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Reader Callout: What is the Oldest Tool in Your Kitchen?

12/20/2011 11:05:51 AM

Tags: kitchen tools, equipment

Oldest Kitchen ToolNewfangled versions of sustainably harvested, recycled and upcycled green products are pretty cool, but an important part of a product's sustainability is also durability. If something lasts a good long time and is made with an eye to quality, you won't need to replace it, recycle it or upcycle it. So in the spirit of celebrating all things well-made, I'd like to know: What is the oldest tool in your kitchen?  

It might be a pot or pan, a sturdy knife, a handed-down marble rolling pin or even a long-lived electric appliance. When I asked myself this question, I immediately thought of the 70s-era fondue pot my mom found me at a garage sale and the smattering of cast iron pans my dad cooked in nearly every single day of my entire childhood. And I have no idea how long those tools existed before I did!

Tell us about your favorite OLD kitchen tools in the comments section below. Please share as many details as you have about this beloved piece of equipment, for example brand, make, model, and of course, why you love it. If you have a photo of the tool, email it to RealFood@MotherEarthNews.com with the subject line "Oldest Kitchen Tool." We'll choose from among your tips for the next installment of "Reader Tips" in the Real Food section of the April/May print issue. If we publish your contribution, you'll receive a complimentary copy of the issue.

Photo by Fotolia/Anja Kaiser 



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KAREN NABERHAUS
2/7/2012 10:04:14 PM
The oldest item in my kitchen is a hand crank coffee grinder made of metal with a wooden box and wooden drawer to catch the ground coffee. It still works well.

TALITHA WARK
2/3/2012 4:43:31 AM
I think the oldest tools in my kitchen are a wood and tin pastry cut and crimper, and um.. oh my favorite one the apron my grandmother made and used to wear..the funny thing is i painted my kitchen sanctuary green and when the apron arrived it was the same color in gingham cotton.

Deborah Evans
1/29/2012 12:01:46 AM
My oldest kitchen tool is a vintage 1890's Edgar nutmeg grater. There is no modern equivilalnt. It is the most wonderful gadget and I use it constantly in the winter months and whenever I want fresh grated nutmeg. Searched for and found on for each of my daughters last year.

Crystal Bollinger
1/28/2012 5:18:28 AM
I have a tie for the oldest items in my kitchen: A Magnalite skillet and a Magnalite roaster, both from my mother. She bought them in the 50s, shortly after she was married. These pans both see frequent use in my home, and work as perfectly as they ever did, even though they are twice as old as I am. I'm grateful to have such treasures in my kitchen.

KAY HILL
1/27/2012 3:35:36 AM
That is so neat Jim! I, too, have a small collection of church-town-relatives cookbooks from Oklahoma. Sadly to say, very few of the original contributors are still living which makes them so much more memorable. I am from Guthrie, OK and I am so glad that I have these cookbooks because they are a part of my OK heritage as well as a lasting reminder of the people that I once knew. There are some great recipes inside these small, possibly fundraising efforts put together by people that we have either known or are from the regions that we all 'hail' from...Thanks, Kate

Kay Hill
1/27/2012 2:45:19 AM
Hi there! Probably my most oldest and still usable item in my kitchen is my grandmother's rolling pin. Like cast iron skillets, rolling pins become 'seasoned' with use. (They really don't make rolling pins like they used to) Mine is all wood except for the metal bearings and inner rod. Rolling pins have to be used frequently in-order to develope the patina that builds up and lessens the over-use of excess flour to coat the rolling pin. Also, they should never be washed with soap and water..same as cast iron skillets. I prize my rolling pin because it is the very same one that my grandmother used to roll out her pie dough every morning to make her fresh pies when she owned her own 'down-home' cafe in Guthrie, Oklahoma..(1940's through early 1970's) I do not know how 'old' it is as I do not know when Grandma purchased it, or even if it was handed down from her mother.(?) I do know that a little knowledge concerning the care of such a valuable, usable piece of kitchen hardware goes along way towards maintaining its usefullness. Thank you for allowing me to post a comment...Kate

COLLEEN SMITH
1/27/2012 12:38:55 AM
I have a variety of vintage hand tools but my favorite is a potato masher used by my gg grandmother!

