A Realization About My Kitchen Gadgets - Lela's Cooking Journey Blog at Allrecipes.com - 324514

Lela's Cooking Journey

A Realization About My Kitchen Gadgets 
Mar. 28, 2014 9:20 am 
Updated: Apr. 3, 2014 7:13 pm
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Once upon a time, a long time ago, some kitchen gadgets became a cherished part of my family. I didn't realize how much the kitchen tools were some of my most prized possessions until a handle broke off my measuring cup. The set of green Tupperware measuring cups resided in my house for over 30 years. When the handle broke off the measuring cup, it was then and there that I realized I have attachment issues.


A feeling of sadness rushed over me as I looked at the measuring cup. I fretted quite loudly and my little five-year old granddaughter patted my arm. She told me, "That's okay Grammy, you can buy some more." I can't get myself to throw it away just yet. I need to grieve a little more.

     After this episode, I started thinking about all the kitchen gadgets I couldn't do without. First on my list is my husband's grandma's small cast iron skillet. I am sure the skillet is over eighty years old. My husband's Grandma had seasoned the pan perfectly. I fry taco shells in the skillet all the time. If I want a few french fries, this skillet is the one I pull out of my cupboard. It is perfect for a small batch of cornbread in the oven. Everyone in my family knows, I wash that skillet by hand and dry it. No one else is allowed to clean it except me.


     Second, I have a favorite metal spatula that part of the handle broke off. The top of the handle had a sharp edge which caused some paper cuts on my hand. So, I tried to find another spatula like it in the local stores. I couldn't find a metal spatula that would even hold a candle to my favorite spatula. My husband felt so bad, he took the spatula and rounded off the top of the handle. I am happy once again, the spatula is back in business. It is my go to spatula for lasagna and cookies.


     Now I would say, the liquid measuring cups are at the top of my list of tools I use the most. I had a Pyrex liquid measuring cup that had a bad chip in it. I was afraid my young granddaughter would cut herself on the glass. With that thought, I reluctantly gave the cup to my husband who uses it in the garage. I bought some new glass measuring cups, a two cup and a one cup. Unfortunately, after a year the measuring cups look like this:


All the markings are gone. I would get a magic marker out and mark the cup and carefully wash them by hand. However, the markings would rub off. Or my helpful husband would place them in the dishwasher and the markings would wash away. I feel so much better now telling you about my ongoing attachment to kitchen items. There are so many more, but these utensils were the ones that would be hard to replace. I would love to hear your stories about cherished kitchen gadgets.

Mar. 28, 2014 9:21 am
Sorry Everyone-I can't remove the garbly gook at the top.
Mar. 28, 2014 9:54 am
Lela - I have garbly gook at the top of mine too!
Mar. 28, 2014 9:57 am
I love this blog, Lela. It's funny how attached we can get to items in our kitchen after having used them for so many years. I have a set of pyrex nesting dishes that are burnt orange, harvest gold, and avocado green. Yep, I got married in the 70's! They were a wedding gift and they are perfect still. No chips or fading. I keep and use them for sentimental reasons. My corning ware is probably that old too. I also have 2 black skillets that I got as a wedding gift. I use at least one of those every single day.
Mar. 28, 2014 9:58 am
I wish I knew how to use HTML-or knew a programmer.
Mar. 28, 2014 10:01 am
Me too!
Mar. 28, 2014 10:06 am
Paula, I still have some refrigerator red and blue Pyrex containers. I still use them. Better than plastic. Can't go without the black skillets!
Mar. 28, 2014 10:10 am
Good news, Lela, you can still find those avocado green and burnt orange measuring cups at thrift stores! They are cheap, too. :)
Mar. 28, 2014 10:12 am
Marie-I will have to look! I have checked the ARC and the Goodwill-skimpy pickings here. However, you give me hope! I can't believe this maybe even EBAY!
