Kitchen technology

In yesterday’s installment of “adventures in remodeling,” we packed up our kitchen.  For the next few weeks, we’ll be camping out in the living room, cooking with a single burner and a microwave.  In other words, the same way we’ve been cooking for the past 20 years, but in the living room.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

This process required us to pack up everything except a small collection of kitchen equipment that we’ll use in our living-room camp-out.  I thought it was telling that our first two must-have choices were a martini glass (Tim) and a colander for pasta (me).  What we’d want on a desert island.

As I packed up the various drawers of random kitchen equipment, I came across a couple of interesting items that I think I tossed in the boxes coming from my Dad’s house in 1997.  I find them funny for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is: my father essentially didn’t cook.  He knew how to make his own standard breakfast (two fried eggs over easy; burned* & buttered toast); a couple of standard dinners (hamburgers;** steak; roast chicken****); and vacation food (lobster*****).  I don’t think he was unable to cook; he just liked those things and didn’t see any reason to expand his food horizons.  When he and I traveled to China in 1981, he survived largely on packaged peanuts.

Anyway, here are some of the tools I inherited from Dad.  First, a snicker for your inner 11-year-old:

Image: scissors-like tool with two scoops at the end, in package that reads "Swedish & Cocktail Meat Baller."

If the meat baller weren’t enough, he also had a melon-baller, though from Spain or Mexico, so we miss the English-language snicker.  I love  “¡¡si!!” on the packaging.  Whatever problem this tool is solving, we are clearly intended to be very happy that it has solved it.
Image:  tool with very small scoop at the end; packaging is in Spanish.
I loved the idea of a culture so into eating sardines that it would develop a single tool for opening the sardine can and eating the contents.
Image:  Tool still in packaging that permits opening a sardine can and eating the sardines using the single tool.
What is this and why did Dad have one?
Image:  unexplained tool with hook at the end.
What is this and why did Dad have two of them?
Imate:  Two identical tools consisting of a handle and an approximately two-inch by four-inch set of parallel blades.
Prehistoric food processor:
Image:  small cylindrical grating blade in a plastic housing with a turn handle.
And finally, just a couple of cool, old, weathered kitchen tools:
Image: old cheese parer with handle and single blade.
Image: weathered bottle opener.
Image:  Old style jar opener.
Detail:
Image:  close up of old style jar opener showing the words  "jar wrench wizard."
In conclusion, show of hands, how many people think I should (1) learn how to use the white balance****** features of my camera and software; and (2) get some real lighting equipment:
Image:  Camera set up to photograph objects on a table.  Lighting comes from a desk lamp on top of a cardboard box on top of a stool.

***********

* Intentionally.  And when he ordered bacon in a restaurant, he would go to great pains to insist that it be burned as well.

** Classic divorced dad moment:  he wanted to make hamburgers for us; little shits that we were, we*** wanted McDonalds.  Dad: “OK, then, if you want a McDonalds hamburger, I’d be happy to step on your burger before I serve it to you.”

*** And by “we” I mean “Bruce.”

**** IIRC, Dad’s recipe called for dowsing the chicken in butter every five minutes while it roasted.  No question, that was an excellent roast chicken.

*****  Steamed; dipped in butter.

****** This has to do with the temperature of light, not some weird-ass reverse affirmative action.

4 thoughts on “Kitchen technology

  1. rodneynorth

    I love the old kitchen tools – especially those still in their original, sometimes exotic, unopened packaging. I had similar moment with David & Ruth in November. I needed to hose down something in the yard and David got me a hose spray attachment. It was still in its original, unopened packaging, clearly marked “Made in West Germany”, with a Hechinger store sticker. So that must have been setting on a shelf for at least 25 years. Judging from the fonts & colors I guessed it was even older by a good bit.

    & IMHO I think ‘white balance’ could be old-fashioned affirmative action, as in ‘I think we got too many whites around here and we need some balance’. Regardless, I’d be all for you learning that photo trick. I’m sure there’s an app for that.

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  2. BlueLoom

    I think your “prehistoric food processor” is either a cheese grater (hard cheeses like Parmigiano) or maybe a nutmeg grater.

    As to the gadget w/ the serrated hook at the end…it looks familiar, and I’m sure we had a use for it, but the synapses aren’t firing at the moment. Could it be a butter curler? YES!!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter_curler

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    1. Teal_Cuttlefish (@Teal_Cuttlefish)

      I came here just to say that the curly serrated knife was a butter curler. And I think, since it’s hard to see, that the melon baller’s “si!!” (No clue how to do the upside down ones) is “Yes! It’s product of our company!” The pair of gadgets look like egg slicers, though the ones I have used have had a slightly different configuration. With that set of wires, it’s designed to slice *something*.

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