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What's the Oldest Thing in Your Kitchen?


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Lisa, you are entirely correct in that the deep swirled pattern molds are also called "turk's head" as are the ones that aren't swirled - forming larger cakes or molded dishes.

Like this turk's head mold.

Any mold or pan that produces a finished product that looks sort of like a turban gets this moniker and it can be confusing when one is starting out in collecting these things.

Here's one that is misnamed because it is obviously a "melon" mold.

A modern version of the cast iron pan is this one by Berndes which bakes small muffins, brownies and etc., beautifully with no sticking at all.

You can get it cheaper than this price (if you buy from Amazon) by putting it in your shopping cart and leaving it there. From time to time it is reduced in price and Amazon will place a notice that will show up when you log into your account. My daughter got it last year for 16.99.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have a Devonian fossil my kid found, 450 million years old. A brachiopod.

That's pretty old.

I have a number of old rocks from my time in Sudbury, Ontario. One of them is a softball-sized chunk of Precambrian rock which is apparently more than 3 billion years old. I wonder if it would work as a meat tenderizer . . .

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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My stillyard is probably one of the oldest things in my kitchen, I think it is late 1800’s, it weighs up to 300lbs so can be used for weighing carcases. I also have a collection of coffee grinders and some of them are old. :hmmm:

101_0175.JPG

Pam Brunning Editor Food & Wine, the Journal of the European & African Region of the International Wine & Food Society

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Aside from my kitchen itself (original to house built in 1963), the oldest thing is my Tupperware pastry sheet and rolling pin. The end of the rolling pin screws off so you can add water/ice. I still use the pastry sheet from time to time. The rolling pin, not so much. The items date to 1967, the year after my daughter was born.

Edited by KathyP (log)
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Lisa, you are entirely correct in that the deep swirled pattern molds are also called "turk's head" as are the ones that aren't swirled - forming larger cakes or molded dishes.

Like this turk's head mold.

Any mold or pan that produces a finished product that looks sort of like a turban gets this moniker and it can be confusing when one is starting out in collecting these things.

Here's one that is misnamed because it is obviously a "melon" mold.

A modern version of the cast iron pan is this one by Berndes which bakes small muffins, brownies and etc., beautifully with no sticking at all.

You can get it cheaper than this price (if you buy from Amazon) by putting it in your shopping cart and leaving it there. From time to time it is reduced in price and Amazon will place a notice that will show up when you log into your account. My daughter got it last year for 16.99.

Thanks so much! That pan on Amazon will be great, especially since I occasionally cook for a supper club and have to carry my stuff with me to cook in strange kitchens-I'm afraid of losing my antique cast iron at a party.

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My house was built in 1872 and the kitchen was actually a separate building with a porch, connected to the house by an open walkway. The walkway is enclosed and now is a bathroom and a wide hallway with a computer niche. The pillar with all the tools hanging on it was the separation between the kitchen building and what used to be a little porch off the east side of the kitchen--the little porch now holds the fridge and a hutch that for my home canned tomatoes and beans.

The little eggs on the windowsill were laid by my hens when they were youngsters. I found that if I just set them on the windowsill they would dry out and be decorative.

sparrowgrass
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I found to my chagrin that such eggs can often explode, with some pretty stinky consequences. You should put a pin in one end and let the insides ooze out before putting them in the sun.

My husband put a real robin's egg in a nest my kid wove on our nature table and a year later, the thing exploded. Scare me to death, pert near.

“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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I wish I had more old kitchen stuff...envying everyone's treasures!

The oldest thing I have in my kitchen is a Crock Pot my parents received as a wedding gift, back in the late 70's. Mom used it maybe once or twice, so it was basically still new when I took it with me. It's only got two temperature settings - high and low. Hideously kitschy mustard yellow with grassy-leafy things printed around the outside.

I need to use it more often.

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Hey, those older Crock-Pot units are highly prized because the low temp settings on them is lower than on modern ones, making slow-cooked beans, etc., much, much better. The newer units reflect worries about food safety at low temps and simply can't perfom in the same way. You have a treasure.