Mar. 28, 2014 10:15 am
Marie-found the cups on Ebay and even the measuring spoons! Happy Dance!
Mar. 28, 2014 10:17 am
Mar. 28, 2014 10:31 am
Mrs. J- How wonderful to have tea cups from your grandmother. I bet you think of your grandmother every time you get the tea cups out!
Mar. 28, 2014 10:38 am
Wonderful memories, Lela. I have one grandmother's skillet, and I have the other grandmother's dutch oven. I also have a cut glass vinegar cruet that belonged to my great-grandmother. There are 20 or more in my generation on each side of my family, so the treasures are few and far between.
Mar. 28, 2014 11:36 am
Just ignore the gobbly gook it's barely noticeable and be happy your photos aren't making you fussy. I know what you mean about attachments. That could be why no one washing dishes except for me :) I have things from my grandmother's and mother's kitchen that I would miss dearly. Some of my grandmother's kitchen gadgets hang in my kitchen retired from use but still important to me :)
Mar. 28, 2014 11:45 am
Nice blog! I have an old 4 qt. lidded casserole that was my mother's. It is cast iron clad in ceramic. It is white inside and red outside. This is the casserole that she always made creamed corn in. I hated creamed corn. She also made a spam dish in it. It was spam cubed and minute rice and Campbell's cream of mushroom soup. I cried every time she made it. It was so horrible to me as a child. Yet, for some odd reason, I love that casserole dish. I think it's because I realized that despite my mom's inability to cook well, she loved us fiercely. She was a very good baker, which I find amusing.
Mar. 28, 2014 11:53 am
I have been measuring flour in 1/2 cups for the last several years because my one cup lost it's handle too. I have two other sets of measuring cups, one that I bought and one my son bought because he hates me using the old ones, but they are my favorites! I also have my grandmother's CI skillets and Dutch oven and I use one or more pieces. I only have the small green Pyrex bowl left, I suppose it was the only one that didn't go to a potluck and forget to come home. I also still use my white Corningware casseroles, which had been my mother's. I can't imagine parting with any of it.
Mar. 28, 2014 12:04 pm
Bibi-my MIL owned a cut glass vinegar cruet. The cruet is so pretty. I have used it for mostly for homemade syrup. I am happy to say I inherited it. I think I am going to introduce some special items I inherited to my daughter and granddaughter so they know how special these items are to me.
Mar. 28, 2014 12:07 pm
Cat Hill, what a great idea to hang up utensils from your grandmother and mom. I also like to wash my MIL's china and my mom's Christmas china because I don't want any chips on any of the dishes.
Mar. 28, 2014 12:11 pm
Doc- I bet you make some yummy recipes in your mom's casserole dish. Perhaps, chili, roast or pork. Isn't it funny as kids we hated a certain dish we had to eat? My mom would make liver and onions and tell all the kids it was steak.
Mar. 28, 2014 12:15 pm
BigShotsMom-you can join me in the grieving club for measuring cups. I know what you mean about having favorite measuring cups. I have aluminum measuring cups, and some other plastic cups. However the handles are different. Pyrex bowls, I still use, too. In fact, if any of those bowls break I will probably cry.
Mar. 28, 2014 12:56 pm
Great blog! I have your measure cups in Orange! I love them and use them everyday! Fortunately, mine still have the handles in place. I also have my the first Avocado green recipe box. There are some pretty funky recipes in that box - but I hang on to it! My cast iron skillet and wok are not old but dearly loved. I should put them in my will - I would hate to see them sent to the Goodwill.
Mar. 28, 2014 1:05 pm
Love it Lela - I should go through my drawers for all of the half broken stuff I still use and refuse to throw out. Though when my daughter snapped my favorite spatula the other day, my wife threw it out because she knew I would try to duct tape or something and she just wasn't having that.
