Saturday 13 October 2012

Twelve Weeks 'Fore Christmas - the Eleventh Week is here!

On the eleventh week 'fore Christmas my true love sent to me
Twelve Baubles Sparkling
Eleven Kitchen Gadgets

I remember hearing Jo Seager talk about kitchen appliances, bakeware and gadgets and say something along the lines of  "remember this Christmas - they are never appropriate gifts, they are vital pieces of kitchen equipment -  flowers, jewellery and chocolates are gifts!"
Well, with this line-up of vintage kitchenalia I beg to differ, as while they may be useful they are also so much fun to use or display. Most have been used in kitchens for 40 or 50 years and will probably go on for another 50!

Summer began yesterday in Martinborough and instead of soup thoughts turn to salads, remember green leaf salads with tomato, cucumber and boiled eggs and not a piece of mesclun sight!

No. 1 of 11 - Boiled Egg Slicers

These are the tools for an authentic retro look to the eggs, if you want them sliced or quartered wedges there is a handy tool made to deliver. The metal slicer, looks like a multi-cheese slicer, was made by England, this one by Nut Brown others are nameless but wonderful little things Don't be tempted to try them for cheese though they'll be broken in no time! The wedger slicer has Tokyo Japan and a Pat number. Usually made from aluminium both probably date from the 1940's on.
This one is a bit trickier because I am really just guessing it is for scooping eggs out of the water and then once shelled, for holding them while they are cut through for slices. A customer has also told me it works great or onions. Another customer thought it may be for hauling nappies out of the soaking bucket - wrong!

I don't think they have ever improved on this style of potato masher.

No. 2 of 11 The Potato Masher

The classic potato masher can be found in lovely coloured handles: red, green, blue and this yellow stripe with white.

Sturdy, 50 years old and beating out the youngsters for durability, looks and performance - Mmm... sounds like a few of my friends!

This one is Made in England from the Skyline brand, made of chrome and wood.

Another great wooden handle this time found on a roller mincer chopper thingy.

No. 3 of 11 The Roller Chopper

Tala made this little chopper works great for herbs when used on a wooden board. I like how these things were engineered so well, this has a nifty little thumb stop to give you maximum pressure for chopping.

No. 4 of 11 The Sensible Bread Knife

Although the blade says "all purpose" stainless steel made in Sheffield - this is the perfect bread knife. With a wide, serrated, long blade, a nice round wooden handle it could cope with the biggest loaf of bread.

Yes children, not all bread comes ready sliced!

I have knives like this in the shop and some have 'Bread Knife' engraved on the blade. Yes, very helpful for those dumb housewives who were constantly get their knives mixed up!!

While I am on the subject of engraving on blades - isn't this gorgeous?

No. 5 of 11 Beautiful Engraved Cutlery

There seems to be more workmanship in some older cutlery with beautiful engraving on blades or carving on handles. Just one piece makes a cheese platter, dessert or serving dish look elegant.

The rounded blade makes scooping and spreading easy. Great for icing or buttering.

There are lovely patterns on fish knives and fancy using bull rushes and waterfalls as the decoration on this one - very sweet.

No. 6 of 11 The Butter Curler

There are a myriad of styles of butter curlers around. The yellowy-green handle is made by Nut Brown, it oozes quality as the brand always does. A simple pulling action will scoop out cute little butter curls.
The red one is Tala brand and I am sure the additional side features makes all the curls uniform. Nothing worse than different size curls eh? Go on give it a try at your next dinner party, along with the prawn cocktail, see just how retro can you get!

Now for something I get asked for quite often.. especially from all those hot-handed bakers around.

No. 7 of 11 The Pastry Blender

This one is Skyline and I know it's a pastry blender 'cos it says so on its side arm!

How else would you get the butter chopped into the flour without getting the dough all hot and bothered? I don't actually have much of a need for one of these, I have to take a whole day off work to make a pie, but the experts tell me it works a treat.

Sugar tongs - not so much a gadget as a utensil, or even a piece of cutlery...but I am on a one woman mission to reinvent these guys.

No. 8 of 11 The Sugar Tong

You can still buy sugar cubes, and if you do, you'll need a pair of these tongs for sure.

However if you don't use cubes then you might still need them for - olives, little hot things, petit fours, bread and butter pickles, lollies out of the jar, ice cubes, tea bags out of the cup or pot, hors d'oeuvres, something smelly, asparagus, small spaghetti (maybe?), things at the bottom of tall jars,  pickled onions... the list is endless, you'll wonder how you ever managed without them!

No. 9 of 11 The Mouli ParsMint

Probably my favourite item in the kitchen, this reminds me of my childhood and making mint sauce for Sunday roasts.

This one has lost its wooden handle end a common happening - makes no difference to the performance!

It works so well... parsley or mint, and I am sure other herbs we just never got that adventurous at home, there is nothing better than this little mouli.

Forget the multi-use ginsu knives.

No. 10 of 11 The Tomato Slicer

Here are a couple of special little items for slicing tomatoes. Be it in one go through the whole thing or a delicate one slice at a time option.
The knife has a serrated edge for cutting and then this balloon end for picking up the slice and moving it to the sandwich, salad whatever. Clever eh?
How do I know if it a tomato don't have to be too smart!

To show that I don't live in the past all the time here are a few new things that I like and I think they may stand the test of time.

No. 11 of 11 The Veggie Cutter, Brusher, Slicers

I do like these little guys - they make me smile and you don't need writing on the blade to tell what they are for - they each tell their own story very well. Cute eh?

All items are available in the shop and so contact me for details or to ask about any other kitchenalia treasure on email. I will also keep adding items to my Internet Shop so check it out once in a while.

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