Thursday, December 24, 2015

My Made In China Rebellion

Hi Dear Folk,

I figure there will come a day when nothing on this planet of ours is not made in China, therefore my way to counteract this is to buy up items from of old not made in China, especially on the cookware and china front, that is a pun isn't it, well you know what I mean.

Now this piece may not have been one of my better moments, but you can't say it is not interesting.  It is made in Italy out of a blend of five volcanic rocks, or so it says.  One uses it to cook fish or meat on top of the stove.  It works the same as the earthenware covered dishes that you use in the oven, it needs to be soaked in water before using it.

I think it must have been a late sixties early seventies fad and is called a La Bisquera, because I have seen old adds for it from both Australia and the USA.

Your food cooks slowly and La Cotta is meant to draw out acids and fat.  So I gave it a go, after reading up online.  It did cook ones food very well.  It seems you need to leave a crack while doing so and someone suggested using a cork which I did.

My food was cooked very nicely, but many people spoke of this residual odor, and even though I soaked it all day, it still had this oder.  So as to whether I will cook anything in there again, yes I would if I could get rid of the odor any suggestions?  Maybe a soak in vinegar.  Oh well! I can always use them for flower pots.

Another item I ran across is this, made in France.

This is basically a French grilled sandwich maker, and the grilled sandwich of choice to cook in here is a Corque Monsieur Ham and Cheese.  You would need to adapt this following recipe to make them in the sandwich maker.  I think the shape is most interesting.

Croque Monsieur Ham and Cheese Sandwich Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 4 sandwiches. 


  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • A pinch each of salt, freshly ground pepper, nutmeg, or more to taste
  • 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups grated)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (packed)
  • 8 slices of French or Italian loaf bread
  • 12 ounces ham, sliced
  • Dijon mustard


1 Preheat oven to 400°
2 Make the béchamel sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium/low heat until it just starts to bubble. Add the flour and cook, stirring until smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously, cooking until thick. Remove from heat. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the Parmesan and 1/4 cup of the grated Gruyère. Set aside.
3 Lay out the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven, a few minutes each side, until lightly toasted. For extra flavor you can spread some butter on the bread slices before you toast them if you want.
(Alternatively, you can assemble the sandwiches as follows in step four and grill them on a skillet, finishing them in the broiler with the bechamel sauce.)
4 Lightly brush half of the toasted slices with mustard. Add the ham slices and about 1 cup of the remaining Gruyère cheese. Top with the other toasted bread slices.
5 Spoon on the béchamel sauce to the tops of the sandwiches. Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère cheese. Place on a broiling pan. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese topping is bubbly and lightly browned.
If you top this sandwich with a fried egg it becomes a Croque Madame.



  1. The french design reminds me of Madeleines. As to the odor...does it affect the food? Did the food pick up the odor?
    I was trying to pick son up a belt and even the better brands were....made in china.

  2. I really like the sandwich maker. Yes I am getting fed up with everything made in China. A family in UK decided to live for one year and only buy anything produced in UK. They did manage but had a job sourcing British light bulbs and ink cartridges for the computer. They think they bought the last British bulbs in stock. So unless you sit in the dark and don't print anything its not possible anymore.


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