Ed Pierzynski
1/20/2012 6:51:12 AM
I have a variety of cookware and items from my mom,grandmothers, and great granparents. The collection of cast iron pans have probably seen a lot of meals made over the last hundred years. When I use them, it is like my family members are looking over my shoulder. It provides a warm and comforting feeling. Two of my favorites are a hand made cast iron pizzelle iron from my great grandfather and a pasta knife from my great great grandmother. The knife has a steel blade that is about 18 inches with a wooden handle. I don't use it for pasta, but the summer watermelons don't stand a chance against this knife. So if you have any of these old tools, dig them out of the drawer and put them to use and add to their memory.

ALICE HESS
1/20/2012 2:18:30 AM
I have an old elec. Sunbeam Wafflebaker & grill with the flipover plates, found at a seconed hand store for 25 cents. My Mother n Law gave me "still in its box never used" Best Made hand grinder. I also saved frome the seconed and store a hand crank salad shooter with all the parts, still makes the best cole slaw cuts. I also have some good quality old fashion hand porred blue and green canning jars that have the tinny teardrop shaped air bublbes, needless to say that I don't can with them.

Nancy Baldwin
1/18/2012 8:36:14 PM
I have over a dozen cast iron pots/pans/skillets I use on a daily basis. I also have a hand cranked wooden handle metal mixer I use too. I was told my grandmother used them from when her kids were kids up until her death last year. I cherish all of these things.

MARGOT MCCORMACK
1/15/2012 8:04:36 AM
It would be the Fissler pressure cooker (made in Germany) my mother gave each of us 3 working girls in the 60th. I just found out that I can no longer get a new gasket for the lid to seal the pot, what a bummer. It surely cut down on cooking time. Is anybody out there who is using a pressure cooker to cook meals, like corned beef and roasts or other dishes that require a long time to simmer? I am not interested in a slow cooker, who wants to smell the food for hours before it is time to eat.

MARGOT MCCORMACK
1/15/2012 7:50:22 AM
what a great story. I had an almost identical experience last week in the rented condo when I wanted to open a wine bottle. As a gardener I always have a pocketknife in my purse and that came to the rescue but with the same difficulties you had, but after several tries I got the cork out. Cheers

Charles Rowe
1/15/2012 3:57:21 AM
I have an old butcher knife I found in the yard of an old farmhouse my first wife and I bought years ago. I don't know how old it is or who made it. It is high carbon steel and was rusty when I found it. The only markings I can see say USA and some numbers partially worn off that look like it may say 776-1976.. I cleaned it up and sharpened it and it has been the best knife I've owned, much better than newer knives. It is the one thing I kept after my first 2 marriages ended and the one thing my current wife (#3) would fight over if we split up, that and our cast iron.

Susan Younkin
1/14/2012 9:12:52 PM
I have 3 Griswold Cast iron pieces... a waffle iron, a muffin pan, and a skillet. I also have many more cast iron pieces from both my grandmothers. I have an ancient potato ricer and 2 very old food mills. I have a coffee grinder that needed a new base since the old one fell apart; it had small handmade nails in it. I also have a garden knife from my father. I have an old potato masher with crisscrossed pieces and a bakolite handle. I have a grannyware hot water bath canner that was my grandmother's. Some of my canning jars are quite old, but still usable! I have my mother's old tassy pans. I love the old stuff and wouldn't dream of buying new. When my old egg beaters gave up, my husband did not buy me a new fangled electric, but a shiny new eggbeater that I hope lasts for my sons to use with all the wonderful memories the way I use the prior generations tools!

LISA DENNY
1/14/2012 6:29:03 PM
Probably the oldest kitchen tool I have is a rolling pin that was lovingly handcarved by my Great Grandfather about a century ago for my Great Grandmother. It still works like a dream!

