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Never Underestimate an Op Shop!

It’s been quite some time since I wrote a post about my op shop finds. With a renovation coming up this year, I have been more focused on shifting things out of the house rather than bringing it in. Stuff. We seem to have lots of stuff. Though I pride myself in being the master of sorting and minimising and downsizing, we still seem to have a lot of stuff. It’s amazing what you can sell on eBay.

I’ve still been sourcing nearly all of my paperbacks from op shops. It’s economical and I’m amazed at how many contemporary titles are available. As I was down to my last book I took a quick lunch time run to a Vinnies near work, which is where I spied this baby. It was mine for the princely sum of $9.


A Roman Pot
A Römertopf is a clay casserole baker that produces juicy, tender one pot dishes. Römertopf is a German company that started in 1967 (what a good year!) and they are still producing their clay bakers as well as other clay items such as bread moulds. Römertopf means ‘Roman pot’ in German. You soak them in cold water and put the food filled clay baker into a cold oven when you start to cook. They are very much of an era and would have been the ‘must have’ wedding gift in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Like all ‘must have’ wedding gifts, many of these have made their way to op shops across the land, often unused or unopened. A few years ago, as Baby Boomers downsized, you couldn’t go into an op shop without seeing one. In a very short time, they a now a rare find. I put this down to the Fig Jam & Lime Cordial halo effect. Sydney blogger Celia acquired her own Römertopf a few years ago and has been extolling the virtues ever since. Reading Celia’s almost evangelical posts about what she cooks in her Römertopf has meant bloggers across the land all have been snapping up Römertopfs whenever they see them.

My Romertopf is one of the smaller sized pots but is certainly big enough for Mr Tiffin and I. I’ve already taken it for a whirl with a test Sunday night roast chicken. It performed beautifully but I need to source slightly smaller chickens so I can fit in more veggies. The most fabulous thing to report about my roast chicken is that the oven was splatter free. Yes!

I may be wildly optimistic but our sales of stuff may well garner enough money to buy a couple of louvres in our new dining room. Not the whole window you understand. Just a couple of panes of glass within it. Or, another Römertopf perhaps?

18 comments… add one
  • Lizzy (Good Things) April 10, 2015, 5:33 pm

    Some day when you are in Canberra, come visit and I’ll take you to an op shop that will blow your mind, Fiona! You might even find your louvres! I’m not sure ‘they’ allow the unglazed Romi’s into the country any more… at least that what I was given to understand when we were selling them in the cookware store. Happy cooking fellow op shopper xo

    • Fiona Ryan April 16, 2015, 6:12 pm

      Liz – that sounds so tempting! Interesting about the unglazed. That makes sense (well not really) given all the rules around food.

  • RobertL April 10, 2015, 5:43 pm

    Hmm – I just realised that I will be going out tomorrow night in a pair of pants, a shirt and a jacket that I got from op shops.

    I certainly don’t underestimate them!

  • Joanne T Ferguson April 10, 2015, 6:31 pm

    What a great buy and find Fiona! Well done and can’t wait to see what you do with it!
    I have very fond memories of visiting local op shops with my mum when I was little and I thought it was like visiting Aladdin’s magic cave!

    • Fiona Ryan April 16, 2015, 6:14 pm

      I’d love to find another. I’m in my happy place poking around op shops, that’s for sure.

  • celia April 11, 2015, 8:07 am

    See how cool it is? I’m not sure I could live without mine now! Haven’t used it for a couple of weeks though – maybe I’ll pull it out and throw something in it tonight! 🙂 $9 is a huge bargain! xx

    • Fiona Ryan April 17, 2015, 9:49 am

      I like it indeed Celia. Thaks for providing all that guidance in your blog.

  • Christine (FoodWineTravel) April 11, 2015, 12:41 pm

    I had Romertopf envy when my sister got one for a wedding present and I didn’t. I have a small Romertopf bread pan now (the one without a lid) but I still don’t have one like yours. Sigh.

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime April 11, 2015, 3:44 pm

    What a bargain find!

    • Fiona Ryan April 13, 2015, 10:17 pm

      Indeed. I’ve done some more dishes and have a feel for it now.

  • sherry from sherrys pickings April 11, 2015, 4:40 pm

    i keep seeing stuff about romertopfs everywhere lately. i have one in my cupboard, only used once! it is unglazed and the inside got so mouldy i never used it again. there is actually a class in how to use these on at Taste in the Valley this week.

    • Fiona Ryan April 13, 2015, 10:19 pm

      Wow – that’s amazing (about the class). They must be very much in Vogue. Mine isn’t glazed either. I just scrub it in medium hot water when with a green mit. Would some baking soda work to get rid of the mould I wonder?

  • Napoli Restaurant Alert April 11, 2015, 7:03 pm

    Wonderful! Must go check out my local ones!

    • Fiona Ryan April 13, 2015, 10:20 pm

      Keep looking. It’s always the way though – when you want one, you can’t find it! Thanks for taking the time to read my post and comment.

  • Jan Rhoades May 20, 2015, 11:16 am

    Soooo jealous. I almost owned one last year (or maybe the year before) from ebay but mistimed my final bid and so missed out. I even had Sean organised to pick it up from Darlinghurst. Sooo jealous. Enjoy.

    • Fiona Ryan May 20, 2015, 7:17 pm

      I’m on the lookout for a 2nd so I may as well make it a 3rd too.

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