by Karen Rose Smith
I learned to cook with my mom, my grandma and my aunt. The best times I remember were standing by their elbow while they created main dishes and desserts. It seemed only natural when I was in college and sharing an apartment with friends, that I started to cook myself. When I met my husband there, I began cooking for the two of us.
In the spring and summer I enjoy raising plants and gardening. But in the fall and winter, I pull out my mom's recipe boxes and cook everything from soups to sauce to spaghetti to desserts. I have an Italian background like my sleuth Caprice De Luca in my home staging mysteries.
Maybe because I learned to cook from my grandmother, mom and aunt, I still like to use kitchen implements and utensils that I watched them use. When I make pie shells, I roll them out on a pastry cloth with a rolling pin covered with a pastry sleeve. The rolling pin is as old as our marriage. I've tried the silicone rolling pins and mats, but made a mess of my pie doe. So I stick to the method that gives me the best result.
I don't use a sifter as much as my mom did, but I still have recipes that call for that finer version of flour. The sifter comes in handy.
The potato ricer, I inherited from my mother-in-law. I boil potatoes, then we mash them in the ricer and they come out like rice! Carefully mixed with butter and parsley, they are great with roasts or other meats. I believe some cooks also use the ricer to make applesauce.
I've gone through several glass juicers. But I always search the antique mart for the next one. Glass works better for me than plastic and if I just want to squeeze one lemon for a recipe, I don't want to bother with an electric juicer.
All these kitchen throwbacks have memories attached to them that make using them more worthwhile.
What kitchen implements from yesteryear do you still use...if any?