Things, such a wonderful word. It encompasses all manner of…(for want of a better word)…things. This post is inspired by a number of recent posts from blogs I follow on gadgets, kitchen utensils, objects in kitchens…well, a cook’s things. But, most of all, it was sparked by a really lovely post, In My Kitchen, by a fellow blogger in Australia, Please Pass the Recipe. Her post reminds us that the things in our kitchens are reflections of the cook.
As an archaeologist, I’m attuned to things, even if we call it material culture and what we dig up, artefacts. I was reminded recently after posting Kitchen Archaeology of an old academic book, In Small Things Forgotten by the American historical archaeologist James Deetz. The main gist of the book is that small, sometimes inconsequential, things (pottery sherds, grave markers, musical instruments, eating utensils, etc.) reflect the web of daily life in the past, but also connect to larger historical patterns and events.
To give you a little flavour of the web of my daily life, here are a few of the “small” things in my kitchen. Although, I haven’t a clue how they connect to larger historical patterns and events. 🙂 Only time will tell.
1. Tin shaker for cinnamon sugar that used to sit on the kitchen table of my grandmother’s house and was passed on to me. I still remember how she would feed us hot buttered toast sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
2. A Cretan cheese basket (left) I got while working on excavation in Southern Crete too many years ago – a kind of ethnographic object to show how cheeses are traditionally made. Rounds of hard cheese – kefalotyri – found in the markets (right) show the impressions of the baskets.
4. A pottery candle holder made by my son in the 2nd grade. It can almost be classed as vintage – he’s now working on his Ph.D.
5. My Kitchen Witch – the focus of one of my early posts, Burnt Toast in the Morning. I love the folk superstitions attached to it.
And, here’s my roundup of those recent posts on A Cook’s Things. It’s not a comprehensive list as I’m sure there are many more out there in the blogosphere, but these are the ones that have taken my fancy.
In My Kitchen
The post that inspired me to write this post – a description of what is in Please Pass the Recipe‘s Melbourne kitchen.
Dimple In Depth
Strictly not a post, but about a fellow blogger, Shivaay Delights. I found the story of her chipati board and rolling pin incredibly moving. This is a real biographical object – an object whose history is known that tells a story, often an heirloom passed from one person to another as Dimple’s was from her aunt to her. I have no doubt that the object’s story will continue when this object is passed on to the next generation.
The Great Canning Jar (and all its many uses)
I privately think of this as the “Ode to the Canning Jar”. (Hmm, I really must remember that for the title of a future post.) I’m really glad to find a fellow enthusiast of the canning jar with blogger Farm Girl School. I have many canning jars – both antique (used for dry goods storage) and functional which I still use in jam, jelly and pickle preserving.
Got Gadgets – part 2
A wonderful compendium by fellow blogger, The Vintage Cookbookery, of antique kitchen gadgets culled from 300 Years of Kitchen Collectibles by Linda Campbell Franklin. I dare you to identify the rather bizaare looking objects. I think one is a sausage extruder.
Thrift Shopping in Italy Rocks!
Just like my fellow blogger, Italy Take Two, I was drawn to these stainless steel stemmed gelato bowls from a thrift shop in Florence. Lucky blogger! ♥ Italy, ♥ gelato, ♥ second hand shops!
And, lastly, one I ran across by accident when writing my post Soup’s Companion, waxing on about my cobalt blue KitchenAid mixer: Things I Love in My Kitchen by blogger, Life’s Little Rants and Raves.
The question is: What “small” things are in your kitchen?
Check out Fig Jam and Lime Cordial (www.figjamandlimecordial.com) who has a monthly In My Kitchen post and lists others around the world who do the same.
- In My Kitchen (mumandleahcook.wordpress.com)
- Dimple In Depth (shivaaydelights.wordpress.com)
- The Great Canning Jar (and all its many uses) (modernhomesteaders.net)
- Got Gadgets – part 2 (kalesijablog.wordpress.com)
- Thrift Shopping in Italy Rocks! (italytaketwo.wordpress.com)
- Things I Love in My Kitchen (lifeslittlerantsandraves.wordpress.com)