My friend Don Lindgren from Rabelais – Fine Books on Food & Drink made an offhanded comment in conversation about why chaffing dishes and their attendent cookbooks were so popular from about 1880s – 1920s or so.  Basically the US population had begun migrating from central family structures into the cities where the college dorms, rooming more »

Tea and Toast Picnic

After a long summer with no road tripping, I broke out my picnic kit anyway.  The new old sterno stove works well with my alcohol stove.    My GSI Toaster also works great.   GSI Folding Toaster  Coghlan’s Folding Camp Stove Brass Alcohol Stove

This 8″x8″ folding stove caught my attention. It has a brass plate on it from S. Sternau & Co. NY, Sterno Canned Heat Kitchenette No. 4041. and the upper range for it seems to date from 1917/18, but I can’t seem to find an exact date for it. It is in terribly good condition, but more »

Another subset of my cookbook collection turns out to be books and pamphlets with sardine recipes.   About half the readers just made a face.  At some point towards the end of the 20th century, the idea of eating Sardines took on a distasteful image in the media and the mind of many Americans. I can’t more »

A subset of my cookbook collection are British cookbooks of a certain vintage. The UK post war economy grew much slower than the US economy, as rationing continued into the 50s, sugar and butter didn’t end until 53 and 54. Frugality in British cookbooks was a selling feature, whereas in post war American cookbooks it more »

I simply can’t remember where I found this charming little bread knife…though know I didn’t pay much for it. I can’t pin down the exact date, but I am pretty certain it’s at least 100 years old. The remarkable thing is that the bolster and blade are still tight in the handle. It was also more »

My mother asked me for a ice cream disher but the new ones aren’t a patch on the vintage ones. So I picked up a couple of the old style Hamilton Beach soda fountain dishers. One of them needed a little paint and polish to bring it back into the ice cream ball game. Sadly more »

I found this blackened earthenware dish hiding in a corner of an antique shop. It screamed rescue me. And it took almost not time at all to turn it from a eyestore into the centerpiece of my bread baking universe. It is surprising what you can do with a little baking soda, a nail brush more »

When I picked up this Kitchenaid 3.5 qt Dutch Oven it had this cast on the finish. None of my LeCruset or other Enameled cast iron had every developed this.   When I researched it, I didn’t find anything that addressed this singular issue. I do think it was caused by repeatedly putting it in the more »

I have had this dear little painted recipe box for ages. Unfortunately it has a layer of grime over it’s green finish. How to clean that layer off without harming the paint or the decal turned out to be surprisingly easy. Using clean dishcloths and a little baking soda and water, the grime was easily more »