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Who thought this up?


andiesenji
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I don't know about the rest of you, but when I can no longer mash potatoes by hand, I am going to hang up my apron and retire.

I have never liked the texture of potatoes whipped with a mixer. I like a few lumps, so I know I am consuming real potatoes and not some reconstituted pap.

Potato steamer and masher.

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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It does seem to be the answer to a question nobody asked?

The single review pretty much seems to verify my initial impression, ie: "Overall rating: would use as a steamer only."

SB (or maybe for making baby food?)

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Well, it might be useful to someone with a handicap that prevents them from mashing potatoes. Would have been handy when I had my arm strapped to my body for six weeks due to rotator cuff surgery.

The review doesn't make it seem to be worthwhile.

I'll pass.

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I have never liked the texture of potatoes whipped with a mixer.  I like a few lumps, so I know I am consuming real potatoes and not some reconstituted pap.

Interesting observation. My mom always made mashed potatoes with a mixer, and they always came out with a few lumps (which I too liked & still do).

Makes me wonder - did she know exactly when to stop the mixer, or were the mixers of the late 1950s different from modern-day devices?

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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The person who thought it up probably had a Victorian ancestor who thought this up.

gallery_45101_3994_52505.jpg

You put your cottage pie meat etc in the bottom, and your mashed potato on top of the perforated plate. I think. Knowledge was "assumed". I guess you then lifted off the top via the handle and served the potato from it. I suppose it stopped the mash falling into the meat?

Naturally, one's servants would do the washing up.

I can post the recipe that goes with this, should any of you have one of these gadgets lurking in the back of a cupboard anywhere!

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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You put your cottage pie meat etc in the bottom, and your mashed potato on top of the perforated plate. I think. Knowledge was "assumed". I guess you then lifted off the top via the handle and served the potato from it. I suppose it stopped the mash falling into the meat? 

I checked out your recipe and agree with your interpretation.

Why go to this much trouble, I don't know, unless oven space was at a premium and this arrangement allowed two dishes to cook in one space? And I suppose gravy may have soaked up into the bottom of the potatos to compliment the "delicate brown crust" through the perforations, which otherwise serve no purpose?

SB (always thought "pasty" had to have a pastry crust? :hmmm: )

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You put your cottage pie meat etc in the bottom, and your mashed potato on top of the perforated plate. I think. Knowledge was "assumed". I guess you then lifted off the top via the handle and served the potato from it. I suppose it stopped the mash falling into the meat? 

I checked out your recipe and agree with your interpretation.

Why go to this much trouble, I don't know, unless oven space was at a premium and this arrangement allowed two dishes to cook in one space? And I suppose gravy may have soaked up into the bottom of the potatos to compliment the "delicate brown crust" through the perforations, which otherwise serve no purpose?

SB (always thought "pasty" had to have a pastry crust? :hmmm: )

Hmmm. But it would cook in one space anyway, with the potato on top of the meat?. The recipe (and picture) appear in several cookbooks of the time (plagiarism was rife and was occasionally scorned, but usually unpunished) and then suddenly seemed to disappear. Perhaps it will re-appear, just to compliment the wonderful modern steamer/masher thing. Who has the kitchen space for this sort of gadget anyway?

I suspect at least part of the "invention" was the Victorians' love of a piece of tableware or kitchenware for everything, necessary or not.

As for the pastry crust for a pasty - I agree. But then I dont think a "pot pie" is a REAL pie either. I may have just made some enemies with that statement.

Come to Oz sometime and I'll make you a REAL pie.

Janet

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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I was just back in the US for a month and stopped by Value Village (a big thrift store) in Seattle. I was amazed/amused at the sheer number of such specialized cooking inventions. A sandwich griller (the frying pan doesn't work?), a hot dog heater, an egg poacher, a hamburger former. I don't know if it's about laziness or just the passion for new gadgets. But they sure were cheap!

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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Even when my right shoulder was out of commission from bursitis, I still managed to mash potatoes with my left hand using one of my "vintage" gadgets, a spring-loaded double masher which does a fine job. I wasn't able to lift the pot to drain the potatoes so I used a pasta dipper to move them to a flat-bottomed casserole so the depth of the potatoes was much less than usual.

It is true that old mixers did not whip quite as vigorously as modern ones. I think my objection was mainly because people actually whipped them too much which seemed to me to develop a glue-y consistency.

It is true the Victorians and American's of the same era, the "Gilded Age," thought up a bunch of "labor-saving" gadgets, some of which were extremely odd. (some looked like instruments of torture.)

I don't have one of the gadgets pictured, but I did have an 1890s stacked steamer - made for cooking on a two-burner "efficiency range" and indicating that a stew or "stewing meat" can cook in the bottom, potatoes, turnips or other root vegetables can steam in the chamber above the base and cabbage or "rough greens" whatever that is, in the next one up, with the top chamber reserved for steaming bread or buns to "freshen."

The tiers lock together with three thumbscrews at each level (that get very hot and are difficult to operate) and has a vent at the top, moved by a lever that is so sharp I cut myself the first time I took it apart. It seems to me so top-heavy that I wonder how many women (or men desparate enough to try to cook for themselves) were burnt or scalded. I decided I really didn't need it and traded it for a neat (and useful) pie safe.

"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 was just back in the US for a month and stopped by Value Village (a big thrift store) in Seattle. I was amazed/amused at the sheer number of such specialized cooking inventions. A sandwich griller (the frying pan doesn't work?), a hot dog heater, an egg poacher, a hamburger former. I don't know if it's about laziness or just the passion for new gadgets. But they sure were cheap!

Sandwich grills are not new. I have several from the '20s and '30s that are works of art in their looks and purpose.

They were originally made to be used at the dining table, were very fancy, and not a substitute for a skillet.

Now, of course, with the popularity of panini, they have come back into fashion.

They have been around all along, but without the ribs. Most waffle bakers had reversable plates, smooth on one side for sandwich grilling and waffled on the other.

I often use an electric egg poacher, I think they are great. I can sit at the table and not have to stand over a stove, get my toast from the toaster, butter it and transfer my non-watery perfectly poached egg to my toast with little effort.

However, if I am poaching a large number of eggs, I do it the old-fashioned way.

"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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