Mar. 28, 2014 1:13 pm
Baking Nana-I just found some orange measuring cups online on Ebay-I bid on them. I hope I get them. I think you are right about the cast iron skillet and wok. A lot of care goes in to a perfectly seasoned cast iron and wok. You can put me in your will for both! LOL!
Mar. 28, 2014 1:15 pm
Lela, I have my dad's mom's small glass butter churn among other things and my mom's grandmother's small long handled skillets. I can't imagine what they would think if they saw what I use on a daily basis. Maybe cooking is a snap now! :)
Mar. 28, 2014 1:16 pm
Doug-not good-your favorite spatula was thrown out. I would of dug in the trash and hid it. You also get a membership to the kitchen gadget grieving club. I know how it is. The spatula had the right feel when you tried to flip those fried eggs. Now what are you going to do?
Mar. 28, 2014 1:19 pm
Cat Hill-I envy your glass butter churn. You better lock it up, as I am tempted to peek in your cupboards. Yes, with food processors and Kitchen Aid mixers, my Grandma would really think we had it easy.
Mar. 28, 2014 6:26 pm
OK Lela....you got me rummaging around in my cabinets looking for something old. When we moved from the Mainland to Maui I got rid of almost everything I owned. My mothers 24 place settings of Rose Chintz china. My mothers 24 place settings of silverware. My great grandma's "crystal'.....the green stuff they got in detergent boxes. Pretty much everything. The only old things I could find here (besides me) is Trudy's crock and her oak recipe box, the cookie press I bought the first Christmas we were married and newer "old" baking pans I need to replace. I do have a pyrex 1 cup measure & my pyrex deep dish pie pans that I have had so long I can't recall when I got them. I do know they were with us in our college years (early 70's) My pyrex measuring cup is still readable (even though it is always washed in the dishwasher....Paint back then must have been better). BTW I gave away the Tupperware avocado green measuring cups when I left for Maui and never looked back ;)
Mar. 28, 2014 6:28 pm
What do I miss that I gave away....my set of copper clad pans I got one year from Sparky for Christmas. My cast iron skillet but the one thing I would give my eye teeth for is my old red topped roaster from my great grandmother. If anyone sees one....buy it for me please!!!!!
Mar. 28, 2014 7:15 pm
mauigirl, my you had some really nice china and silver. I do think Pyrex measuring cups were better back in the day. Copper clad pans-I love the way the pans look, but I don't have any. Now the red topped roaster, I will keep my eyes open for that pan. I don't think the pans are made as well as the pans were in my Grandma's generation. I am curious, did you buy some new china?
Mar. 28, 2014 7:18 pm
mauigirl, you gave away your avocado green measuring cups. I wish I was there when you did that. I would of taken those cups in a second.
Mar. 29, 2014 1:46 am
I've never really thought about this before, but it is definitely true! After using items like that almost every day to make some memorable dishes for people you love, I would hate to get rid of anything like that too. I feel like even if I bought new kitchen stuff, I would still use the old anyway. Even non-kitchen stuff, it is hard for me to get rid of most things, so I can easily relate to being attached to stuff. I can relate to the Pyrex measuring cups; the markings are also coming off of all mine too.
Mar. 29, 2014 5:32 am
Kate, I agree with you on making dishes that people love. When my nephew returned from Iraq, he requested homemade pizza and sugar cookies. You never know what impresses people. BTW, I bought some Pyrex measuring cups on Ebay. I am hoping the older measuring cups will hold up longer. I do know the dishwashing detergents no longer have phosphates) and that might be why the markings wash off.
Mar. 29, 2014 6:35 am
The memories of "good times" in the kitchen are linked to the utensils and their history. I have a colander and a Sunbeam toaster that has been in the "family" for over 65 years and the toaster still makes the best toast. I look at my most used and cherished cooking utensils and even though they are "old", they still work and so do I...68 years and still ticking...LOL.
