Grandpa Webb's blog

Monday, 18 November 2013

A plague of ramekins

A few weeks ago we bought one of those all-in-one meal deals from the local supermarket -- a main course for two, a side dish, a pudding and a bottle of wine (or a box of chocolates) – all for £10. Don’t know how they do it for the price.

Grandpa WebbWhen we unwrapped them, the two chocolate puddings were in little glass ramekins. Put them in the oven for 12 minutes the instructions said, and they’re done.   Afterwards we had two small glass containers to add to the kitchen inventory, which was already well filled with glass things.

Worse was to come. A few days later we acquired six helpings of crème brulee. I like crème brulee because it has a do-it-yourself element. My party trick at the table is to sprinkle a little brown sugar on the top of each one and use the chef’s blowlamp, which my son-in-law gave me for Christmas, to brown the sugar until it goes a caramel colour. When it’s cooled it should provide a crunchy topping to the soft brulee underneath. The blowlamp bit goes down a storm with the granddaughters.

So that’s six more glass ramekins for the collection.

What do you do with them? When I’m acting as sous-chef to grandma when she is making curried chicken, I like to get all the ingredients ready in advance. Something the size of a ramekin is useful for holding small things like five cardamom pods, a teaspoon of turmeric or a tablespoon of chopped coriander. But they’re only good for the small stuff. They won’t hold half a pint of coconut milk.

A plague of ramekinsMy mother would have said: “They’ll be useful in the garage dear. You can keep nails and screws in them.” Well no, not really. Ramekins don’t have lids, and as I inevitably turn into Mr Clumsy whenever I enter the garage, any ramekins I dislodge will shatter themselves and distribute their contents along with the broken glass on the concrete floor. Much better to leave nails, screws, nuts and bolts in closed containers where they are.

So what’s to be done? I don’t want to give up crème brulee and the blowlamp act. But I don’t need any more containers for ground turmeric or nails and screws.

Yesterday the local council came up with an answer. Everybody on our street was given a free new wheelie-bin with a blue lid. This is for recyclable dry waste. This includes plastic containers, aluminium foil, newspapers, cardboard, and bottles and glass containers, providing they are not broken. The surplus ramekins will go in there.

I expect they’ll be melted down and made into new ramekins.

Go back