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!