Archive for the ‘aleta’s etsy kitschen’ Category
Results are in: we have some well-equipped kitchens! I asked readers about their favourite underappreciated kitchen tools and got these results.
Good, solid knives (37%)
Some had brand, others noted the complete genericness of their knives…all in all, having a knife you love makes the kitchen a better place! My all-time favourite was my very first: a meat cleaver I picked up at a yardsale and used for everything from meat (as intended) to cutting onions to mincing garlic.
Mixing bowls (27%)
Nesting, vintage, really big, everyone loves a good mixing bowl.
Prep bowls (27%)
Including ramekins. Mine came from a restaurant I worked at for awhile. We ordered tiramisu from a vendor that came in this perfect glass cups (1 c each) and had no use for them after dessert was done. I managed to nab a good dozen and I *still* run out from time to time.
Silicone Spatula (23%)
Nuff said. I’ve been using one for tomato sauces lately to keep my nonstick all nice.
The one item I originally listed that made it on the list!
Narrow misses were wooden spoons, cutting boards of various sizes and materials (it would seem that cooks tend toward specific formats), whisks of varying description and garlic press (natch).
Ideas that I LOVE included a gold filter in place of cheesecloth, chopsticks (which I so totally use to clean out my garlic press, mix drinks and test cakes for doneness), fondant rolling pin, which might fix my notorious inability to operate a regular one, kitchen shears, and a husband to do the dishes, which I totally put on my registry. 😉
There was also a comment about the uselessness of mandolines, and ho boy, do I have one of my famous opinions on that topic. The first time I had my now-Matron-of-Honour over for dinner, I was in a total tizzy getting everything together and 1 hour before her arrival pulled out my new mandoline to slice up some red onion for the salad. I saw the little handguard and was like “psh, this thing is stupid, they totally put them in here for chumps so they can’t sue the company” and set it aside.
I think you know where this is going.
I earned myself a very permament 1/2″ x 1/4″ scar on the butt of my hand, narrowly missing important veins, and on my first day of work (almost a month later) had to shake hands with everyone with this huge gross bandage that obviously was treating some grievous kitchen injury. It felt gross to do that to a complete stranger.
In unrelated news, I totally found copies of those white bowls I use in most of my food photos and will be listing them on etsy at some point next week. Anyone here interested? They’re all that are left of what used to be Hamilton Beach stand mixers from the 40s or 50s, are made by Pyrex, and let in just enough diffused light to make for nice bright in-the-bowl shots. The ones I have now have some metal-utensil damage (little scratches on the bottom), but only where you’d have food anyway. $20 and they’re yours; $25 next week on etsy.
Here they are in action (there are two–a big ole bowl, and a smaller spouted mixy thing).
I’m not planning on making Omnomicon a repository for etsy advertising, but where so many of my readers are food bloggers, I though these might be of especial interest. To everyone else, apologies on the plug!
The holidays are finally over. For the last two months you’ve put as much deliciously rich foods and mediocre cookie plates as can fit in your mouth at any one time. Upon returning to work, you’ve discovered that your work slacks are a little tight, and you’re considering eschewing your creative and unique New Year’s resolution in favor of the old “lose 20 lbs” standby, because while cable knitting looks really cool, who has time to make anything big enough to be useful?
No worries, everyone else is feeling it too.
Now that family commitments have been satisfied and friends are finally back from where-do-your-parents-live-again, it’s the perfect time to get everyone together for a party to celebrate the end of the bustling season and the beginning of two miserable months before March even begins to tempt you with hints of Spring. What better way than to flavor trip?
Miraculin is really nothing new to dedicated foodies, who probably read This NYTimes Article last year, or considered purchasing some from ThinkGeek. If you are not a dedicated foodie, or do not read the New York Times, good for you! Here’s a simple breakdown of the deal:
Miraculin is a chemical derived from the Miracle Fruit of exotic West Africa. It “tricks your tastebuds into thinking sour and bitter foods are sweet.” I can’t imagine that exact sentence hasn’t been used like, a bajilion times, so I put it in quotes, even though I’m not entirely sure who I’m quoting. The experience lasts 20-40 minutes, during which time lemons taste like sweet lemonade, Tabasco has a chocolatey overtone, and sweets taste the same as ever. It is legal in the United States and most other countries, and is not a drug in the sense that your mind is not affected, just your tastebuds. I’m not sure how Mormons might feel about that, so please speak up if you happen to know. There has been talk of using it as an aid to diabetics, in a fashion similar to Stevia, but the process in the US has been held up by red tape, and I suspect that the lingering after-effect stymies the actual practicality of this idea.
Flavor tripping makes a great alternative to the standard “drink beer until we’re drunk” model of throwing a party, and gives an easy (and relatively inexpensive) focus—each serving costs about a dollar, and citrus fruit should be flooding in from Florida any day now. And it’s good clean fun!
But what makes it especially relevant to this time of year is that diet thing. Instead of feeding guests brownies and cookies,* it’s fruit, and tasty enough sneak a few vitamins into someone’s day. Even after the effects have worn off, the lemons and limes can be used for drink garnish, and don’t be surprised if you see a cohort unpeeling an orange or snacking on carrots later in the night.