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Hey, those older Crock-Pot units are highly prized because the low temp settings on them is lower than on modern ones, making slow-cooked beans, etc., much, much better. The newer units reflect worries about food safety at low temps and simply can't perfom in the same way. You have a treasure.

That's something worth knowing, Lisa. Thanks.

I could add that I now have some quite old...in terms of changes in manufacture...Pyrex dishes which I have bought recently at St. VdP for peanuts. There is a thread on eGullet Pyrex expireswhich covers the changes made in Pyrex ware over the last few years and how it is no longer as safe from cracking and explosion as it formerly was. The manufacturers no longer add the ingredient which guaranteed the safety of the glass. That is another fact worth knowing.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

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I know that my cast iron dutch oven is older than I am: my mother bought it shortly after her marriage, before my oldest brother was born. I have several other cast iron items purchased used of unknown age, almost certainly older than me. Also have a few oddball items like my nut & poppy seed grinders 307404553_bfb84f9316.jpg, a small Revere ware pressure cooker, and an odd tong/grabber device that may be quite old as well. Some of the pyrex similarly could be 15 or 50 years old, and a mixing bowl and baking pan or two, and a paring knife.

Except for the dutch oven, none are known family heirlooms. Just working stuff bought used and still functional.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm jealous of all that well-seasoned cast iron!

The oldest thing in my kitchen with a date on it is an Old Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender's Guide, 6th printing, November 1946.

Bartender guide.JPG

The oldest thing without a date -

Any ideas what this might be?

It's in my kitchen, apartment in New York City built in around 1923. It's under the window on an outside wall, so it gets cold in the winter. Metal, and I apologize for the poor quality photo! My great aunt used to keep soda pop in it in the winter.

kitchen larder.jpg

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In 2004, my mother passed away and I wrote a rather long and heartfelt post here about her passing (seems to be gone now). In it, I talked about inheriting her mother's knife which is stamp dated 1848 on the blade.

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I'm jealous of all that well-seasoned cast iron!

The oldest thing in my kitchen with a date on it is an Old Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender's Guide, 6th printing, November 1946.

Bartender guide.JPG

The oldest thing without a date -

Any ideas what this might be?

It's in my kitchen, apartment in New York City built in around 1923. It's under the window on an outside wall, so it gets cold in the winter. Metal, and I apologize for the poor quality photo! My great aunt used to keep soda pop in it in the winter.

. . .

Looks like a milk box to me - accessible from the outside so milk could be delivered and kept cold while the occupant was away.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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I'm jealous of all that well-seasoned cast iron!

The oldest thing in my kitchen with a date on it is an Old Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender's Guide, 6th printing, November 1946.

Bartender guide.JPG

The oldest thing without a date -

Any ideas what this might be?

It's in my kitchen, apartment in New York City built in around 1923. It's under the window on an outside wall, so it gets cold in the winter. Metal, and I apologize for the poor quality photo! My great aunt used to keep soda pop in it in the winter.

. . .

Looks like a milk box to me - accessible from the outside so milk could be delivered and kept cold while the occupant was away.

Looks like a milk box to me too. When I was a kid living in Montreal we had a through-the-wall milk delivery box with inside and outside doors.

Nobody builds new ones anymore because A)it's like leaving a window open all winter, and B)who gets milk delivered?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Nobody builds new ones anymore . . .

Well, what do you know? I found one in a restoration catalog: click. Some boxes are just for mail, others have a milk flap below. Very quaint.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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The last apartment we lived in in Manhattan had a box like that, but it was on the sixth floor of an apartment building, so it was definitely not for milk delivered from the outside. I don't know if it was a cold box or maybe a box for storing fuel for a coal or wood fired stove before gas was installed. There was a metal plate on the wall for a flue near the stove. The apartment also had a defunct dumbwaiter.

My grandmother had a milk box in her house in the Eastside suburbs of Cleveland, and there was a flat door with a latch that could be opened on the inside and an identical door on the outside.

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The last apartment we lived in in Manhattan had a box like that, but it was on the sixth floor of an apartment building, so it was definitely not for milk delivered from the outside. I don't know if it was a cold box or maybe a box for storing fuel for a coal or wood fired stove before gas was installed. There was a metal plate on the wall for a flue near the stove. The apartment also had a defunct dumbwaiter.

