, “Can you see?”
I sat up and leaned over to get a better view inside…

… but I could not see.

I was expecting to be greated by sight and smell of some wonderful Kamba variety of beef stew or, at least, some interesting variation on the beans and maize theme. What I saw was a layer of pressed stainless steel where the serving dish’s lid had just been. I was thinking about what a local hotpot might be like; Elizabeth was still talking:

“… the local one. They don’t know quality.”

She shoved the dish towards me; I used the handle of a spoon to prize the metal disk away from a steaming feast of French beans carrots and potatoes inside (yummy, as always at her place, and veggie too!). Was this a local hotpot? Perhaps. I looked at Elizabeth who was triing to fit the metal disk into the lid she was holding:

“The other one is imported”, she said, “but this one is local. I have a foam too, but when the hot nini …”,

and with that she went into her kitchen and came back with a piece of expanded foam which was, for the most part, the same shape as the lid of her serving dish. She offered it to me together with the metal disk. I accepted and she started spooning the bean and carrot ‘hotpot’ into dishes and putting chapatis onto plates.

Now it all fitted together: the foam fitted perfectly into the hollow blue plastic lid (apart from where it had been melted by something hot) and the metal disk clipped in underneath to seal it alltogether. The whole thing was a Kenyan made serving dish (or ‘pot’) with insulating foam to keep the contents ‘hot’. Her other one is imported: made in India (I know because it’s been in my kitchen since last week, when she brought me cabbage and meat stew and chapatis, and I looked at it’s bottom when I got home.) where, presumably, they **do** know quality. The Kenyan-made lid had dismantled itself upon use, locking the food in the lower container with the steel disc and dropping the foam insulator in amongst the hot charcoals in her jiko!


  1. jan Says:

    I still have not quite got the details of this pot ? does it look like a caserole then ? or a steamer ? or does it work like a pressure cooker???
    so how is Harry Potter then ?
    WE are off Tomorrow to Wellington on the plane .. with darwin and John and 2 more for the wearable Arts .. I am really looking forward to it ..Steve is not at all sure ,It is not really his thing …but it is an art form I can really relate to ..all OTT and wonderfull and funny..
    I saw a bit on Tv last year and loved it ..
    this will be my Birthday treat ..
    also bought us about 40 huge trees today as the nursery was closing down … who could resist as we needed a few more .. for the paddock all double fenced in now .. well not all we have a bit more to do and dogs have been catching rats in the paddock..
    so .. more about that later ..love Jan xx

  2. Mark Says:

    The pot looks like a casserole, but made of plastic. Inside its steel and between, now that I know, is foam insulator to keep things warm. The lid is in an attractively contrasting colour and clips on a bit like a pressure cooker lid if you twist it.

    I have no idea what youre talking about with the wearable art, but it sounds a bit Burning Man…? Have a good time. Great to get a bargain on trees. Closing down sale at a nursery still sounds a bit comical to me. :hehe:

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