My husband’s grandmother is a collector of many things, from Hull dishware to designer dolls, but her most exciting collection adorns the walls of the stairwell leading down to the basement. It’s an assortment of vintage cooking utensils from the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of the items become a guessing game: What could this bulbous cast iron tool possibly be used for? Why, it’s a doughnut mold from 1895, of course. And how might this 1920s egg beater be superior to the 1915 egg beater right beside it? Bigger gears, more torque.
For our first apartment, she gifted us a set of ancient butcher shop cutting boards, somewhere between 50 and 100 years old. She excitedly pointed out that you could see the worn chop marks all over one, and animal blood stains were visible on the other. I was similarly excited by this. Who else can say they have these timeworn pieces of culinary history in their kitchen?
It’s likely we all have something like this, either gifted or found or carried from home to home over the years, entirely unique to our own ecosystem. What’s yours? What sorts of tools, dishware, or other trinkets does your kitchen hold that you’re willing to bet no one else’s does?