If you have been following my blog, you know that I moved recently after 18 years in my previous house. Going through everything, preparing to pack, was like an archeological dig, particularly the closets and the garage. I had boxes I hadn’t opened since we moved in there, or I discovered things that had disappeared behind and under other stuff in the house years ago. Another treasure trove were the two utensil drawers in my kitchen, which were narrow and deep and packed full. So here are 10 things I forgot I had, and was so happy and amused to rediscover.
1. Meat Grinder – I inherited this meat grinder (photo above) from my mother, although I don’t remember her ever using it. I think she inherited it from her mother, my Grandma Gertrude, who absolutely did not cook. So Grandma must have inherited it from my Great Grandmother, who was from Norway and was the gourmet of the family. I like to imagine that meat grinder came over on the boat from Norway and came through Ellis Island on its journey to Minnesota. I used it in the 1970s before the advent of the food processor to grind nuts for a Polish pastry, similar to rugalach. It was in a box buried in the garage.
2. Bone Caviar Spoon – I bought this caviar spoon about 25 years ago when my husband and I were first together. We were having his father, sister and brother over for dinner for the first time and I wanted to make an impression on how chic I was serving the caviar. I haven’t used it since. Maybe I should. The spoon in its velvet pouch was in the bottom of the kitchen drawer.
3. Potato Ricer – I lost this stainless steel potato ricer in my house or garage about 10 years ago. I could not find it for the life of me. At one point I needed a ricer so badly that I bought another one made of white plastic. So when the lost ricer showed up in a box in the garage I was so relieved because it proved that 1) I actually had a SS ricer and 2) that I hadn’t lost it. Seniors worry about this kind of thing. So now I have a Mr. and Mrs. Potato Ricer.
4. Japanese Vegetable Slicer – This was an impulse buy at Bristol Farms a few years ago and I have never used it. It was on a shelf in the metal cabinet I have in the garage where I keep all my cooking and baking equipment. Bottom shelf behind other stuff. I still think this is a trick gadget, but I can’t figure out what I would use the itsy bitsy circular strands for. Maybe deep fry them for a garnish? Let me know if you can think of anything.
5. Terrine Paté Mold – My oldest son gave this to me when I was in culinary school. We were learning French Continental Cuisine, including meat and vegetable terrines and patés. I am thinking I should make something really interesting with aspic, then plate the slices with an interesting sauce drizzled over. I’m glad I found this in my hall closet. Hmmm. The creativity juices are beginning to flow.
6. Grandma’s Silver Sugar Spoon – This silver spoon resided in my Grandma Gertrude’s sugar bowl my whole childhood. It turned up in some stuff in my garage and I was immediately transported back to her kitchen. When she died, my mom inherited the spoon and it went in our sugar bowl at home. My mom died when I was 19 and when my father was to remarry a year later, he wanted to give all of my mom’s and grandmother’s treasures to his new bride. Well, guess what, I still have that spoon that I surreptitiously kept for myself. Actually, my step mom didn’t want his previous wife’s treasures, but that is another long story.
7. Cookie Mold – I always wondered what happened to this mold, usually around Christmas, but was too busy to attempt to find it. I think I bought this from a mail order catalog and now that it is found, I’m going to have to make some of them. Fun.
8. Ice Cream Maker – This was one of those gifts you give to someone you live with because it is actually something you want to use yourself. I gave it to my husband. I wanted to make licorice ice cream which used black licorice candy that was melted in the cream. This was before it was discovered that black licorice was carcinogenic. He in turn gave me a rowing machine. LOL.
9. Fregola Sarda – I bought this bag of toasted pasta at the little store at Osteria Mozza when I went there last year. I have a definite squid recipe in mind that I am going to use it for. This bag was hiding at the back of the cupboard where I kept all my pasta, lentils and beans. I was really glad to reacquire it as it is so interesting.
10. Skewers with Brass Animal Heads – These skewers are probably the item I have searched my house and garage the most for in the last couple of years. The problem is I would only use them in the summer for grilling. So when summer was over, I would stash them someplace and then, a year later, forget where they were when I wanted to use them again. I wanted to use them for the bacon wrapped shrimp I made, but couldn’t find them at the time. Well, now that they have turned up, I have them in my utensil drawer in the new kitchen. So don’t let me forget where I put them, ok?
I hope my story inspires you to clean out your garage and empty your closets. You never know what hidden treasures you may find.