08 January 2007

Old Kitchen Stuff is Hot, Says Saveur Magazine

Finally. I'm in. Rather, my kitchen is.

According to the most recent issue of Saveur Magazine, used kitchen utensils are hot right now. They made Saveur's Top 100 list for 2007. People like to use the same spoons or bowls Mom or Grandma used, say the foodies at Saveur.

I knew that. Chances are, so did you. We like the cracks and the scratches and the mars and the imperfections. We can relate to them.

I have always wanted old stuff in my kitchen. Since I was a teenager, I've collected odds and ends from my grandmothers' kitchens. Grandma Annie's mixing bowls. Grandma Laura's big bread bowl. Old flour sifters and egg beaters. I went through a stage when I loved all that old red-and-green handled stuff. More recently, I've collected old crocks. They serve a purpose in my kitchen as cache pots for nuts or garlic or tea bags.

I think we find comfort and continuity in old things. Maybe a bit of luck, too. If I were making Laura's famous raisin-graham bread or Annie's Lady Baltimore cake, you can bet I'd do it in those old vessels. Just in case.

Besides, old things give a kitchen character. Believe me, my kitchen has plenty of character. Clutter, too.

What's old in your kitchen?

22 comments:

Tanna said...

Mimi I love your crocks!
I also feel the old stuff connects me back to all those cooks from the past!

Mimi said...

You think of their hands holding this and that and filling the crocks with something good. . .

We need those connections.

Food really is about connecting, isn't it?

Blogs are just another way to connect, aren't they, Tanna.

So glad we've connected!.

Lydia said...

My grandmother's chopper -- the glass jar with a plunging blad attached to the lid -- is my prized possession.

Mimi said...

Oh, yeah, my grandmother had one, too. Wonder where it went? She used it so often.

Lu said...

I have several old crocks and bowls that I've accumulated over time, but they are more decorative than utilitarian. I have concerns that some of the old pieces have lead in them. As for some of the old utensils, I also try to stay away from aluminum for health concerns. But, my kitchen definitely has many items of old because they are dear to me.

Mimi said...

don't use the old aluminum utensils, either, Lu — that's a good point. I'm a bit hestitant with some of the bowls, too. But nuts in shells and garlic — I figure that's OK.

Anonymous said...

what's old in my kitchen? Just about everything, although I don't use most of it. I'm with Lu on the bowls, I am still using the ones from my mother. Hubby and I didn't get new ones when we married. Asian tradition is to give money instead of gifts and the money went to paying off the wedding. I will know I've made it when I have new plateware!

cityfarmer said...

Butter dishes, crocks, aprons, ironstone,depresson glass in green, ivory handled flatware...everything I own is old and well used...(by us)....

cityfarmer said...

oh, p.s. thank you for the lofty sidebar favorites!!!! I'm honored.

Mimi said...

You're welcome, City Farmer. A pretty eclectic list, I think — and I like it that way.

One of these days, I'll organize them better. . .

Lu said...

Mimi - oh, I have a red-handled utensil collection too. I like the rotary egg beater utensil the best I think. Just so simple, you know? Some (most?) are likely Bakelite. I'm not very good at the scratch and sniff test, I just know what I like when I see it! Yes, good idea, to quit job and cook all day. Would that it were a reality, eh?

Terry B said...

I agree that "old stuff" gives a kitchen warmth and character. Among our old things are crockery, serving platters [one dating back to the 1840s] and an old enamel bread box I picked up years ago in London at the antique flea market along Portobello Road. We also have an impressive collection of Manhattan glass dinnerware from the 30s and early 40s, begun, ironically enough, with three plates bought along with some diner dishes at a junk shop in decidedly unurbane Doe Run, Missouri.

Mimi said...

I think Bakelite is pretty cool, Lu. I just think it takes us back to another time, when kitchens were a bit more utilitarian. Some kitchens today are just too high-concept, ya know?

Sounds like you like to scour "Junk shops," Terry. I had these blue butter crocks — one is in the photo — and I found a small one recently at an antiques store in an old church. I paid what I thought was a lot for it — but I enjoy it, so I guess it's worth it. Those "unurban" places are treasure troves.

Jann said...

The only thing old in my kitchen is me-well besides me, I have a few bowls from my mother and a silver ladle for soups. I use the ladle all the time! When she would visit, she would search for it, get out the silver polish and shine it so the entire kitchen reflected in it. As far as antique things, not a lot. My father was an immigrant from Holland and his family traveled with very little, as you can imagine.

Mimi said...

Doesn't matter how much or how little you have — the connection is kind of spiritual anyway.

I actually have very little from my family. Just things no one else wanted. That made me want them all the more.

Kristen said...

Was old stuff out for awhile? I must have missed that one!

Lu said...

Kristen - now THAT'S funny!

Mimi said...

LOL. I missed it, too, Kristen.

But, hey, it's in now.

According to the savants and trendsetters at Saveur.

Lu said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

mimi
Did you get the magazine in the mail? I've been trying to find the list online for the last 3 days.
When we moved to France I had to get rid of most of my kitchenware so I don't have any of my mom's or grandma's cooking utensils, bowls, etc. I did keep tablecloths and quilts and books though.

Mimi said...

Yes, LouLou, it came in the mail on Saturday, I think, or maybe Friday.

I love getting Saveur. I savor Saveur.

I love these lists, too! Yours included

Koekkener said...

Sometimes old tools and utensils are good in our kitchen and make a good help for us. I like your article thank you for posting.