SHERYL RENFROW
1/14/2012 4:10:29 PM
I have my maternal grandparents one gallon butter churn that is fully functioning-made butter just this fall. It is at least 100+ years old. Some of our grandchildren have been involved in the butter making process with me and I hope to pass this practice on to the next generation.

Donna Pierce
1/14/2012 3:58:47 PM
I have a chitarra my great grandfather made for my great grandmother about a 100 years ago. It appears to be made out of oak and maybe aluminum. It's still operational but I don't use it. I proudly display this antique pasta maker in my dining room. My great grandmother was a phenomenal Italian cook and I use many of her recipes today, which I have passes on to my daughter, the fifth generation. We use our Kitchen Aid mixers to make home-made pasta now. I also have her ricer and strainer she used for making gravy (we don't call it sauce!).

Schteveo
1/14/2012 1:57:58 PM
I've got three cast iron skillets that used to belong to my mother-in-law. (I'm that rare guy who had a GREAT mother-in-law, now my father-in-law...) I'm the primary cook here, and I love those skillets. I often think about meals I ate when we were MUCH younger that Mom cooked in this skillet. It's a 8" skillet with high sides that is perfect for corn bread or steak and gravy. She also left two 4" skillets that look like toys, but are actually great for frying a single egg. I know the large skillet was NOT new when she got it in the 50's. So it's over 60 years old and it's my favorite thing to have and use. We've also got some nice antique milk glass mixing and serving bowls. Probably from the 30's. We've got one bowl that's hard for me to think of as "antique". It's just a 1 qt, red outside, white inside Pyrex bowl. But it's one of the first things she bought when mt In-Laws got married in the late 40's. It's hard for me to call things antique that are only 4 or 5 years older than me. THAT kinda stuff HURTS! Jane Unger gets it too I see. Jane, I'd NEVER go back to 'young', how's about you. I also have a couple of knives that used to belong to my grandfather who was a superintendent in a meat packing plant (it was a slaughter house when I was a kid BTW) I was told by one knife expert that the butcher knife is Sheffield Steel made in the late 1800's. The others are probably 60 or 70 years old. One of them is in that range, but it had never been used or sharpened for use. I'm very lucky to own a 60+ year old knife that is effectively brand new!

SUSAN WIGLEY
1/14/2012 7:49:56 AM
My favorite old kitchen tools that I still use everyday are my cast iron skillets and a griddle from the early 1900's and my Grandmother's Chemex coffee maker from the 1950's. I have a lot of antique mixing bowls from the 1920's as well. They just don't make things like they used to.

TONY DAVIDSON
1/14/2012 3:53:00 AM
I have a skillet that belonged to my great uncle Hubert. It is U.S. Army issue and he carried it in World War 1. As with everything in World War 1, it ain't pretty, it ain't aluminum, it ain't light weight. Everything burns in it if you don't know how to cook with it!

Jane Unger
1/14/2012 3:47:00 AM
I have a lot of old things in my kitchen (in addition to me). I have milking buckets and a very large wooden cheese mold from my great parents dairy farm, and baking pans, rolling pin, flour sifter from my grandmother that she got when she was first married in the 1920s. I also love my pyrex mixing bowls and storage containers from about the 1940s. Some of my favorite things are all of the antique canning jars I have been collecting for most of my adult life - lots of blue ones and ones with the bail lids in addition to the ones with the zinc lids. I use the large ones for storing beans and other ingredients.

Beverly Nelson
1/14/2012 3:38:09 AM
I think the oldest things in my kitchen have go to be the cast iron skillets that once belonged to my other half's grandmother!

Debbie Scott
1/14/2012 1:53:49 AM
I have a lot of vintage kitchen items, but the oldest thing I have is a Cutco knife I bought when I got married in 1971. It is over 40 yrs. old and still looks new! I may ask to get buried with it!

