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Do you collect food-related items?

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A recent release of wine and cheese stamps from Canada Post spurred this question.

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  1. I try to collect sake stemware (shot glasses, cups and the like).

    I usually ask the Itamae whenever I am at the bar if I can buy one of their sake shot glasses. They usu. are more than happy to oblige and give it to me for free (and I reciprocate with a nice tip).

    1. I collect shot glasses when I travel and have them from all over the world. They're available everywhere, even airport giftshops and rarely cost more than $5, usually much less. Some are elegant, some downright tacky and fun. I've added to them at rummage sales and antique shops over the years.
      I use them for oyster shooters rather than serving oysters on the half shell at buffets and cocktail parties. Great conversation pieces.

      I have a collection of serving plates for hors d'oeuvres. I try to find square ones in every country I visit.
      Also I now have about 15 deviled egg plates from all over, holding from 8 egg halves (Russia) to 30 (South Dakota), some antique, some handcrafted, elegant to funky.

      1. Does having 8 sets of china, all sorts of serving ware, 2 sets + sterling flatware, 2 stainless and more assorted glassware from crystal irish coffees (maybe they'll get used next year) crystal hot toddies never used in 30+ years...but they were so pretty antique and contemporary count? Still aquiring when I shold be divesting.

        1. I have this odd thing for wooden spoons. Been collecting them for way too long but I do have (if I may say so) an amazing travel log of sorts...anywhere I've traveled...a wooden spoon (some quite valuable now) was purchased.

          Several made from bark right before my eyes. Not to mention the gifted spoons. No...I have no idea what to do with all these sticks of wood but my kitchen is stocked...and the collection continues. (grin).

          3 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            I've got the same spoon thing going of at my house. Just received some spoons from my mom who had her "spoon lady" at the market in Bolivia make some for me with a whole in the center. (good for beating cake batter)

            1. re: bolivianita

              boliv...aren't those great! The slotted spoon is a whole category...don't get me started, it's really a crazy collection!

              1. re: bolivianita

                ahh wooden spoons, i have hundreds of those.. one for stiring juice, one for cookies, one for cake batter.. etc. etc.

            2. iEspresso cups, each one unique, each one a beauty.

              1. Bowls. Beautiful bowls. My own hang-up, but I hate mixing something up in a run-of-the-mill plastic. Bowls for mise, bowls for condiments, giant bowls for mixing dough, soup bowls upon soup bowls, cafe au lait bowls, asian noodle bowls, gorgeous wooden salad bowls, cool Scandinavian glass bowls. My husband just shakes his head. But if the roof ever leaks, we'll have plenty of vessels to catch the water.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cayjohan

                  So good to know I'm not alone. I just bought two scandanavian chicken bowls just because they caught my eye, and I know I'll use them for something.

                  I also collect teapots and mortar and pestles.

                2. Hey, I bought those wine and cheese stamps from Canada Post.
                  And, yes it was because of the food theme. Still have them. They seem too pretty to use.

                  As for other things, I have bought food themed calendars.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kitchensalli

                    You could frame those stamps! My dad framed each individual stamp from past Christmas's for my mom... they're really cute up on a shelf together!

                    We had food stamps a while back here too, but they were more corn, squash, etc., so not as exciting as wine and cheese!

                  2. Coffee mugs with cat designs. The cat orgy (it's very subtle and discreet), blue cat with a poppy, white cat with tail as handle, plus many others.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Louise

                      Where did you get these? I have 5 fabulous cats, and my husband is a cat freak.

                      1. re: prunefeet

                        They're the result of many years of accumulation, having long been a cat lover.

                        The orgy is really hysterical. You don't realize what they're doing unless you think about it a little. I've seen the same with penguins.

                        1. re: Louise

                          Many, many years ago, when I was shockingly young for such a thing, I got my mother the penguin orgy mug. Also her favorite mug of all time (long ago gone to mug heaven), B. Kliban's "Momcat" mug, with one of his tabbies sitting upright, with a matching kitten in a kanagaroo-style pocket.

