Today it’s all about manual vintage kitchen tools we all need. Some people call these items vintage tools, but they’re what we grew up using in the kitchen, right? If we cook from scratch we have all of these, just admit it. They may look different these days, but we have many of these we still love. I’m updating this post as a reminder for all of us to gather cherished family recipes, many of which were made using these tools.
I remember when my mother died and the family went through some of her stuff, my sister found a pink-handled egg beater. What a treasure! I wanted my mom’s recipe box, “Squeal.” I wish there were more recipes in the box that she had written or were committed to memory. I wish I had asked for her recipes before she passed away. Just FYI, ask your mom, grandma, or favorite relatives today for the recipes you love, not tomorrow. Pork Breakfast Sausage
Manual Vintage Kitchen Tools We All Need
Manual Vintage Kitchen Tools
I still grate some cheeses we eat, but I also buy cheese that is already grated/shredded from Sam’s Club or Costco. It’s important to me to have several bags in the freezer so I never run out of my favorite cheese.
I remember someone writing something funny in which they stated that we have to buy our cheese grated in a bag because we are too busy to grate it ourselves. I giggled, I thought it was funny. I remember buying a bag and thinking wow, I don’t have to grate this whole chunk anymore! I found out that if I needed to use a small portion now, I had to freeze the rest of the grated cheese because once I opened the bag it would go bad before I could use the whole bag. Modern Cheese Grater and Rotary Cheese Grater
After the girls moved on to start their own families, I quickly learned I needed to buy smaller bags. But then, I went back to buying larger bags and putting two cups of cheese in smaller bags, and freezing the smaller bags. I love saving money. I’ve noted that not all types of cheeses are available in grated form, so I still use my cheese grater from time to time.
Old Can and Bottle Openers
Some people call these church keys. I don’t know the story behind it, but my dad always called them that. They are a bottle/can opener to me.
This is so crazy. I live in a small town and it’s really hard to find certain things when I need them. I swear I had an old can opener, but I couldn’t find it in the kitchen tools drawer. I thought, really??? So, I ordered a can opener on Amazon. I wanted one like the old-fashioned ones. Manual Can Opener and Electric Can Opener (great for my arthritis, not for a power outage). Manual Old Style
I remember when my mom would bring home some bottles of root beer and RC Cola and we’d use one of these to open the soda pop. Oh my gosh, I’m loving writing this post. What do you remember using those bottle openers for?
My mom and dad made the best homemade pork sausage and I don’t have the recipe. It was perfect, juicy, and with a little kick. They ground the fresh pork with a hand-crank meat grinder and added some seasonings. Does anyone have a great recipe for freshly ground pork patties? Meat Grinder UPDATE: Chuck Simmons’s Sausage Recipe, is posted below, he shared it with me.
I remember my mom also made the best ham salad with a little pickle relish with some mayonnaise. Life is good with a yummy sandwich. We even ground our own chuck roasts, the hamburger tasted so good.
Mark and I can almost smell the grape juice and tomato juice we used to make when we had four daughters at home to help with the process.
If you rinse your quinoa, or rice, or make jam, jelly, or tomato sauce, this is one I have used for years. I also had one that had a handle to strain the grapes for juice. Manual Hand Strainer
Hand Egg Beater
Do you have a hand egg beater? Over the years I have switched to a Danish Whisk. But we need both, right?
I use my manual egg beater all the time rather than drag the stand mixer over to the table to use it for whipped cream, etc. Oh, and scrambled eggs, I have to make sure the whites of the eggs disappear before I make scrambled eggs. Yep, I use my egg beater. If you can locate some of these at thrift stores be sure to get at least one! I have found some, but I try to stick to stainless steel manual vintage kitchen tools, if possible. Manual Hand Beater
One of my favorite things is peeling apples with an apple peeler. We used to make so many bottles of applesauce for the year!
I remember growing up and we used a paring knife to peel apples. I have gone through two manual apple peelers in my life. I used one for years for applesauce and dehydrating apples. I’m now on my second one. I’m sure old homesteaders used these handy tools. Here is the one I have now. Manual Apple Peeler and a Paring Knife
Pastry Blender/and Scraper
My goal is to learn to make pie crusts, but this item can be used for many things.
I need a Pastry Blender when I make biscuits. No, I don’t make pie crusts, I buy pies. I use a Pastry Scraper to cut my bread dough. If you make homemade bread you know we should never pull the dough, only cut it into the sections we need.
Now, you can use cookie cutters, but I love big thick fluffy biscuits, so I use different Biscuit cutter sizes all the time. I have to give you my biscuit recipe. Do you love biscuits as much as I do?
- 4 tsp. instant SAF yeast
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup of warm water
- 1 cup shortening or softened butter (I use butter)
- 5 cups white bread flour
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, except the flour.
2. Then slowly add the flour one cup at a time, and mix thoroughly.
3. Place the covered bowl in the refrigerator. The dough will keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator.
4. Roll out the dough when ready to make the desired amount of biscuits.
5. Brush them with melted butter and let rise for 20-30 minutes. Bake at (425°F) = (218°C) degrees for about 12-15 minutes. Enjoy.
Chuck (a Food Storage Moms follower-thank you, Chuck) sent this recipe to me in a comment! Yay!
- 5-6 pounds lean pork shoulder (can also use country-style ribs)
- 5 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 2-1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 teaspoons ground sage
Trim fat from pork and retain it.
Grind the remaining pork and mix in the seasonings.
We like fairly lean sausage, but you need to have some fat for good sausage. Grind fat and gradually add to your own desired level of fat content.
Here again, we come to personal taste, but we prefer our sausage on the spicy side, so we add additional pepper flakes.
Make a few small patties and fry them for a sample. Adjust spices accordingly
We make the mixture into balls (approx 1/4 lb) and put them in the cheap fold-top sandwich bags and flatten them into patties and store them in a larger freezer bag. Place the patties you are not cooking into your freezer to cook later.
Cook over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes on each side in a skillet until the center temperature is at least (160°F) = (71°C) degrees. Cook them as soon as possible if you aren’t freezing them. The time to cook will depend on the size of the patties.
What are some other manual kitchen tools?
Here are a few other items I have available in my kitchen, and I’m sure many of you have these and others we could add.
- Cast Iron Cookware: I’ve enjoyed using my Dutch oven for years and still prepare some meals that way. Cast iron comes in many shapes and sizes, including a griddle, skillet, pan, waffle iron, and more. Just this week I wrote a post about how to bring your cast iron cookware items back to life.
- Coffee Grinder: for those who drink coffee, these can be a real lifesaver if your power goes out. You take your coffee beans and put them in the grinder and set it at the course setting you like. Fresh ground coffee tastes great, and the kids will have fun helping you grind up a bunch.
- Flour Sifter: there are probably lots of young cooks who’ve never used a flour sifter. Most milled flour comes in a bag already sifted, some several times. In the past, they were used to separate the flour from the chaff.
- Grain Mill: before electric mills became so popular, we used to mill or grind our own grains. I’ve mostly done wheat, but you can also mill other non-oily grains like rye, quinoa, millet, rice, and some herbs. Again, if you need to make bread, cookies from cookie dough, biscuits, or other flour-based meal items and the power is out, having a mill to grind your wheat is a smart prepper idea.
Thanks for reminiscing with me today. If we all have some manual vintage kitchen tools we can continue cooking and baking without any power. Life is good if we’re prepared for the unexpected. Please store water and food for your family so you’re always prepared. May God bless this world, Linda