Sue Heath
1/14/2012 1:07:21 AM
I have an aluminum double-boiler that my mother made rice in everyday. It is dented and banged up and the lid is a little wonky. I can remember mom using it back when I was less then 10 and now I am almost 70. Probably eating food from that aluminum pot contributed to my memory loss. lol

gloria norman
1/14/2012 12:24:18 AM
Have a Daisy Churn from waay back, it is an original.. Have an iron that you put boiling water in to a resivour to steam ironThe list just goes on and and on.

SHERIE DALTON
1/13/2012 11:33:17 PM
I have an egg beater from, my guess, the 1940's or 1950's. I bought it at an antique store because of its cute pink, plastic or Bakelite handle. It's a Maynard, for anyone that knows their eggbeaters. I decided it looked to easy to use instead of dragging out my KitchenAid mixer. I absolutely love using it for simple jobs. If there is too much to mix, my hands get tired. I've been using it for about 15 years now.

Vincent Anastasi
1/13/2012 10:57:06 PM
The last time I was at my mother-in-laws, I was digging through the kitchen drawers looking for a corkscrew to open a bottle of organic wine. Finding one was a challenge, as much of what Bonnie has is a hodge-podge of old or used kitchen tools from family. New-fangled things are hard to find! Reaching back into the drawer I pulled out a round folded pocket corkscrew. I have no idea how old it is, but it certainly had the antiquated feel of something from a bygone era. The sad part is, I'm such a wimp (I guess) that I couldn't pull the cork out of the bottle just with the sheer strength of my arm. I eventually found a somewhat newer corkscrew and we shared our glass of wine. If nothing else, I have gained a greater respect for those classy cats who showed up at parties with such round folded pocket corkscrews, ready to bring life to the party with their fancy gadget. Since then, I've begun a rigorous bicep building routine.... :)

ABBEY BEND
1/13/2012 9:14:42 PM
Pre 1900s cast iron cookware, 1923 electric waffle iron, 1940s flour measure/sifter, 1920 earthen ware bowls, 1700s salt glazed crock, 1750s side board, 1840 kitchen dining table, Cook book from late 1800s, cook book from 1932, couple of my favorites. More stuff but as my kitchen somewhat resembles a museum, it is hard to remember what all of the tinware, etc... is date wise. Always cruising the antique malls for items I like to use. Love my modern Kitchen Aide Mixer, but the old stuff has my heart for cooking so many things! :)

Karen Pennebaker
1/13/2012 8:06:06 PM
When our house burned down in October of 2010, because we live so far from a fire company and secure water source, we had no insurance. Nearly everything we owned was destroyed but some very old things survived the fire. I have an aluminum pan, 12 x 18 x 2 inches high that belonged to my grandmother Scott that was not harmed along with most of my collection of iron skillets (yes, I used them and still do!). The odd thing about this fire was that basically all that survived was old stuff - the head to the china doll my grandmother Scott gave me is intact as is the gravy boat that belonged to my grandmother Smith. The only "new" thing that survived was what was in a small fireproof lock box filled with important papers. The box itself was charred to ashes but the contents survived. I have no idea how old the aluminum pan, etc, are but they are all older than I am and I'm 73 years old. I have been reading "mother" since the beginning.

SHERRY HARRISON
1/13/2012 7:55:36 PM
My most cherished tool may not be as old as some, but when you consider I use it EVERY day I guess it has some age to it. I got my trusted paring knife at a local church bazaar in the 1980s. Wooden handled, it has a steel blade which will still rust if not taken care of properly. It has been sharpened so often it has taken on a form all its own. Which makes it even more personal. Unfortunately the handle is finally starting to disintegrate and time is simply catching up with my old friend. It will be a sad day when I have to retire her. "New" knives just don't have any personality.

OK doke
1/13/2012 7:54:25 PM
Cast iron frypans dating from pre 1905 (from his side of family), an 1898 oak round kitchen table (his great grandmother's) and a slotted metal spoon that my mother gave me that was hers, and came from an estate auction (so pre 1960). The frypans have made a lot of fried chicken, the table has had many meals eaten off it, and the spoon has made many batches of cookies (perfect for creaming butter and sugar together).