                    2. I collect magnets to cover up my ugly refrigerator. The favorites in my collection happen to be food related, too.

                      1. I too have a collection of shot glasses. Approaching 200+... Started out as a fluke. Just asked anyone who was going on vacation to bring me a shot glass back. Never thought the collection would grow so big, so quickly. Have had to add many new shelves just to accommodate. My prized ones are the international shot glasses. Have one that is pewter and from Saigon. The rule of the house...it doesn't go to the shelf, until it's "broken" in!!! :)

                        1. I collect teapots. My prized one is an antique I bought at a little shop in Virginia, it has sets on a base, and there is a place for a candle in the base to keep the tea warm.

                          1. I love platters and have so many its difficult to store them. Also sea salts, all kinds. whenever a friend travels or I do, I ask for sea salt from that country. I do use them all in cooking, though, so its not just a collection.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Doreen

                              I have a lot of platters. Down stairs in my laundry room I have a bunch of plastic coated wire shelves. I have found that it is better and more efficient to sotre all of my platters on their edges in the shelving. It keeps them from weighing each other down. This is a trick from long ago having to ship a lot of china off to different vendors divesting a stock room from tons of discontinued patternds to places like Replacements and China Chasers. It was much safer to pack china on edge, well padded of course, than to wrap and stack. If the box was dropped there was less chance of breakage from the weight compacting as it hit.

                            2. Yes - I collected pre-1833 English transferware - mostly Spode, also some later Aesthetic movement brown transferware. Don't use it for serving food though, but enjoy reading about and researching what pieces were used for etc.

                              1. Another shotglass collector here. I also have some pieces of food product art, both standard advertising art and 'created' pieces. Several years ago, Tobasco offered a series of posters featuring Tobasco bottles done in the styles of several different artists i.e. Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keefe, Vincent Van Gogh, even Leroy Neiman. They made excellent decoration for my dining room and kitchen. Inspired by them, my son did a painting in his art class and gave it to me for Father's Day. It was Tobasco bottles in an MC Escher style. And he did this in the 7th grade!

                                1. I collect wooden sushi boxes, platters, bowls, ships, etc...but not for food. I use them as place sets for origami figures I gift people.

                                  1. i collect chopsticks and chopstick holders... spice jars and spices... serving platters....

                                    1. i collect 1940s & 1950s jadeite glass kitchenware. love the color.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: ericalloyd

                                        I'm with you erica. I have collected jadite since the late 80's and I also like old kitchenware itens including depression glass and all sorts of old bowls. I also have old spice tins but don't dare use the contents inside. Richie

                                      2. Pots and Pans and pots and pans and ...... I go on ebay and buy Staub cast iron, made in France (great prices) and Bourgeat stainless.

                                        I was in Nishiki Market in Kyoto and at Aritsugu they had these beautiful hammered Japanese pots, with french style riveted handles. I wanted them all, but picked one and they struck my name into the metal in kanji. Handle-less Japanese round pots too (you pick them up with pliers).

                                        I also bought an "Okama" on that trip -- a goregous cast iron rice cooker, with a bamboo top. You can see a picture of the Okama here, in "Cool Tools" a great book about Japanese cooking tools. Enter "Okama" in the search box:

                                        http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/47700...

                                        I used to buy a new copper pot from Zabars every year, as their prices were the best, but now I have an awful lot of copper pots. Half the fun is buying a pot and looking for something to cook to make use of its unique shape/design.

                                        My wife is making me stop -- no more room! But my daughter is going to inherit a great set someday!

                                        1. I collect vintage Pyrex - wonderful thick glass. My best find was a casserole that was made in Australia complete with top probably 50's vintage. I have about 15 pieces of refrigerator storage items all sizes and colors complete with lids (can't stand plastic stuff to store food). Also use glass pie plates to feed Devil Chow and his Missus. Thrift stores still a good source for these.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: ZoeZ

                                            Check out Heller Vignelli designed pyrex; totatlly sixties and knoll.

                                            http://www.designaddict.com/design_in...

                                            I get it on ebay:

                                            http://cgi.ebay.com/2-INDIVIDUAL-CASS...

