This week’s Gourmet Live has a piece that I really enjoyed reading. Inside Hollywood: Kitchen Cupboard Confidential takes a look at what some celebrities cherish in their kitchen and why the items are so special.
The answers are interesting. Laurie David’s kitchen table that seats 12 is the anchor of her entire home. Ali Landry has her grandmother’s rolling pin and all the memories the rolling pin holds. Anna Chlumsky cherishes the KitchenAid mixer her father bought her.
I started to think about what’s in my kitchen that I cherish, not because of its functionality, but because of its history. I have my grandmother’s large roasting pan that I make the Thanksgiving turkey in every year. I love that. I also have an old food mill that’s made quite a bit of applesauce for various generations on my mother’s side of the family. When I make applesauce with it, I always think about being in my great aunt’s kitchen and eagerly waiting to get a taste of the warm applesauce right after it was made.
What I cherish the most, though, is the barware that I pilfered from my parents’ house many years ago. I needed a blender, and my dad said there was an old one in a cabinet in their dining room. While digging into the depths of a cabinet, I came across everything you see in the photo above.
With the exception of the ice bucket, it had been decades since any of it had come out of the cabinet. “I’ll tell you what dad,” I said. “I’ll just take this all with me, and if you ever want to use it, you just call and I’ll run it right over.” My dad was pleased.
My dad never did ask to use his barware again. He’s been gone for seven years now, and when I throw a party and bring out the cocktail shaker or the really cool pitcher that has a tube for ice in it (so whatever is in it won’t get watered down it), it makes me happy. People admire them, and I get to tell stories about my parents.
I’ve stopped being surprised when a guest in my house says, “My grandmother used to have that very same ice bucket.” It turns out the penguin ice bucket was a promotion from Kool cigarettes many, many years ago. That ice bucket brings back memories for so many people who come through my house, and I get to hear their stories of their family and the ice bucket.
The blender works as well today as it did in the 1960’s. I’ve never felt the need to buy a different one. It’s not shiny and it doesn’t have 10 speeds, but it gets the job done for me just like it did for my parents. I use it all the time.
These items that I took from my parents home years ago because I liked the way they looked have become important links from their generation to mine giving me the opportunity to tell stories to my children and my friends about growing up with my parents. I wonder what my boys will pilfer from me some day that will do the same for them.
Okay, time to tell your story. What’s in your kitchen that you cherish and why?