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Updating the Kitchen Essentials


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As I have reported on eG, with each year adding one year, it's almost 8 years since I discovered  "COOKING" :wub: ...as compared to just having to cook meals...and over 55 years married.  The biggest mistake I made kitchen-wise was ridding myself of all the stuff I inherited from my Mother when my parents moved to San Diego in the early 60s.  Thus almost nothing I own and cherish goes back in ownership more than 8 years, although much of this is much older in years.  My best purchases have been from 2nd hand stores in Utah during our stays there.

 

My first real purchase was the ice cream machine at Wabi Sabi, our favorite 2nd hand store, 7 years ago for $5, followed by a number of stainless steel frying pans and pots with heavy bottoms, made in Japan and Korea.  Wonderful items.   And second-hand Pyrex ware, complete with borosilicate...much work to clean up, but well-used since.   An all-metal (you remember metal?) reversible waffle iron, General Electric made in the USA...now that's old.  Purchased new in Utah:  two sets of rainbow-colored acrylic bowls from a condo-owner and a set of stainless steel mixing bowls with wonderful rubber bottoms which (gasp) with considerable use have not even begun to separate from the bowls. 

 

Purchased in Canada: my wonderful Trudeau spatulas, my Paderno pots and a used acrylic yellow tool turntable which I coerced this dear old gentleman, who was minding the store while his wife stepped out, into selling to me, knowing full well that he'd be in trouble as soon as said wife saw what he had done.  It was a 'store container', not to be sold.

 

To finish up, and sorry for the length of this but you did ask,  is Oscar, a rare Ditmar Urbach Czechoslovakia Art Deco Pottery Toucan pitcher, who oversees the entire kitchen.  Oscar predates my birth and comes from my parents' house and I will treasure him forever.

Toucan%20Big.jpg

Edited by Darienne (log)
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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I'm interested in where these were made -  as I am with DDF's  Rival blender.

 

Made in the state of Missouri.

 

The Ice-O-Mat is also a Rival product that was made in Missouri.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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You still have the recipe book for the blender?  And the blender still looks brand new?  I'm not letting you into my kitchen.

 

I still have and use the hand-held electric mixer my brother gave me for my first birthday in my own place (we won't mention how many years ago that was) and the chef's knife I stole from my mom, along with the 1950 Betty Crocker cookbook I stole from her as well when I moved out.  She never really forgave me for either of those thefts...:) 

 

The blender pictured is a back-up that I purchased some time ago, it's identical to the original in nearly every way.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Thanks everyone, for taking the time to share your treasures and memories! 

 

I'm interested in where these were made -  as I am with DDF's  Rival blender.

Braun drip coffee maker - made in Germany (Braun AG Frankfurt)

National Rice-O-Mat rice cooker - made in Japan (Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.)

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A few of my most treasured initial investments for my kitchen when I fledged are a No. 119 carbon-steel box-grater made by Bromwell, Michigan City, Ind. 46360. They proudly stamped their name and address on their product that I purchased in the early 70's, apparently before the standard two-letter state codes came out. I was flabbergasted when I found that they apparently still exist:

 

https://www.jacobbromwell.com/

 

I have not explored this website, but I'm impressed by the front page claim "Made in the USA and Guaranteed for Life". I can't attest to but the one product I own, but be assured, I will be going back to this website next time I need something to see if they can help me out.

 

This poor grater has been put through the dishwasher hundreds of times from my youthful ignorance where I had more money than time. I wouldn't dare put it in the dishwasher now. Even through all that abuse, it has refused to give up the ghost, and I use it constantly.

 

I also have a Mouli cheese grater from the same era stamped with a couple USA patent numbers and stamped on the other side with a couple more patent pending numbers. It's not like Blue Dolphin's or Shel_B's, although I would love to have one like that. Mine looks like this:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouli_grater

 

Scroll down a bit to see photos.

 

I use it for parmesan  mostly, but also for old-style Taco Bell knock off tacos or anytime I want finely grated cheese. This one doesn't see as much use as the box grater, but it's been a great asset to me. It's worth noting that this little gadget accommodates both lefties and righties, depending on assembly.

 

A set of high-carbon steel Old Hickory knives with a wall-hung knife board is also with me still from the early 70's. It sees little use these days, as I prefer stainless blades for ease of maintenance for most tasks. When I go to slice a watermelon, I still reach for the long Old Hickory butcher knife. These knives are stamped, Ontario Knife Company, Made in USA.

 

I still have 1 and two-quart stainless steel, copper bottomed Revere Ware sauce pans. I don't use them too much anymore, because I prefer my stainless-clad 3-ply induction bottom 3-quart saucepans from Morgan Ware I bought later on. (I hate a boilover cleanup.) But the Revere Ware has seen a lot of use, and still gets trotted out at holiday meals and so forth. It's stamped Clinton, Ill. USA.