                                            1. re: ZoeZ

                                              Be very careful. Old Pyrex contracts "glass fatigue" it can shatter when being removed from an oven. So when using your old pyrex be sure that it is not going to be horrendously expensive to throw out dinner and go out for fear that your food is imbeded with glass fragments.

                                            2. I collect cookbooks and baking gadgets (only what I can use).

                                              1. I somehow started collecting little plates, saucer-size, but (usually) without the divet in the center. Not frou-frou china ones, but funky ones with neat art or interesting materials. I use them when I have guests, or just to be fancy when I have a snack.

                                                My mom collects cookbooks -- over 6,000 at last count, and not just any; she's selective! This is starting to rub off on me, but I try to just borrow when I can. :)

                                                1. I too love bowls, or little casserole dishware. I love the polish ware especailly, I have an odd assortment of those. Then there are the little casserole like dishes probably used for an individual gratin, and little bowls from italy. Nothing matches which is the way I like it.
                                                  Then there is the sets of glassware. I like 40s and 50s glassware, some look to be exotic, with gold designs, and painted designs. Some are crystal but my favorie are the commerative glasses from the Kentucky Derby. Mine are older so not sure they still do that?
                                                  Oh and little dishes that are from places all around the world. I have some from France, Italy, Ireland and Canada. Just little small dishes with pitures of grand hotels, or one with a beautiful woman painted on it from France, another acknowledgine the Irish nurses, probably most were procured from some hotel during a convention. And then they end up at little antique stores where I find them.. They are my olive or butter dishes, or whatever I choose to put on them. Wonderful conversation starters. And of course the obvious, cookbooks. Old and new, any kind I love them all.

                                                  1. rubber spatulas-love the rounded handles on the LC; have narrow ones for the mayo jar, spoonulas for folding, flexible ones for tender things like potato salad, stiff ones for mixing cookie dough. At present count, 14. They have their own utensil jar.

                                                    (Some handles are just terrible though, and bite into the palm of your hand. Those are never used, but I somehow don't toss them out!)

                                                    old cast iron skillets at yard sale prices-- I can't pass them up. I clean them up and give them to young cooks just getting started.

                                                    Pancake turners from the 30's and 40's. Most are just on display for the visual effect. (I use my short Case and my Forschner Econo-Cut griddle spatula every day several times.)

                                                    Also like stamped metal match boxes. My next collectable!

                                                    1. I have a collection of ancient Japanese and Chinese teapots. The youngest is from the early 1900's and most are many hundreds of years old. Clay of various types and colors, ceramic, silver, iron... as well as dozen modern ones.

                                                      Sake sets of all types and ages.

                                                      I also have some old liquor and tonic/medicine bottles and jugs from the 1600-1900's.

                                                      I have many glasses of all types. Antique wine glasses, champagne flutes, liqueur glasses, and beer glasses.

                                                      I also have a ton of modern beer glasses with the beer names on them. Brewpubs, breweries, and almost all the specific Belgian beer goblets and flutes.

                                                      Hand turned and carved wooden bowls and platters in non-traditional shapes and with beautiful grain.

                                                      1. Have you seen the Hershey's Kisses 100th Anniversary stamps?

                                                        http://www.slashfood.com/2006/12/05/h...

                                                        Or the Austrian Ice Cream flavored stamps?

                                                        http://www.slashfood.com/2006/05/18/i...

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: JMF

                                                          I want those Austrian stamps!! I've always wanted to have lickable wallpaper like in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and that seems to be the closest thing!

                                                        2. I own an aubergine teapot and a corn on the cob spoon holder

                                                          1. Cookbooks..of course!
                                                            And my my passion for the last few years is cake stands.I use them all over the house to hold things plus they are great for the endless showers I seem to throw for serving.
                                                            http://www.shoplateda.com

                                                            1. I also collect Felix The Cat Coffee Mugs--so cute

                                                              1. I am surprised no one mentioned salt and pepper shakers! I collect salt from around the world so naturally I also collect salt and pepper shakers. I also collect drinks / cocktail stirrers.