Sunday, 19 July 2009

"Old" things in the kitchen

I have a lot of them. I've never been averse to second hand stuff - you have to cut your coat according to your cloth after all, though sadly, many young folk have never been taught this and think their credit card is the answer to everything.

I have a bit of a thing about big earthenware storage jars and use them to store things like dried fruit, lentils, home-made mincemeat, and the bigger ones hold oats, bread flour, plain flour and rice. When we lived in Dorset, we used to be able too get corks to fit the smaller sort, but now the big fat-bellied ones have wooden lids made for them by my husband out of bits of wood abandoned by others.

I store more of my flour for bread or baking in several old enamel flour or bread bins and always keep a good stock in. They live on the bottom of the old dairy table in the bay window. When you live a 20 mile round trip from the shops, you don't want to run out of things! I keep my Demerara sugar in an old glass sweetie jar but I am on the look-out for another big old earthenware jar for granulated sugar. The one below houses Basmati Rice. The terracotta crock will go when I find a likely replacement as my kids hate touching it! They say it puts their teeth on edge . . .

This glossy dark brown jar cost me £4 at the big Antiques Fair at Builth this year. It didn't have a lid, but Keith has since made me one. I use it to store plain baking flour in. (I think that's "all-purpose" flour in the States.)

I found this little enamel strainer in an the junky antique shop on the way to Brecon recently. It cost me £4 and I use it regularly. It "spoke" to me, somehow . . . I suppose I feel I am connecting with the past when I use these things, but they are also practical and have character. Other women buy handbags (I could never see the point of having more than one handbag - you only use one handbag at a time!) - I buy . . . old things . . . oh, and few books too!


Morning's Minion said...

I also like vintage "kitchenalia"--nice word, that! Old crocks and jugs have become very pricey in much of the US. Mine are salvage items rescued from my grandfather's farmhouse and other such places, most are not perfect, having a chip or an "ear" broken off. The biggest one which I had for years was probably used as a salt pork barrel and came from my grandfather's cellar. Sadly it was broken during one of our moves. My daughter and I collect enamelware canisters, I like large glass jars so that I can see the contents: rice, dried beans, fruit and such.
Those who have to have everything new miss out on the fun of discovery and the sense of history involved in homely hand-down items.

Anne and Steve Ardern said...

And they will still be in use for years to come unlike plastic boxes, I love your collection of worthwhile kitchenalia, I am glad its still being used daily, I get so fed up going into cafes and pubs and seeing good 'working' utensils and jars on the walls,

Pat aka Posh said...

Love the lids your hub made for the crocks.. my daughter collects crocks too and complains that the lids are always missing.
I agree with you that one purse is enough but you can never have enough old kitchen gadgets.

Preseli Mags said...

I have an 'old' thing in the kitchen - it's called Brian! Boom boom! (Sorry, couldn't resist that one!)

I love all your old crocks - I have long wanted an old terracotta dough bowl I saw at the Carmarthen antiques fair, but couldn't afford. Lovely enamel colander too. Clever Keith to make such lovely lids for your pots.

LBP said...

I love all you antique crockery and enamel wear! So pretty! I buy second hand when I can as well.



Rowan said...

I think I probably turned bright green when I saw that earthenware jar in the top picture. I love things like that. Some of my favourite things are my replica medieval bowls and plates with their beautiful green or yellow glaze. The lids that Keith has made are brilliant - clever Keith:)