 

I've got couple of 2-cup liquid measures with Pyrex, made in USA, Corning, printed on the outside of the glass, and an Anchor Hocking 4-cup measure with USA in raised letters on the bottom of the cup.

 

From the same era are a couple pie plates. One is Corning Cornflower pattern, and so old that along with the USA etching, it also says, " for range and microwave". The other is a clear glass pyrex that has raised letters on the bottom: "Made in USA, no rangetop, no broiler". 

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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I also have a Mouli cheese grater from the same era stamped with a couple USA patent numbers and stamped on the other side with a couple more patent pending numbers. It's not like Blue Dolphin's or Shel_B's, although I would love to have one like that. Mine looks like this:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouli_grater

 

Scroll down a bit to see photos.

 

 

Cool Tool ... I may have had one like that, but not as old as yours - not sure.  Maybe I just wanted one ...

 ... Shel


 

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I only have a few things from my first kitchen. A wusthof 8" chefs knife, a wusthof steel, my old small wood cutting board, and my revereware saucepan. I use all of them almost every time I cook.

 

My trusty cuisinart food processor gets lots and lots of use too.

 

I've got a hundred other gadgets that I use on average once every 20 times i cook.

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A few of my most treasured initial investments for my kitchen when I fledged are a No. 119 carbon-steel box-grater made by Bromwell, Michigan City, Ind. 46360. They proudly stamped their name and address on their product that I purchased in the early 70's, apparently before the standard two-letter state codes came out. I was flabbergasted when I found that they apparently still exist:

 

https://www.jacobbromwell.com/

 

I think my bank account is going to hate you.

 

I took a magnifying glass and checked my box grater but it is made in Sweden.

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I no longer have it, but I only upgraded about a year or two ago, after 20 years on my own, but my most-used pan was a 3.5 quart Revere Ware copper-bottom pot that I took from my Mom's kitchen. It was just big enough for pasta for one or a couple of servings of rice. I finally upgraded to a 4qt All Clad when I found one on sale in TJ Maxx, but it still find it a little heavy to drain with one hand. However, the All Clad is superior for things like making caramel.

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My oldest and most treasured items are 3 cast iron frying pans (6", 8" and 10") and a cast iron 10.5" griddle that my mother gave me for my first kitchen. On the bottom they are stamped "Wagner Ware" and "Made in the USA". They are in constant use.

I also still have some of the dishes that I bought with one of my first pay checks from my first "real" job (as a teacher in Vermont in 1972 - it wasn't much of a check but it seemed like a fortune to me at the time.) I bought 4 place settings of china, all in different patterns of blues, greens and grey. I felt exceeding proud to be so eccentric especially since two of my friends had recently married and their cupboards were filled with matching services for 8 or even 12 with all matching serving dishes. All of the dinner plates and 2 of the salad plates survive. All the soup/pasta bowls are sadly long gone. I also still have a set of silverware (well, silver plate), service for 8 in a pretty old-fashined pattern, that I found at a garage sale at about that time for $10. I actually felt rather sad to buy that - it seemed like the kind of thing one should keep. But that didn't stop me.

Elaina

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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  • 2 weeks later...

I still have the paring knife I bought in a drug store for $1.99 when I moved into my freshman dorm in 1988 -- I'd throw it out, but it's just so handy for prying the shaker tops off spice jars and cutting off a length of kitchen twine.  I can't call it a treasure, but there must be a reason it's still lingering 27 years later.  Also this no-name bread knife I got for a buck at a swap meeting 20-odd years ago - waaayyy better on crusty loaves than my Wustoff. 

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The left handed Lamson Sharp fish turner, an 8" wood handled granny fork, and 2 wooden spoons my mama bought me.

 

The 5 qt. white Kitchen-aid stand mixer my daddy surprised me with one Christmas because I loved to bake.

 

A $3 wooden lemon reamer that fits my small hand.

 

A $4 cat head biscuit cutter with a handle. I bought 2 just in case

 

A thick heavy carbon steel wok that was on sale for $15 as part of a kit. It's better than what I see available today.

 

Several sets Duralex Picardie glasses in different sizes that I still use to this day.

 

My 3 cobalt blue ceramic dinnerware bowls, spotted them at a thrift shop for a $1 each, I bought the extra two just in case of breakage (knock on wood). Comfortable and deep enough to mix 2 eggs or 12, plus the yellow and anything else look so pretty against the blue.

 

Family Heirlooms. I didn't buy them but asked for them and was given them about the time I outfitted my first kitchen. Some of them are a White Mountain ice cream freezer, my great uncle's dutch ovens from his sheep camps, my grandmother's cast iron skillets and wooden dough bowl, my grandfather's knives, cleaver and steel (he was a butcher), the 6 quart copper bottomed Revere Ware stock pot ( we call it the fudge pot in our family) and the wooden paddle used to stir and beat the fudge, my other grandmother's Texas Pecan Sheller, my mama's cake spatula.