Mar. 29, 2014 7:01 am
Laura, I really think the toasters were made better back then. I wish I had my mom's toaster. I think my brother has it. Here is to many more years!
Mar. 29, 2014 7:13 am
I will not be replacing my/mom's china and silver. The older I get, the more I don't use that stuff anymore. I have tried really hard to simplify my life. I know....sounds like an oxymoron when I am remodeling huh?
Mar. 29, 2014 8:10 am
mauigirl- The remodeling although stressful, is exciting. I am looking forward to seeing the photos of your remodel.
Mar. 29, 2014 10:56 am
Hi Lela. Great blog. I also have the green measuring cups and the containers for sugar/flour to match. I love the cups and use them daily, the containers not so much. They are in a box going to goodwill. I inherited my mom's mixing bowl set. There are four of them in different colours. I think of her every time that I use them.
Mar. 29, 2014 12:15 pm
Oh, how I wish I had some of my Mom's old kitchen gadgets. I'm not sure what happened to her well-seasoned cast iron skillets. Unfortunately, when I cleared out everything in her condo after she passed away, I think I may have given away the old hand-crank grinder that used to clamp on the side of a table. My hubby always is reminding me "…just remember whenever something new comes in, something must go out." And I know he's right BUT……...
Mar. 29, 2014 4:06 pm
Bren-The green measuring cups just fit your hand perfectly and that is why I like them. I didn't care for the sugar flour containers that my mom had, so like you the containers ended up in the Goodwill. I wish I had my mom's mixing bowl set. I think one of my brothers took them. We divided all my mom's kitchen items among four kids.
Mar. 29, 2014 4:10 pm
lutzflcat- I think it is a good rule to live by "the something comes in and something must go out." I have a husband who also wants me to throw out things. I am better since we moved to our new house. I had to get rid of a lot of items that I didn't use. It is hard for me to throw out things.
Mar. 29, 2014 6:12 pm
I have a several kitchen items that I will probably cry if something happened to them. One being my Tupperware measuring cups. It hard to find measuring cups that have separate measurements that this set has. So I would be seriously mourning your broken handle. The other is a fish turning spatula/whisk, use that constantly. It use to have a painted white and red handle, but over the years the paint has peels off and I've always thought, gosh I hope it never dropped any paint chips in the food. Another is what I call my pregnant measuring pitcher. It's the cutest little 1 quart pitcher that was my grandmothers which has pot belly and it too had a chip crack out of it that I was able to use sandpaper to smooth the sharp edges off. It now resides on the shelf as decoration.
Mar. 29, 2014 6:38 pm
I love love my avocado green ones.....they stack perfect....they are in a box some where....I WOULD never give them away....found them at a thrift shop years ago! My favorites! XOXOXOXO Someday I'll get all those boxes unpacked! (how much stuff does a person need, Cindy?)
Mar. 29, 2014 6:39 pm
I think they are Tupperware.... LOL, good for LIFE...maybe ask.
Mar. 29, 2014 6:46 pm
Thats so funny about your pancake flipper, I went through exactly the same thing but I made a new handle for my old one after I dug it out of the trash. After the handle broke, I went ok, time for a new one anyways, and then all I could find in metal was way too stiff and all the others were plastic, arrrrrg. So my old one still rides and it's just perfect in every way. lol, great blog.
Mar. 29, 2014 7:24 pm
Elaine-I am glad you feel like me about your measuring cups. My husband thinks I am the only one who thinks like this. However, he doesn't do a whole lot of cooking. Cherish your Grandmother's 1 quart pitcher. I sure don't see those being made anymore.
Mar. 29, 2014 7:26 pm
Cindy-That is another feature about the green tupperware measuring cups, they stack very neatly and fit in my drawer. I have some metal ones that just don't stack like the good old Tupperware measuring cups.
