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What's the Oldest Thing in Your Kitchen?


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I love reading these stories and seeing these pictures. The oldest thing in my kitchen is a cast-iron Bundt pan from the 19th century. It was my great-aunt Effeldee's; I believe she inherited it from her mother. So it is very old, and much smaller than modern-day Bundt pans. Also, we have a ricer from who-knows-where, that seems kinda old- then I saw the exact same model on display, and it was from the 1920's. Cool!

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I love reading these stories and seeing these pictures. The oldest thing in my kitchen is a cast-iron Bundt pan from the 19th century. It was my great-aunt Effeldee's; I believe she inherited it from her mother. So it is very old, and much smaller than modern-day Bundt pans. Also, we have a ricer from who-knows-where, that seems kinda old- then I saw the exact same model on display, and it was from the 1920's. Cool!

What you probably have is a classic Kugelhopf cast iron pan as these have been around for centuries.

The "Bundt" pan as known in the US has only been around since it was invented in 1950.

The origin of the name is from bundkuchen which is one of the Kugelhopf Cake types which developed in Alsace and which were more sweet bread-like than cake-like.

Your pan is really a treasure and is quite rare because so many were lost during the scrap metal drives especially during WWI and later in WWII. Patriotic housewives gave up many treasures of this type to help in the war effort.

"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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  • 2 months later...

I have several pieces of cast iron handed down from my grandmother, but since that seems to be a theme here I would add to the conversation with my 1948 wax milk carton in perfect condition that was found sealed in the walls of our house while converting our fireplace to gas from wood burning.

I have it sitting on a shelf in my kitchen.

Kevin

Kevin H. Souza

San Francisco, Calif.

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My house blew away in December 2007 with everything in it, so all my kitchen stuff is new. Reading this post it made me realize that I feel weird not having a sentimental attachment to anything in my kitchen. I had my grandmoter's potato ricer, but now I have a new plastic one. It works better, but it doesn't give me any joy. I had my grandmother's cast iron pans, now I have new cast iron pans. My kitchen feels like a restaurant kitchen.

If you work in a restaurant, everything runs very smoothly and all the tools are designed to be efficient. If there's any sentimentality about something, it's a method: "Ah, this is how Chef Maurice taught me to do this." Losing my house and possessions made me aware of the things that make a house a home--music, artwork, and heirlooms. Not super valuable, irreplaceable heirlooms, but things handed down through generations that tie you to your ancestors. Grandma loved me and made me pie and now I am making pie in the same plate for the family I love. Things like that. That's what I don't have anymore.

But on the flip side, just so you don't think I'm a whiner, I am very aware that even though I lost everything, I lived, the new husband lived, and even the little dog lived. I wouldn't trade that for any dusty old pans. :wink:

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  • 2 weeks later...

A few pieces of china and a set of French salt and pepper shakers that my great-grandfather brought from a trip to Europe in the early 1900s. A crystal sugar bowl that another grandfather had when he was homesteading on an island, probably about 100 years ago. I have a Ryzon baking powder cookbook of my grandmother's from the World War I era. I have lots of stuff from the World War II era that my mother had, including a Watkins spice cookbook, a set of Pyrex mixing bowls and a rotary beater. These things get used frequently. I have a few pieces of speckled Melmac I remember her buying in the late fifties, and I remember the circumstances--she needed some more dishes for a big hay crew. That Ryzon cookbook never gets used. The sugar bowl gets used a lot, and the china is brought out on special occasions. There is another dish with roses on it that I occasionally use for candy but am a little concerned that it might have lead paint on it. Unfortunately I no longer have a hutch or a big enough apartment to display these treasures. I forgot to mention some demitasse spoons that a family friend gave my grandmother.(The little buggers always need to be polished.) This woman had an embarrassment of dishes and stuff and often gave some of it to my mother or grandmother. My mother says that she had dishes with pictures of fish for serving fish, etc.

I let an angel food cake cutter go to my cousin when I was cleaning a storage unit. It was probably Grandma's or something--it had a pretty green handle, but I don't like angel food cake. At least it stayed in the family. Since I am an only child more things funneled down to me. There are seven of them, so it's good to spread it around.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have a syrup pitcher (or, as my grandmother and father called it, a sorghum pitcher) that dates from somewhere prior to the Civil War. It's clear glass, quite plain, and the glass has a few random bubbles in it, dating it, I've been told, to the 1820s or so. It lived in our refrigerator with sorghum in it as long as I can remember; I like to think of it sending many of my ancestors out to work with a bellyful of biscuits and sorghum in the mornings....

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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My Great Aunt Flossie's cast iron frying pan which I still use. It probably dates back to 1900. I have old antique Danish sterling silver cutlery that is older, but I regard that as belonging to the dining room.

Flossie grew up in the southern US, lived the high life in Cuba before Castro spoiled all the fun and then moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba. I acquired the frying pan after her death in Vancouver. She lived to be 100. I pretend that she carried her frying pan wherever she wen, cooking up a storm. She was a fine cook. The frying pan no doubt fried chicken and baked cornbread; cooked a spicy dish of Mores e Cristos and perhaps a Cuban pork dish, and fried up some Canadian bacon and maybe some trout from a Manitoba lake. I have fried bacon in it, made pancakes, crepes and buckwheat gallets in it; refried beans, fried chicken, and cornbread. It is a well seasoned well used pan!

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This antique coffee grinder shares space between and on the same wall as a couple of small photos of coffee and tea in their cups. Kind of a thematic grouping, if you will. Not sure of the age on it, but it's German/Austrian in origin. I just think it looks cool on the pillar at the bottom of the stairs in the dining room...

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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