Old Kitchen Stuff

Old Stuff.  I have some old stuff in my home.  And I’m not just talking about me and my DSH.

I was debating how to refer to this stuff.  It’s not antique because I don’t think any of it’s over 100 years old, and I didn’t want to refer to stuff as vintage or retro because, apparently, there is a lot of debate over the proper use of these terms.

So, let’s just say I have old stuff.

The old stuff I like the best is old kitchen stuff.

I have my DSH’s Grandma’s canning pot.  It still has a little tag stuck on the lid with her name printed on it.  I don’t really own it.  My mother-in-law lent it to me (years ago), and it came with a chinois.  I use these items to can and preserve jams and jellies and other things, too.  By the time I met my DSH’s grandma, she was very old and lived in a nursing home and had dementia.  She died right before Thanksgiving in 1987.  Every time I use her things, I think about her canning items from her garden for her family many decades ago and long before I was even born.  And that makes this stuff very old.  I talked about it in my Silver and Gold post (here).

I have other old kitchen stuff.  Cast iron skillets.  Enamelware.  Corning Ware.  Harvest gold and avocado green Tupperware.

I recently acquired some “new” old kitchen stuff that belonged to my paternal Grandmother.  I talked about her doll / lamp thingy in my post Is It A Doll Or Is It A . . . ? (here).

One of the things I received was a chinois (it is sometimes called a china cap).  It is basically a conical sieve that you can use to strain custards, soups, and purees.  I use it to strain tomatoes and apples and other seeded fruits when making sauces, apple butter, jams, and jellies.  Since I already have one of these nifty things, I passed it along to my friend, Laura, who also does some canning and preserving.

Another thing I received was my grandmother’s old coffee percolator.  I remember watching her fill it with water and coffee and set over the burner on the stove.  I would watch it until the liquid bubbled up into the glass knob on top.  You knew when it was done by the color of the liquid and the aromatic smell of the freshly brewed coffee.  My sister, Diane, will add this to her collection of my grandmother’s old stuff.

When I visited Diane a few weeks ago, and was telling her about these newfound treasures from my grandmother, she showed me this rather unique egg beater that also came from my grandmother.  I cannot imagine being able to beat more than one or two eggs in this thing, but the recipe book that came with it is fun.  It includes a recipe for a holiday alcoholic drink called a Tom and Jerry (warmed rum with beaten egg added to the top and dusted with nutmeg).  My mother used to make this concoction at the holidays and serve it out of a Santa punch bowl with Santa mugs.  One of these drinks and Santa would have had serious trouble steering the sleigh.

My sister and I reminisced about the various things we remember when visiting our grandmother as children and as young women and mothers.

I have some of my grandmother’s aprons hanging in my laundry room which is right off my kitchen.  I think of her several times a day when I see them hanging there.  She always wore an apron in the kitchen, and so do I.  I do it because I am a messy cook, but she was always impeccably dressed and groomed, and I’m sure she used the apron to protect her nice clothes.

I mentioned to my sister that my friend, Laura, had recently acquired her late mother-in-law’s entire collection of recipe cards.  Most were written in her own handwriting and included recipes from the family that had been passed down for generations.  It gave me goose bumps.

That is when she pulled out this recipe box.  It is my grandmother’s recipe box.  It includes many recipes written in her handwriting including the recipes for the cookies that she made for us when we were little kids.

Yes, I got more goose bumps.  I look forward to using her recipes to make cookies for my family and maybe even for my own grandchildren someday.

How awesome is that?

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