Monday, 5 November 2018

Kitchen Gadgets



50s Scoop for creating perfect melon/ice cream/mashed potato balls.
Vast heavy Kenwood mixer which takes up huge amounts of space.
Horlicks maker.
Spatula.
Icing bag. Ditto for creating decorative mashed potato effects.
Potato peeler.
Nutmeg grater.
Bread board with BREAD carved into the rim.
Enamel bread bin in which the bread goes rapidly stale and mouldy.
Heavy metal mincer you screw to the pine kitchen table.
Canteen of cutlery (wedding present).
Everything "wipe-clean".
Apron home-made from remnants.
Role model: perfect housewife.

60s
Gas-powered corkscrew.
Sink waste disposal unit.
Electric carving knife.
Vast earthenware mixing bowl suitable for a country house kitchen.
Coffee percolator.
Filter coffee maker (easy to tip over).
Cheeseboard.
Knives with a serrated bit, a cutting edge and a spike for picking up and serving chunks of cheese.
Wooden salad bowl which you're not allowed to wash, heavy iron omelette pan ditto.
Victorian style set of flour, sugar, cocoa etc tins.
Cream maker.
Egg poacher.
Pressure cooker.
Rubber pan scrapers.
Salad servers with decorated ceramic handles.
Liquidizer.
Toasted sandwich maker.

Freezer, and a freezer compartment in the fridges (food came marked with stars showing how long you could freeze it for).

Wooden steak tenderiser.
Fish knives, but designed in Sweden and made of stainless steel.
Runcible spoon with a serrated edge.
Potato masher.
Kebab skewers.
Skewers for skewering a vast joint of meat.
Lemon zester.
Gadget for piercing the top of a boiled egg.
Mandolin for slicing boiled eggs.
Striped unisex butcher apron.
Role model: perfect housewife, sophisticated lady.

70s
Wok.
Fondue set.
Enamel saucepans, coffee pots and colanders from France (classic design, if it ain’t broke).

Tinny coffee makers you set on the gas and then turn over – again from France or Italy. (Only common people had percolators, perhaps because they were American.)

Skewers for baking potatoes faster.
Orange and blue Le Creuset casseroles.
Lever corkscrews.
Thick pottery soup bowls with a handle.
Mezzaluna from Italy for chopping fresh herbs.
Large glass jars with wooden lids for displaying different types of pasta.
Wire vegetable racks (we used a set of office in and out trays).
Wooden knife block.
Chopsticks.

Marble pestle and mortar sets that we gave each other for Christmas and nobody ever used (they were for crushing your own cardamom seeds instead of buying curry powder).

Bouqet garni bags we gave each other for Christmas. Single people in particular got given these to encourage them to give dinner parties – it was the speed dating of its time.

Bunches of dried herbs and dried flowers.
Stripped pine standalone furniture.
Bamboo egg whisks from Chinatown.
A shelf of paperbacks.
Butcher apron as before, or a plastic one in the same style with a jokey message.
Role model: earth mother or academic.

80s
Pasta maker.
Catering-size toaster.
Catering knives and equipment from Jaeggi in Soho.
Fish slices and tureen spoons hanging from hooks.
Cafetière.
Set of bamboo steamers from Chinatown, never used.
Philippe Starck lemon squeezer (because everything has to be "designer").
Alessi knives (ditto).
Don’t phone for the fish knives, we don’t use them any more.
Brushed steel counter tops like a French café, everything built in.

It was about efficiently whipping up gourmet food despite working long hours and earning pots of money. All these gadgets were mainly for show, the gleaming steel being a sign of practicality, modernity and ruthlessness.

No apron – you just got soup on your dirndl skirt. Role model: banker.

90s

Pizza wheel.
Spork.
Raclette set.
What's an apron?

00s
Electric lemon squeezer.

At some point we worked out that we could keep sliced bread in the freezer compartment instead of a bread bin. Enamel bread bins turn up on Bargain Hunt.

Teens
Plastic tomatoes and onions for saving half apples, onions etc. Also come in “banana”.
Apple slicer.
Slow cooker.
Spiralizer.

What’s a corkscrew? And how am I going to attach the mincer to the island?

1 comment:

  1. I got my first Le Creuset casserole dish, in the volcanic orange colour, in the 70s and it is still going strong.

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