I dog sat for some friends recently while they were on vacation in Europe. As a thank you they brought me back an antique English pewter deciliter taster mug. It’s from the late 1800s. I keep toothpicks in it. It always draws questions from guests.
I also have a Griswold dutch oven from around 1905 that a friend gave me for helping her move. She was going to take it to Goodwill. It mostly gets used for baking bread. It’s a gorgeous pot. One (wo)man’s trash…
Finally, I have a vintage 20cm 4 Star Elephant Sab in carbon steel. A friend of mine from Paris brought it back from an antique shop during a visit home a few years back. She said it’s from the late 70s, but I’m not certain. It’s a great little knife. It’s the smallest of my 3 chef knives. I wish it was a touch longer. It’s the knife I let guests use when they are in my kitchen.
What are the oldest things in your kitchen and what are their stories?
It’s between me, a recently-minted septuagenarian, and my flea market cast iron, whose birthdays I don’t know.
The oldest should be the Japanese National rice cooker that I bought in 98 or 99 when I was living in Italy at that time. We still use it today.
Next, pot and pan both in stainless steel and a few dishes, bowls, spoons, fork and knives… bought by my husband, before we were together some 19 years ago. I started cooking seriously only around 13-15 years ago, I don’t get antiques kitchenwares and no valuables hanged down from families. Even the kitchen itself was built around 9 years ago.
My great-grandmother’s cast iron skillet, which is now fully 100 years old and smooth as a mirror.
I collect fruit jars aka, canning jars, and there’s no telling exactly how old they are, but for instance I have a half gallon handmade amber Mason’s Patent Nov 30th 1858 with a Maltese cross embossed with HFJCO (Hero Fruit Jar Company) and it had to have been made from 1870 - 1900. So just in case that one isn’t super old, I have 3 more in different versions. I didn’t buy them. I also have an amber Trademark Lightning, a Millville Atmospheric, a light amber Globe, The Excelsior, The Daisy, and a whole bunch more I put in the basement so my teenage sons and their friends don’t break them.
Probably my Grandma’s Bromwell flour sifter from the 1950s. I know I have some other items of Grandma’s that I got from my Mom recently after moving her into assisted living, but they’re packed up and I just don’t recall them.
My grandparents “cazuelas” (earthenware cookware, palleras, a metal pan to cook Spanish rice dishes and paellas, amongst other sentimental ítems ) however, all of these were moved to our 2nd flat up on the Northern Costa Brava when we renovated our flat in Barcelona, and remodelled the entire kitchen and reformed the whole condominium.
Wedgewood stove circa 1944 is first. I’m probably the second oldest thing in my kitchen.
Maybe not the oldest but certainly the most fought over tool from my youth, is this cool antique cherry pitter that was my grandmothers. It makes a terrific mess but is really optimal if you are making a pie.
The wok I got for Christmas in around 1975. My parents were baffled, both by the request and by where to find one.
It would honestly be easier to name the half dozen or so items that arent old- we’re vintage lovers and I’m a vintage/ antique dealer. Almost everything we have is old. The house is 1914, kitchen and bath remodelled in 1955, the O’Keefe and Merrit stove is late 40s, the dishes, glasses, serving pieces are all 30’s-50s, mostly Fiesta and Franciscan. The flatware is 50’s Oneida twin star. The vast majority of cookware is pre-60s but there is some 60’s Dansk. I made the cafe curtains from a 50s tablecloth. If I wear an apron while I cook it’s a vintage apron. I drive my 1954 Ford F-100 to get the store to get the food I cook. I sit in our 1930s Heywood Wakefield livingroom furniture while I wait for things to cook and eat at our enamelled 1920s deco diningroom table. I fall asleep in our 1950s Heywood bed full from a big dinner.
The fridge, toaster oven, instant pot, electric kettle and french press and maybe a few other things are not old.
Two things come to mind: my mom’s La Machine food processor from the 70’s and a 100+ year old cast iron skillet that belonged to my grandma. They remain two of the best kitchen tools I own.
Probably the Nyafat canister with text in English and Yiddish. Not sure how old it is; I would guess it is from the 1920s. Although there are a couple of utensils that might pre-date it.
I forgot about my own O’Keefe and Merrit stove, also probably from the '40s. I’m thinking about replacing it.
I’d love to see a picture of this!
When was the last time you used it?
Welcome to HO! What do you do with these jars? Do you use them for anything or are they just for decoration?
We have a winner! You made me chuckle. Thanks!
Do you keep anything in the canister?
It was my parents’ sugar canister until 2011, but now it’s basically decoration.