Mar. 29, 2014 7:28 pm
Raedwulf-I am glad you told me that you made a new handle for your pancake flipper. If my handle breaks, I am going to make sure my husband makes me a new handle. Gives me hope that I will have this spatula for a long time. I went to a lot of stores and all the metal spatulas just didn't feel right in my hand. So, I like you didn't buy a new spatula.
Mar. 30, 2014 8:29 am
Great blog Lela and fun to read the comments. I have Bauer vintage American pottery nesting bowls from my mother that I use often.
Mar. 30, 2014 8:44 am
bd.weld-I bet those are nice bowls. Do you have the blue or the orange bowls? I think those are very nice.
Mar. 30, 2014 4:24 pm
Sitting here reading and mourning with you. I too have suffered a recent loss,and I comment as it was my favorite measuring cup as well. I got a new one that has a pretty blue handle and promised to be microwave safe. It is not and looks like hell. Still, for my piece of mind, I am moving on. We can't change the past.
Mar. 30, 2014 9:40 pm
Terri-you are right you can't change the past. However, i found a solution. I found some orange tupperware measuring cups and also some liquid Pyrex measuring cups on Ebay.
Mar. 31, 2014 11:43 am
Hi Lela - super blog. There are several items I use that bring back wonderful memories from childhood. Like the large pink Pyrex bowl my dad would put bread in to rise. I love my mother's copper-bottomed stainless cookware. You can't find that quality anymore. And lots of Pyrex casseroles with lids, pie plates, and mixing bowl sets that belonged to my Aunt, all from the 50's. I've only broken one lid that made me sick. I treat them all with kid gloves now! Thanks for a great story.
Mar. 31, 2014 7:20 pm
Cookin'Cyn-I love the large Pyrex bowls. I don't see bowls like that anymore. I have a large brown one. You might check Ebay for lids on vintage items.
Apr. 1, 2014 5:26 am
Thanks for the tip, Lela! I hadn't thought about eBay for replacement lids. Checking now.
Apr. 1, 2014 5:52 am
Cookin'Cyn-You are welcome!
Apr. 1, 2014 9:16 am
Lela - Great blog. The garbly gook at the top is due to missing characters in the HTML code. You are missing a "
Apr. 1, 2014 9:20 am
Looks like I got caught in the similar problem as the garbly gook by using quotes. Continuing my comments... You are missing a
Apr. 1, 2014 6:22 pm
Hi Dano-thanks-I wish I knew how to fix the HTML code. Maybe, I will do some research online now that I know what it is called.
Apr. 2, 2014 9:42 am
WOW! What a great blog, Lela. I was strolling through a Flea Market here in town yesterday and saw nearly every item mentioned here, right down to the china. I couldn't believe they were selling that stuff that lines my kitchen cabinets and I'll never part with. My only problem is that I don't have any daughters, only sons, and they're on their 2nd wives already. I do have one granddaughter that's 29 and not married yet. I still think I'll put my china and other prized stuff in my will to her. She's my only hope. Keep up this great blog!!
Apr. 2, 2014 1:41 pm
Hi, Lela. I love my cast iron skillets. When my grandma moved to a nursing home several years ago, I inherited her collection of cast iron skillets which she inherited from her mom. They are over a century old and are in perfect condition. But I also have some newer things that I love. I have a set of silicone spoons from Williams-Sonoma; they have a metal handle and are nice and sturdy. And nothing sticks to those things. I used to be a kitchen gadget junkie, but I'm preparing to move in the next year or so, and I'm starting to clean out my kitchen of those things that I don't use much. I wish AR had a donation center, LOL!
Apr. 2, 2014 1:48 pm
Cute blog, Lela and so true how we get attached to our kitchen gadgets. I have the same measuring cups as you but in orange, however they're in my camper now. My husband and I love to browse antique shops, mostly to just see how much all our everyday gadgets are worth. :-)
Apr. 2, 2014 4:22 pm
A Foley Fork is my pride and joy. My mother had one in her arsenal her whole life and it was a tool like no other. A few years ago I went looking for one. Company is out of business after a 100+ year run. My sister had one, probably my mother's original, which she gave to me. Sturdy, solid and oh-so useful. It even makes a great back scratcher in emergencies!