JOSEPH CALVERT
1/13/2012 7:23:58 PM
We have a Sunbeam CoffeeMaster vacuum pot coffee maker that dates to around 1940. Bought it at an auction last summer in a box of other treasures that cost me 2 bucks. Once I figured out how to use it, I've used it to make coffee every day since. It really makes a good cup of coffee.

Mary Powell
1/13/2012 7:16:25 PM
I have many old kitchen tools but the ones that I collect are ones you cant find now but that are still very useful. One of my favorites is a wide(14") , flat bottomed, metal sieve. The bottom is covered with small holes. The sides are about 4" tall, and there is a hole in the rim for hanging. I use it for peeling and cleaning vegetables and fruit. I can pick, rinse, peel,and take out and empty in the compost bin, then return and give vegetables a final rinse before cooking. They and the large fine mesh handled strainers, are hard to find in good condition and are something I use most every day. I now have to collect for children and grandchildren who grew up using these tools.

TED KELLY
1/13/2012 7:00:43 PM
I forgot one, I have a casserole dish that dates back to at least the early 60's. Mom always used it for her "macaroni pie", I still do. My girlfriend broke one of the handles about 2 months ago, I still haven't forgiven her, even though I told her it was OK! A little White lie for peace in the household....

TED KELLY
1/13/2012 6:52:24 PM
I have my great grandmothers wooden biscuit bowl. I don't know how old it is, but Great Grandma died in 1880. It is very thick and heavy, Grandma and my Mom made the best biscuits with it. Mine aren't as good, but that's my fault! I also have two other old ones, that I don't know the exact age. One is a #8 10" cast iron frying pan that belonged to Grandma and my mother, I use it almost daily. It is the perfect cornbread pan, never sticks! The other is a "tatermasher" that belonged to Mom, I remember helping her mash potatoes with it in the early 60's. I have never saw another one like it. It is round with crisscrossing sections, so there are no lumps. A lot of people have tried to get me to give or sell it to them over the years because it works so good! I will try to send pictures when I get home!

deborah miller
1/13/2012 6:51:18 PM
My oldest and most cherished kitchen tool is a wooden spoon that i inherited from my mother's mother - grandmother's spoon was brought over when she emigrated to the US from Germany in 1892. If this old spoon could talk about all the delicious meals it has mixed up in all those120 years - this is a spoon i will pass on to my daughter someday.

Dave Rossi
1/13/2012 6:45:37 PM
I have an old ricer from my great, great grandmother. It's an aluminum funnel with an old, turned and well aged wooden pestel (however you spell that word). The pestel's tip has worn into a sharp point. It makes phenomenal tomato and apple sauce. I'm sure it has many other uses, but I use it primarily for that. We can trace it back to at least 1910, though my great, great grandmother would have been in her 30s by then. So it could be older.

Christine Pedersen
1/13/2012 6:33:19 PM
woops... make that John B Harker & Co.

Christine Pedersen
1/13/2012 6:26:51 PM
The waffle iron .. on one side it's imprinted with: "The Harker" Patent May 8 1883 and in the middle No 8 for 7-8049 (those last numbers are hard to read and might be wrong). The other side has: John B. Hrker & Co. Minneapolis. The crystal is pink.. but not depression glass... this is beautiful pink crystal stemware from about 1912.

Alisha Hauser
1/13/2012 6:21:32 PM
Just a glass casserole dish that my Mom was going to take to good will and I rescued it. It is not pretty, but it was used so much when I was a kid, part of my childhood, I had to have it. It is a good size for side dishes and still gets lots of use.

