Sunday, January 24, 2016

Old stuff...

If you've read this blog a while you have probably noticed that I like old things. I particularly like old kitchen things.  They attract me in a variety of ways.  First off, I like the fact that these items have stood the test of time.

That oil lamp? It belonged to my lovely mother in law, Vernice Parker Conner.  I have a handful of things that belonged to her, this is among my favorites. Another is a recipe written in her pretty penmanship for "Million Dollar Pancakes."  And the kitchen tools I reach for most often are corralled in an ironstone pitcher. I love the shape of it, and the lustrous finish.

This butter dish?  I bought it as a wedding gift for my niece Emily and her husband, Jeff.  I loved it, the shape, the size, all of it. And since I loved it, my niece surely would, too!  Then I went to their home in Santa Fe and realized that it was far, FAR from her taste.  So I gave them some cash and kept the dish for myself.  The fabulous butter knife was a junk store or yard sale find.  Something else I treasure.

I bought this little juicer at a local favorite antique store. I've had others over the years; used them and enjoyed them, and eventually broken them.  I picked this one up, cheap, and didn't realize until I used it that it was special! It has a little rim at the base of the cone where the fruit is juiced.  That little rim catches almost all the seeds, so the juice can be poured, seed free.  I've never seen another like it, but if I do, I'll snatch it up!

This treasure?  An old sifter that I bought at a street fair in Memphis, Tennessee.  I can't even tell you how many times I've used it, and it never fails to make me smile.  Those perky apples, that little red handle?  It was designed with some love.

This biscuit cutter?  I have no idea how old it is. Or how many biscuits it has cut. Hundreds by my hands alone.

This little gem was purchased to add to the ambiance at niece Aimee and her husband Tim's wedding.  They had a wonderful antique truck with a washtub full of ice and beer, and needed old time bottle openers to go with the theme.  Husband Chris and I scoured antique stores all one summer and scored several likely candidates.  This one hails from the 1930's.  It still does it's job, with flair.
Looking through my kitchen drawers showed me an antique gadget to steep loose tea, some elderly serving pieces, and a marvelous hand mixer. We lost power for several days one time, and I wanted to make a dessert with whipped cream.  How I wished I had a hand mixer like the one we had when I was a kid.  (Ours had a pink handle!)  The next time I saw one in an antique store, I grabbed it. Actually, I got two, one for my daughter, who, thankfully, shares my delight in old kitchen tools.

When I cook using these items I like to think about all the women (and maybe men!) who have used these tools before me.  I think about the meals they prepared, the families they fed.  I wonder what their lives where like.  Did they love time spent in  their kitchens?  Did they enjoy the work it took to feed their loved ones, or was it all a chore?   Were the tools they used new to them, or handed down? These are questions I will never know the answers to, but I know that when I use my biscuit cutter or my butter knife, they please me. The shapes, the patina, the history.  Old things make me happy.

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