Edited by Susie Q (log)
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  • 1 month later...

I know a lot of people dismiss the idea of bread machines but I have been using them since I first discovered how versatile and helpful they can be some 35 years ago.

 

I am teaching a young woman, mother of 7 (2 adopted) baking techniques.  Like so many busy stay-at-home moms, she really doesn't have the time for baking in the traditional way.  So I talked her into getting a bread machine several months ago (9 people can go through a lot of bread in a week).

She has since bought a second one - larger capacity (the 3 pound Black and Decker like mine) and bakes bread every day.

 

Today we had a lesson in cinnamon rolls - used two boxes of bread mix, cracked wheat and Sweet Hawaiian.  Since we aren't going to bake in the machine, this will work just fine.

 

Set on the DOUGH cycle, the machine does all the boring work, while one can go about other tasks and not even think about it.  There is a signal when the cycle is finished but we just left it in the machine for another 45 minutes.

 

Dumped it out on the dough board, divided it into two pieces, one I would work and she would duplicate what I was doing.

 

less than 30 minutes the rolls were formed and covered to rise for another 30 minutes and then into the oven. 

 

Total time expended, only a fraction of the usual time of mixing, kneading, rising, punching down, rising, and so on. 

End result - My pan, she would not allow me to take a photo of hers because I put a lot on Facebook.

 

That's a 15 inch pizza pan - to give you an idea of the size of these rolls.

Cinnamon rolls DONE!.JPG

 

Without the bread machine, she says she would not even bother to try to make these. 

 

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"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 too am a fan of bread machines.  I always use my bread machine for mixing dough although I bake in the oven.

Me too and I have put a step by step instruction photo series on my blog - for exactly how to do these cinnamon rolls.  I don't like icing on cinnamon rolls. Spoils the flavor for me.

"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, too, am using my bread machine much more these days to do the "heavy lifting part". It makes a fine dough without any attention from me. I simply shape it and bake it. Those cinnamon rolls look amazing, Andi.

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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

My 2004 eG Blog

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I, too, am using my bread machine much more these days to do the "heavy lifting part". It makes a fine dough without any attention from me. I simply shape it and bake it. Those cinnamon rolls look amazing, Andi.

As long as it encourages people to bake, I believe in using the "tools" that make it easier. 

For many that are novices in the kitchen, the whole yeast bread thing is quite daunting.  Removing all the drudgery and leaving just the "fun" part makes all the difference in the world.

Getting someone to deviate from the regular instructions is a bit more difficult but once they give it a try, they become more enthusiastic.

 

I instructed a class in cooking and baking at the women's and children's shelter a few years ago and I donated one of my spare bread machines (I still have several) and the women, and one teen took to using it regularly and even did some experimenting.  None of they had ever done anything with yeast bread prior to that.  Some had done no real cooking at all.  Not every one got through the entire 6 classes (once a week) but those that did stuck with it, or so the shelter director, a friend, told me. 

 

It was the same thing with making yogurt - once they learned the milk could be heated in the microwave, with no chance of scorching, as with heating on the stove top, they were very enthusiastic about it. 

"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 don't like icing on cinnamon rolls. Spoils the flavor for me.

Yes!! I'm not a fan of icing in general, but particularly on cinnamon rolls. Overpowers both the texture and flavor of the bread. People usually think I'm nuts when I mention it. (But I don't have a bread machine.)  :smile:

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I don't like icing on my cinnamon rolls either. Too sweet for me.

I love my Thermomix for making cinnamon bread dough. So fast and easy - and the machine does all the kneading. While I don't make cinnamon rolls very often any more, the only machine I use for them now is the TMX.

'Regular' bread however I make completely by hand, even though I have a food processor (which can at least cut down on the initial mix if not the kneading), a couple of Kitchen Aid mixers and the TMX. I was at one time given a bread machine but I never used it. I know one can just make the dough in it and not cook the bread into those non-homemade looking loaf shapes but that machine just never appealed to me for some completely unknown (to me) reason. I still love kneading by hand just as I did when I first started making bread 50 years ago - very satisfying somehow. Perhaps there will come a time that I cannot handle the kneading process .. not sure what I will do then.

I can certainly appreciate though that your 'student' and many like her or people with any disability at all should probably use a bread machine - it seems ideal for that so they can or will make bread at all. I think everyone should know how to make bread - and try making it at least once in their lives (and hopefully more than that).

(p.s. Darn you all - now you have me thinking about making cinnamon rolls. I may have to haul the TMX out of its corner this afternoon. :))

Edited by Deryn (log)
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