My interests (besides food and all food-related activities) include quilting and sewing. Although I have become a little dilatory about finishing projects these days, it still provides a great excuse to buy fabric. In quilting circles, this is known as “building my stash”.
Sometimes I find things I can’t quite justify as quilting fabric, but I buy anyway – and three tea towels I found recently qualify.
There is a long tradition of printing recipes on tea and kitchen towels; another of souvenir tea towels as mementos of trips to foreign climes. This towel may combine both traditions. It has a recipe for “Swedish Herring Filets” in German. The blonde holding the fish and the net is redolent of summer vacations on Northern lakes, strangely at odds with the recipe for preparing fish preserved in salt or pickled: Salz = salted; Matjesheringe = soused herring, i.e., raw herring soaked in a mild vinegar solution.
The recipe for “A little of this & a lot of that Salsa” on this towel has a zinger in the ingredients list. It sounds like a perfectly ordinary set of stuff – tomatoes, onion, cilantro, bell peppers – when suddenly you see “1 quite ripe papaya” and have to wonder where this recipe originated. The Maui onion and apple cider vinegar are also slightly odd. I wonder if the papaya and Maui onion point to Hawaii as the provenance of the recipe and, hence, the towel?
It might be a stretch to define my last towel find as food-related, but it’s definitely a souvenir. Pub food in England used to be nothing to write home about; it’s been a long time since I was there, but this towel inspires daydreams of cruising the canals in a houseboat, mooring at pubs along the way. Maybe next summer?