I've seen old buildings with systems for ash disposal, but your box sounds more mysterious. Just imagine what future archeologists will postulate about our current crazy material culture.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I have a Favorite Piqua Ware, I think, 5 Quart, cast iron, machined smooth with an insert that keeps the meat above the braise. It belonged to my mother in law and I'm sure she got it from her mother in law. She hung it her kitchen and never used it. I lusted after it for years. When she died I begged from my brother in law. He gave it to me.

Many a braise has it seen in while i've owned it. A thing of wonder. Bare cast iron and meat.

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I have a small collection of Pyrex dishes, but my most treasured "old" thing is a cast-iron something or other ... it's a handled pot, about six inches deep, no lid, but it might have had at some time. I use it as a roasting pan, if I'm doing a largish roast. It came from my mother-in-law's kitchen and I used it there if I were doing a dinner. (She wasn't a cook and in her latter years, which was when I knew her, if I didn't cook at her place, she sent us out for Kentucky Fried Chicken or fish and chips.) I joked with her that I wanted her to leave me that pot in her will, and after she had moved to a care home and we were clearing out some cupboards for a tenant to move in, I found the pot. In it was a note ... "This is for Susan," obviously written when she was having a more lucid moment and looking around her home. I don't have the note, but I still use, and cherish, the pot.

Edited by Just loafing (log)
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  • 4 weeks later...

All my dishes etc are less than five years old... but I got a lovely heavy grandma-style rolling pin from the thrift store after I read that older is MUCH better for pins. I have no idea how old it is, but it has a beautiful non-stick patina on it from decades of use in butter-filled kitchens.

Oh, and I bought a 'Settlement Cookbook' at the thrift store. It was published in 1910, and I wanted to see what REALLY OLD country-style cooking was all about.

Edited by Kajikit (log)
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All my dishes etc are less than five years old... but I got a lovely heavy grandma-style rolling pin from the thrift store after I read that older is MUCH better for pins. I have no idea how old it is, but it has a beautiful non-stick patina on it from decades of use in butter-filled kitchens.

Oh, and I bought a 'Settlement Cookbook' at the thrift store. It was published in 1910, and I wanted to see what REALLY OLD country-style cooking was all about.

For "really old" country-style cooking, think LARD, and more lard. Southern fried chicken just doesn't taste the same when fried in any other fat!

I love that cookbook too.

I'm sure you will have great success with the rolling pin. I have several that are close to or over the century mark and they are much heavier than newer ones - the wood itself is denser.

This one is very long, made of red oak and weighs nearly 8 pounds. The weight helps in rolling denser doughs, I use it for puff pastry and especially for croissants. It was made in the 1920s.

HPIM2747.JPG

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have no ancient rocks, nor crock pots with low heat, and sadly no cast iron.

What I have is these 2 forks with bone(?) handles, always called Granny forks in our house. From my mother, from her mother I believe. I use them daily.

The round thing is labeled "Swirl Mixer" made, in of all places ....Rochester, NY. I can remember my mother always used it to shake together milk (possibly water) and flour to make thickening for gravy. As I got older I was allowed to shake it. Just had to make sure the lid was really pushed on. Each ridge denotes a measurement so even though it's not see through it is a most useful multi tasker.

A much used reminder of old times.

IMG_0654.JPG

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A butchers steel.

My Grandfather, a one time journeyman butcher, later pork butcher and tripe dresser had this item all his working life, from I suppose 1914.

the steel is now quite smooth with only a hint of grooves near the handle but it still puts an edge on my knives.

Each time it is used I think of dear Ted.

Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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Wonderful stories about old kitchen stuff, thanks.

There's a carving set in my family that comes out each Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's from 19th century New England somewhere, and its got a weird patina that comes from sporadic use over such a long time. My knife wouldn't fetch much at auction, but it always reminds me of an episode from "The West Wing" called "Shibboleth" where US President Bartlett gives his young assistant Charlie a silver turkey knife with the initials P.R. which, as it turns out, stands for Paul Revere.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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