Friday, September 26, 2014

Kitchen Nostalgia


A few days ago, while rummaging under our kitchen benches in search of my applesauce strainer, I realized that it had been a long time, a very long time since I'd rousted all that stuff out. I was pretty amazed at what all I found.  Exhibit A (above) a can opener that was my grandmother's, still in its original box and never used, as far as I can tell.


Next, a hand cranked flour mill -- for making stone ground flour. Yes, I actually, when I was young and energetic, bought wheat in 50 pound bags and ground it to make flour for homemade bread.  That didn't last long. But it was good exercise.

On a more frivolous note, a rosette maker. Dip the decorative irons into a batter then immerse in hot oil. The little rosettes brown quickly and float free to be scooped up, drained on paper towels, and covered with powdered sugar. These were a feature, along with cotton candy and candy apples, at the elementary school Halloween carnivals of my youth. And I made them for my boys a few times before stowing them away in the underbench oubliette


A meat grinder that was my grandmother's. She used to grind up boiled chicken with a little India relish, a whiff of onion juice, and a very little mayonnaise to make the most delicious little crustless, white bread tea sandwiches for her bridge club. I've been thinking for many years that I'd like to duplicate those but I don't play bridge. 


I often say that we were seduced by The Whole Earth Catalog and Mother Earth News into leaving our suburban heritage and heading for the hills. Once we got here, we made several pilgrimages to the Mother Earth Truck Store to purchase stuff for country living -- among other things, an electric churn (Justin has it now,) this apple peeler, and the ceiling fan in our living room that has run almost constantly since 1977.

 A green bean frencher that makes frozen green beans almost worth eating . . .

A pea sheller -- which has seen very little use because on the rare occasions that the voles have left me any peas, I've found that I really prefer sitting in a rocker on the front porch and looking at the view as I shell peas, Oh, yes, and a trading card that had slipped under the benches a good while back. Check out the eyewear.


A pecan sheller - another relic from my grandmother whose sister sent her pecans from Alabama. I guess I need to send this to my brother who lives in Alabama and has a pecan tree too.


These was a dusty old note book full of recipes from magazines -- all of which only remind me how much my tastes have changed. I tossed them all but saved my mother's recipes for Boeuf a la mode and Coq au vin  --  I'll make both of those soon.


I probably won't make this easy recipe from my mother-in-law -- but I'll save it anyway.


Aspic molds -- 12 individual aspic molds. No doubt for my grandmother's bridge club. Also two tiny angel food cake pans and three little loaf pans --- were these for me when I 'helped' my grandmother bake? I can't remember . . . but I like to think they were.

So after vacuuming out and cataloging all this kitchen nostalgia, I put most of it right back. How can I toss out memories? And how could I ever divest myself of the Edlund Can Opener which guarantees my safety -- see, it says so, right there on the box!


16 comments:

Ms. A said...

I wouldn't be able to toss it either... I can't seem to toss anything! My kids will have to do it when I'm dead and I've already warned them.

Kath Marsh said...

Marvelous treasures! I have a few treasures like those from my parents. I've kept the old GoodHousekeepig Cookbook just for the feel of time when my mother was a new bride.
Although my most prized, and out where it is used all the time: An old wooden bootjack. So elegantly simple, so indispensable.

June said...

Those are so much fun to look at and to have . . . perhaps not to use. I do have a meat grinder like that that I bought because I remembered cranking the handle while my mother dropped in pieces of cooked leftover beef and potatoes to make hash.
I was just mesmerized by the neverending curlicue of the grinder part!

Jim Egerton said...

Not quite Antique Roadshow stuff but definitely something to leave the kids to make them remember the past before they Goodwill them.

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

What a great collection, and all interlaced with memories. The stories make them!

Frances said...

Vicki, I loved seeing these treasures from your obliette. The baking tins and aspic molds are very akin to my Mom's collection, and I also recognized the meat grinder.

In my very own little apartment, I still have my yellowed, crackling Whole Earth Catalogue, and though still a city dweller, think I carry some of its inspiration along with me every day.

xo

Suz said...

oh my, I was just looking for my old rosette maker...crullers as we called them (sp?)
I think I sold it at a garage sale years ago....rats!
So keep it all...you never know
besides...it is so wonderful to step back in time
boy those women worked hard
an that last recipe...fruit first?
sounds messy

Suz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NCmountainwoman said...

Each one of those is definitely a keeper. I used to grind wheat as well. Now my son uses an attachment for his KitchenAide mixer that does the same thing. What goes around...

Miss_Yves said...

Great collection!

Vagabonde said...

Such a good vintage collection. I noticed some items that are also somewhere in my cupboard such as the rosette maker and the aspic molds. I use the meat grinder at Christmas, but not for meat, for cranberries, oranges and apples with some of the orange rinds to make relish. One thing I did notice though is that your knees must be feeling fine if you can bend down to look under benches. I have many old items in the bottom of my kitchen cupboards but they have not been touched since my knees are so bad now.

Victoria said...

I couldn't toss those out, either. I, too, used to grind my own wheat. I still bake my own bread, but the days of grinding my own wheat are long gone!

Brian Miller said...

oh wow...you found some pretty cool treasure...and some stories to go along with them for sure...

katy gilmore said...

What great stuff! Why do old utensils look so much more interesting than ours - specially the packaging? That trove is probably a little ebay gold mine!

Thérèse said...

Such sweet treasures! I would use them with visiting kids especially the Rosette maker!
So much fun.

barbara judge said...

Amazing collection of personal family kitchen items -- a story to be told to your future generations -- barbara