Apr. 2, 2014 8:10 pm
Kris-I know what you mean about all the prized items in your cabinets. I still have melmac bowls, that I am sure no one will want.
Apr. 2, 2014 8:13 pm
wisweetp-my you are lucky to have the cast iron skillets passed down to you. I don't have any silicone spoons, but I have been wanting to buy some. My husband says, I don't need any more big spoons.
Apr. 2, 2014 8:15 pm
Sherri-I just bought some orange Tupperware measuring cups on Ebay. I just like the way the cups stack and they fit perfectly in my hand.
Apr. 2, 2014 8:16 pm
northpool-I feel the same way about my spatula. LOL! on using the fork for a back scratcher!
Apr. 3, 2014 12:38 pm
I, too, am an owner of the wonderful stacking Tupperware measuring cups. I have several sets of measuring cups but I love the graduated sizes and will grab my old faithful gold set every time. Also have a pair of mismatched metal bread pans I got 2nd hand when I got married in 1963. They are the bomb! Great blog.
Apr. 3, 2014 1:18 pm
Linnie-The Tupperware cups fit perfectly in my drawer. I have a metal set and another plastic set; however, those measuring cups don't stack like the Tupperware. I think your bread pans are probably better than the pans you can buy now days. Love old pans!
Apr. 3, 2014 2:34 pm
"My name is Mother Ann and I have kitchen gadget attachment issues, too!" I have those same measuring cups but in orange. The handle on the 1/4 cup one melted in the dishwasher many years ago, but I still use it. My daughter seems to have inherited this problem from me, so much so that she has been on the quest to find the exact same measuring spoons that I have. They are metal, on a ring and I've had them for almost 35 years. I got them because my mom and my grandma had them and I liked theirs so much. So far we have not been able to find exact replicas for my daughter - some very close, but not close enough!
Apr. 3, 2014 7:13 pm
Hi Mother Ann-the measuring spoons sound like a nice set. I hope your daughter finds the spoons someday. How is the puppy doing?
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About Me
I enjoy cooking for our family sit down dinners. Although my kids are grown, we are a close family that enjoys 4-5 sit down dinners a week together. My family's favorite dinner is chicken enchiladas smothered in green chili. I have a passion for cooking, baking for the holidays and food photography.
My favorite things to cook
I am family oriented and spend time with my family enjoying meals. My favorite things to cook are Mexican food and any food my family asks me to cook. My family looks forward to home cooked Mexican food at least once a week and Italian food.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I am on a journey to reclaim family recipes that were lost when the cooks in my family passed away. Cooking traditions are a major part of my passion for cooking. On Christmas Eve, we always had green chili and tamales. Cookie baking, lemon bars, pizzelles , and potica have been a must at Christmas as long as I can remember. My family looks forward to homemade pizza, when we gather as a family to decorate the Christmas cookies. Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without noodles and gravy piled high on mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and broccoli and rice casserole. On the 4th of July, there is the 4th of July Potato Salad that I make using 10 pounds of potatoes. Mexican Food is part of our weekly menu--green chili served over mashed potatoes or as a slopper (green chili poured over hamburgers.) I am always making tortillas for someone. They call my tortillas little white pieces of gold. Saturdays are Family night for dinner. It is the one day my kids can request a meal.
My cooking triumphs
Seeking help on the Buzz and the AR Blog has resulted in a few triumphs. I am extremely ecstatic about overcoming the yeast monster. I can now bake baguettes, focaccia and the best rolls in the world, my Grandma Rita's Butter Rolls.
My cooking tragedies
My first attempts at baking bread/rolls resulted in rock hard flat rolls. However, I am improving. Baking at High Altitude is somewhat of a challenge.
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