Christine Pedersen
1/13/2012 6:12:07 PM
My 1883 cast iron waffle iron! I love it, and make sourdough waffles on it every week or two. It makes the very best waffles! (picked it up at a swap meet for $15.) I have crystal from my grandmother's first home... this year it turns 100 yrs old. An Iona hand mixer from 1970, which came with a 10 yr warranty. Blender from 1971. Stand mixer from 1982. I love seeing all the pretty, new appliances, and would like to upgrade, but these still work, so I can't justify spending the money.

Lynn Koppner
1/13/2012 5:57:51 PM
So tough to choose from. I have many old tools that I use daily but I would have to say I would be lost with out my Toshiba Food Processor, circa 1970. I bought it in a thrift store not knowing if it would work or not when first married. It was expensive for our budget, $4.00 at the time. Not week has gone by since that day that it has not had a chance to ease my life. This morning it provided potato pancakes for breakfast. Two years ago I thought it was time to upgrade so I bought a new kitchen aid food processor. I kept trying to use it. I finally used it right out the door to a needy person chopping slaw by hand! I lost the pusher a few years ago but I kept on hoping to one day find it or a replacement. This last week I finally found another one that fit it while cleaning out an old shed on our new property. In celebration we had fresh salsa and chips with dinner.

Barbara DuMont
1/13/2012 4:46:52 PM
My great grandmother's hand craved oak rolling pin. Its over a 100 years old and its the best rolling pin--much better than any of the modern ones that I have tried.

Cindi Rollins
1/13/2012 1:12:49 PM
I still use the waffle iron my parents got as a wedding present in 1950. It's dinged and tarnished, but makes the best waffles!

Cindy Hoffmann
1/11/2012 6:54:00 AM
Oh so many to choose from! I have my grandmother's cookware and some of my mothers, Many of the gadgets I was brought up using and still do. The iron skillets are probably top of the list, I have no clue how old. Second place would be the "bell chopper" . This poor tool I wore out to where the handle finally broke. Greatest thing in the world for making egg salad and chopping berries for shortcake! I also love my '70s sugar poorer. It's a glass jar with a plastic cap that measures out a teaspoon at a time. Wish I could find a new one! I have a bunch of "modern" gadgets too, but seem to keep reaching for the old standbys.

Cindy H
1/11/2012 6:23:45 AM
I have one of those! Not so good for smaller bottles, but a jar of pickles don't stand a chance!

Lisa McCann
1/7/2012 7:43:37 PM
I will email a photo of the pine bough whisk.

Lisa McCann
1/7/2012 7:42:35 PM
My great-grandmother, an immigrant from Russia, made this whisk from a pine branch. Since my mother was born in the early 30s, and this was her grandmother's tool, this must be REALLY old! My mom remembers as a young child watching her gramma use it. It has definitely been used a lot, because the stem where she put her hands is a little darker and smoother than the rest of the stem. The whisk "arms" are smoothed as well. To use this whisk, you hold it upright, with the stem between your palms, and rub your palms briskly back and forth. The circle of branch arms do the blending. It works really well! I only use this tool occasionally when I want to connect to my great-grandma, who I never knew. When I use this tool, it makes food preparation memorable and enjoyable- and when the preparation of food is enjoyable, the meal itself is more satisfying.

Katrina Andrews
1/4/2012 2:32:18 AM
I have a pair of tongs (one tong, like pants, are they a pair?). I kidnapped it from my mother's house when I moved out 21 years ago. They have to be close to 35 years old, as I can't remember a time they weren't in use. From turning chicken in the frying pan to portioning out spaghetti at the table, they were always there.

Jim Fawcett
12/31/2011 3:04:17 PM
I have a handful of old church cookbooks that include hand written notes from relatives who are no longer able to contribute to my kitchen in person....

joyce satcher
12/29/2011 2:29:09 PM
My most treasured...my grandmother's cast iron pans & a cast iron waffle maker which belonged to her mother! the waffle maker was made to use on an old wood stove.....I have made waffles on it, but not in awhile, you have to lift it to flip it & it's heavy! but i do think the waffles are better from it I still make cornbread in her "cornbread skillet" & my daughter (34yrs old) has grandmas small cornbread skillet......what a legacy!!!

