Chef, caterer and designer Reiko Nakamura teamed with her friend and schoolmate Adriana Kielder to create a unique line of kitchenware and clothing influenced by their respective Japanese and Dutch heritage, as well as the principles of Dutch design absorbed during their art school years in Amsterdam.
These pot holders draw upon Reiko’s Japanese lineage—the indigo fabric is hand-dye at a Japanese mill that has been in operation since the 17th-century. The indigo fabric is woven on original machinery dating back to that same period.
The design of the pot holder is meant to be fun and functional, whimsical and utilitarian.
Separately slip thumb and hand into the two rounded pockets, fold palm and thumb together to retrieve hot items from stovetop or oven.
Chef Reiko recommends the following recipe:
Shimeji mushroom with takikomi rice and shiso leaves
(3 to 4 servings)
1 ½ cups Japanese rice
1 ¾ cups Dashi broth from kombu kelp and bonito flakes
1 package ( ¼ pound) of Shemeji mushrooms
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp mirin
a pinch of salt
10 shiso leaves for garnish
Wash rice thoroughly – 4 or 5 times – until most of the water runs clear when drained. Make a dashi broth of kombu and bonito flakes.
Loosen shimemji mushrooms from their bundle
Put all the ingredients above (washed rice, dashi broth, shimeji mushroms, soy sauce, sake, mirin and a pinch of salt) in a rice cooker or, even better, a clay pot. (The alkaline in an unglazed clay pot balances the natural acidity within food, helping to create a rich, sweet flavor.)
If you are cooking the rice in a clay pot, place all the ingredients inside and bring to boil over medium high flame. Reduce the heat immediately to a very low flame, then tightly cover and cook undisturbed for 10 to 12 minutes.
After 10 to 12 minutes of cooking, check to see if rice is tender and that all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat with your Indigo Selvage Kitchen Mitt and let it sit covered for 15 minutes. Garnish with thinly sliced shiso leaves.
Friends and schoolmates Adriana Kielder and Reiko Nakamura—one a designer; the other a designer and a cook and caterer—combined their respective heritages and talents to create a line of cookware and kitchen clothing. All of the items in their catalogue are hand-made by Adriana and Reiko, with the occasional help of good friends.
The indigo kimono fabric for the pot holder has a strong connection to Reiko’s heritage, as she chose a mill that has been in operation since 17th-century Edo Japan. The kimono fabric is of a specific type, called Enshu Mentsumugi: “Enshu” refers to the westerly region of Shizuoka prefecture in Japan, while “mentsumugi” refers to the cotton woven cloth.
The indigo hand-dyeing process for the fabric of the pot holder is a rare one that is no longer widely practiced. First, the indigo plants are dried under the sun. The dried indigo leaves are then fermented to create the dye. The indigo dye is left in a container for a second fermentation. Fabric threads are hand-dipped in dye, then wrung out. The dipping process is repeated to create a richer, more uniform color, then left to dry in the sun.
Cotton denim and indigo-dye pot holders handmade of Japanese kimono fabric, woven at a mill in operation since 17th-century Edo Japan. Insulated with heat-resistant, silver coated quilted cotton. Made in the U.S.
4.3 inches long x 6 inches wide
(10.9 cm x 15.2 cm)
Indigo-dyed cotton kimono fabric
Silver coated cotton insulation
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