*(Okay, you can still make your famous brownies, I understand)
We had a flavor tripping component to our Halloween party a couple years back, and it went over very well. Everyone agreed that grapefruit are simply HEAVENLY on the stuff, and we sampled various sour beers and all but emptied my condiment shelves. I managed to convince 30 or 40 people to take the pill all at once, waited until it was in everyone’s mouth and announced “Haha, that was acid. Enjoy the light show, ladies and gentlemen!” I would not recommend making this joke around family or children, lest you instantly earn the scarlet letter of drug-addled hippy on the fast-track to self-destruction.
Here is pretty much the only relevant shot I have from that totally righteous party. Featuring myself as Lydia the Tattooed Lady, and Sarita as one hot secret service type.
On a completely unrelated side note, even a year out, and I’m still really proud of that costume, even if my entire torso was sticky for the first two weeks of November.
Moving right along, below is a list of items that we found especially interesting under the exotic hypnosis of the Miracle Fruit:
- Lemons, naturally
- Limes, and though I usually like sour foods anyway, this is the only time I have ever enjoyed a lime
- Grapefruit, which tastes like a delicate blend of manna and angel’s breath, with notes of the flutter of a dove’s wings
- Carrots, sweeter than you think!
- Tabasco, and be careful not to eat too much because it is very delicious
- Vinegar, which is a real trip
- Sour Beers
There were many other beers being a-sampled, but I only managed to try a couple. Make sure that everyone knows to coat their tongue as the tablet dissolves on it. I let it dissolve in the middle to tip of my tongue, which meant the lemons tasted wonderful until the juice made it down on the sides of my tongue and gave me a rude awakening.
Another warning: be careful if you’re prone to heartburn. While your mouth will be flooded with sweetness, you’re still swallowing a whole lotta citric acid (or vinegar, or spicy foods), so BEWARE.
Do tell: have you tried the stuff, or are you of the “oh, I always wanted to try that” camp? What delights did you find in your cupboards?
shameless plug: the dishes pictured are for sale on my Etsy site: Aleta’s Kitschen.
Kalie, who I’m assuming is Mormon, answered a pivotal question I posed:
Mormons love it! We just can’t do the whole sour beers and Guiness thing!
Not as cool as the posse Andre has, but I set up an Etsy shop for all the vintage stuff I love so much but have no space for. I like to think the descriptions really carry my personality for me. I feel ever-so-slightly lame for posting this before some amazing recipe, but I’m really enjoying still life photography of the non-food variety, and will be posting in the next week or two (really really I mean it this time!).
So consider Aleta’s Kitschen open.
While I don’t suspect this will earn me any money, it does satisfy an insatiable lust for vintage I have no use for. If I had the dough, I’d just give it all away, but sadly, I don’t. Still, it pays for an otherwise expensive and storage-raping hobby.
These were my favourite descriptions, I had tons o’fun with these things.
This lightweight pitcher and mugs are appealingly vintage with what could very well pass as Hillside Middle School’s new logo in 1982.
Outfitted with slick STRAIN/CLOSE/POUR lid technology, this would be an ideal vessel and serving cups of Tang for, say, two children who are thirsty after swinging in the yard. The pitcher holds 3 quarts (96 oz) and each mug holds 12 oz. That means you can pour each cup all the way to the top FOUR TIMES before you have to make more Kool-Aid.
Pitcher is 9.5″ tall, 4.75″ in circumference and 8″ wide (lip to handle). Each cup 4″ high, 3″ in circumference. Packaged with complimentary packet of Tang.
This set will no doubt impress your mother-in-law, who will burn up much of dinner talking about her wedding dish pattern, and every scrap of Pfaltzgraff she’s ever owned while you smile and enjoy dinner without having to force small talk.
Funky Spring Blossom Casserole and Whisking Bowl by Pyrex. Made for housewives in the USA between 1972 and 1979, who says you can’t use them now?
Oven-to-table, cheery, and just begging to try your grandmother’s noodle casserole recipe, the casserole holds 2.5 quarts, and the bowl 3 cups. Silver V marking on the casserole in the photos has been safely removed.
Packaged with a delicious casserole recipe card to try out. 😉
The plaque pretty much says it all.
Not only is this vintage (1968), it’s all Victorian stylized so it’s like, Vintage Vintage. Double Vintage. Meta-Vintage.
This bad lawrence comes from Yorkraft which, according to a cursory overview of the Internet, appears to be one of the earliest sources of “Crap that Places Like Applebees Put on Their Wall in Lieu of Real Antiques.” Wikipedia had nothing, Google Maps had an unconfirmed listing in York PA, and while I found links to Yorkraft.com, they were dead. Then I remembered there were muffins cooling on the counter and so that’s all I know about Yorkraft.
Nice beard, though.
16″ high by 12″ wide on sturdy, completely flat 1/2″ MDF board. 1968 Yorkraft, York PA. 3 lbs 5 oz, this thing is wicked diesel. Packaged with all my love. <3
Okay, now go tell your friends!
Feedback? Things you like? Am I missing the mark? Is vintage even cool any more? Would you actually pay for any of this junk? Though my food photos rely heavily on boring white plates, this is the stuff I pull out when we have company.