L Mures
12/29/2011 5:37:49 AM
Definitely a Foley food mill, which I love for making applesauce--no need to peel or core your apples before you cook them. It's durable and convenient. I absolutely love the thing. It's like this: http://www.etsy.com/listing/79848869/foley-food-mill-applesauce-maker-red?ga_search_query=foley&ga_search_type=user_shop_ttt_id_6262900

THOMAS SPISAK
12/29/2011 4:16:16 AM
most of the time, the cook -- though we have a couple of heirloom rolling pins

SHEILA SNYDER
12/29/2011 2:40:03 AM
The OLDEST tool in my kitchen would be my Griswold Round Broiler (circa 1890)now used as a wall hanger. Love all my OLD Griswold Cast Iron ! As for an Old tool that is used regularly it would have to be Grandma's Hamilton Beach Gourmet Grinder Model # 223 1....Grinds the perfect Cranberry Orange Relish !

rosalie robison
12/28/2011 10:35:12 PM
I am woman. I am superwoman and can open any jar or bottle with my Edlund Top-off jar & bottle screw top opener. It is vintage 1930s, metal, with a red wooden handle that adjusts to many different sizes. I'd be lost without it as opening jars and bottles is like wrestling with a closed vice.

Luann Watson
12/28/2011 10:12:57 PM
I was given a potato masher from the early 1900s...it has been a mainstay and is used routinely. It is part of a collection that I take into school and share with my students...what is this and what is it used for? I challenge them to bring in some sort of simple tool/implement/equipment. Over the years, we've had so many cool things brought in and shared. Keep up the good work!

Jennifer Bishop
12/28/2011 9:02:19 PM
I have a cast iron skillet I got from my mom. I believe she inherited it from my grandmother. It's a 10 inch skillet and perfectly nonstick. I prefer it to any other pan in my kitchen for most cooking.

sheri mcneil
12/21/2011 5:07:44 PM
I have a "mandolin" that my great, great grandmother used to shred cabbage for sourcrout. My great, great grand mother bought it from a "tinker's wagon". She always told about hearing that wagon coming from miles away with the pots and pans and tools all clanking along the way. It is a big wooden base with a still sharp blade in it. I use it for slicing potatoes for scalloped or fried potatoes . I also have a cast iron ladle with a very long handle that my great, great grandmother used for when she made concord jelly. I don't use the ladle, but it has the best story attached. When my great, great grandmother and my great grandmother were making jelly, my great grandmother's child was screaming. My G.G. grandmother told my G. grandmother to quiet that child down. My G. grandmother hit my G.G. grandmother in the center of her forhead with that ladle and my G.G. grandmother had a knot on her forhead for the rest of her life. Guess I come from some scrappers.....

Sherry Tucker
12/21/2011 3:04:44 PM
We inherited my husband's grandmother's rolling pin. It was handmade by his grandfather from cedar when they were first married. It was the only rolling pin she ever owned and I saw her use it to roll out pie crust and crescent rolls many times. It's an old relic, full of love and labour!

Jane Onspaugh
12/21/2011 12:50:56 AM
my great-grandmother's egg separator. It is a single piece of metal wire bent into a handle and conical spiral to separate the egg. I don't use it much, but it sure is nice when I need it. And, it is also a great conversation piece in my kitchen tool jug since my friends have no idea what it is.

JOHN SEALANDER
12/20/2011 9:33:30 PM
Our oldest tool in the kitchen is my wife's grandmother's cast Iron dutch oven. When my wife was growing up her granny cooked everything in it and so do we! Grandma was raised in Catalochee (where the Smoky Mountains National park is now) and when the government took their land and moved them off she had many tales to tell my wife about growing up in the mountains, but the thing we prize the most is that old pan. I reckon it's at least 100 years old now, probably more, and works like a champ. You can season a new pan in a few hours, but a 100+ year old family dutch oven has SOUL! Buy Cast Iron and past it on.










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Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

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