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Two Kitchen Mysteries Solved

9/5/2012 11:01:00 AM

Tags: Crinkle cutter, juicer, antiques, kitchen tools, Janann Giles

Janann headshotI don’t know about you, but I kind of stumbled into Food History.  It’s not like I majored in the subject at college.  No, my education has come from the ever popular hobby of cruisin' yard sales, consignment shops and antique shops.  It is sad, the cooking utensils of my childhood are now showing up as – dare I say the word - “antiques.”   I even still own and use some of the items I was seeing labeled “mid-century.”   It’s a term I don’t approve of, antiques should be over 100 years old, not from the golden age of childhood, the 1950s and its neighboring decades.

Some antiques stump me.   

Take this for instance:

Crinkle Cutter I bought it because it looked like something I should know what it did – but I didn’t have a clue, neither did my husband or the lady who sold it to me. After a spirited discussion, in which alcoholic beverages played a part, hubby voted for something to create a wavy pattern in cake frosting. I’ve decorated cakes before – this didn’t look like anything I knew about.  After holding the mystery object and studying it from every angle I finally decided it was a crinkle cutter.  A quick search on the internet and I knew I was right.  Just to be sure I tried it out. 

Crinkle cutting potato It worked but was much too slow to seriously use on a bag of potatoes.  After cutting only 2 potatoes I was convinced, it did cut crinkles into food but it was much too hard to use to ever cut potatoes for an entire meal.  Consequently, I still prefer buying my crinkle cut fries from the fast food establishments.

In all honesty, the crinkle cutter worked quite well on cheese, and carrots were a breeze. Not a total wasted purchase. I'll put it in the gadget drawer for some future hors d'oeuvres tray.

Crinkle cut cheese  Crinkle cut carrots  

And Yet Another Mystery Antique 

As the crinkle cut debate was raging my cousin sent a photo and challenged me to discover what it was.  She said it was one of the favorite utensils in her kitchen.

Study the photo for a minute – do you have a clue? 

Wearever Juicer I guessed some type of potato ricer but I was wrong. Look again, do you see the spout?  It’s an orange juicer.  After yet another internet search I discovered it has a strainer that keeps the seeds out of the juice.  Good for oranges, lemons and limes.  No seeds and a handy spout for pouring into your glass for a Vitamin C start to you day. Clever!  Apparently Wearever made these in the 50s.  I wonder why I never saw one before?  Did my mother not love me enough to strain the seeds? 

Do you have some odd kitchen utensil lying about; before you put it out at the next yard sale send a photo perhaps together we can figure out what it is.

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12/31/2014 4:33:08 PM
We use both of those items, but I never thought of them as antiques. We don't make crinkle cut potatoes to fry, but I do use it to cut vegetables when I'm short on time--the crinkle cut makes more surface area for the vegetable to cook faster. I see no use for cutting cheese with it unless you're trying to melt it faster, and I don't know if it would work.

Libby and Dave
9/27/2012 7:18:01 PM
We have one of those slicers, and it gets used all the time! It's probably one of our most favorite kitchen tools. We picked it up in Australia, and haven't seen anything like it sold here in the States.

9/6/2012 1:14:30 AM
Janann, It is fun to try to figure out what some of those old gadgets of the day are. I come from a rural farm background. Some of the gadgets used on the farm during my grandfather's time were very strange. Rural life on the farm during those early 20 century times had to be very inventive. Some times it wasn't a purchased tool, it was just something they made to do a certain task around the farm. I spent many summers on my grandfather's farm which belonged to my uncle. The shop where things hung on the wall and benches where tools laid on the table that had belonged to my grandfather were a play ground for me. My uncle had built his own new shop and much of the things of my grandfather's day just laid there gathering dust. What a great time I had wondering what all the gadgets were for. Thanks for jogging my memory about those days of youthful wonder. Have a great antique gadget day.

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