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.
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.