HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >


do you collect food related non food things?

I do.
I collect:
cutting/bread boards/chopping blocks
rolling pins
pepper mills
heavy pots and pans
butter dishes
old kitchen gadgets such as egg beaters/flour sifters/dough cutters, etc.
I was wondering if anyone collects things for their kitchen too.
Is there a site where we can exchange or trade things with each other?
Think it'd be a great idea.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have an uncontrollable compulsion toward food storage containers and bowls. There are so many other items I really NEED, but these are the two things I keep buying. Bowls are like shoes, right? You can never have too many...

    4 Replies
    1. re: ArikaDawn

      oh my gosh, another person who adores bowls, ME TOO

      1. re: iL Divo

        I once spent the good portion of a weekend, searching for the "just right" bowls for cereal. I noticed that all the bowls I had only held a small portion of cereal and I always had to add another serving. I wanted a bowl that would hold just the right amount. Well, I'm here to tell you, there are alot of bowls in this world. Searching the web was very enlightening.

        1. re: othervoice

          It's so true. And I have different bowls for all kinds of things. I have just the right size bowls for ice cream, another set for soups and chili, another set for small salads, another big set for saucy pasta, plus serving, mixing and mise en place bowls in all kinds of sizes and materials. Glass, ceramic, stainless steel. And I love and use them all. :)

      2. re: ArikaDawn

        I could join Stainless Steel Anonymous.

        Seriously, I do a lot of Chinese food. It is not unusual to use a dozen prep bowls for a meal.


      3. Oh, don't get me started! Well, since you asked ---- here's what I collect:

        - Egg cups

        - Chopstick rests

        - Food tins (like candy tins, cookie and cracker tins, tea tins, etc.)

        - Airline-size liquor bottles (empty, of course)

        - Honey jars (the decorative kind, usually shaped like beehives, but sometimes like pots, and even - oh still my beating heart - like a bee itself)

        My husband collects swizzle sticks with advertising on them, European glass change dishes with food logos (like chocolate), and keychains that advertise or are in the shape of chocolate.

        And this isn't counting things that accumulate even though I don't collect them on purpose, like sets of measuring spoons (I have 6 or 7), wooden spoons, and cutting boards.

        But I'm not trading any of this stuff. I love it and I'm going to keep it!


        14 Replies
        1. re: AnneInMpls

          You reminded me, my DH collects both chopsticks and beer steins. It's so funny the process he goes through trying to decide which set to take when we go out for dinner.

          1. re: AnneInMpls

            It's really not much compared to serious collector types, but I do have about 200 cookie cutters.

            1. re: curiousbaker

              That's a lot, even so! But for a baker, I suppose having lots of cookie cutters is a good thing. Are they all different? Antique, odd ones? Curious as to what you've found out there. (I'm not going to collect them; just curious.)

              1. re: LindaWhit

                I look for odd ones, though I haven't bothered with antiques. I really just like the idea of having a huge assortment of possible shapes at my disposal. Some of my favorites are an elaborate Chinese dragon, a big (8 inch or so) pig, a rook (chess piece), a ballerina, and several different moose (I vacation in Maine a lot). I like the miniature sets - leaves, insects, butterflies, flowers. These can be used for mini-cookies or for cutting marzipan for decorating cakes, so they're really functional. But sometimes it's just fun to have something people don't expect, like a nice turtle. Who doesn't like a nice turtle? The weirdest one I have is a Jesus fish, about 7 inches long or so. Someone gave it to me. I'm not particularly religious, so I haven't had a chance to use it, but if anyone asks me for oversized cookies for a retreat, I'm good to go.

                1. re: curiousbaker

                  VERY cool, interesting cutters! Thanks for the explanation. Always interesting to hear how collectors get into their obsession and what types of things they have.

              2. re: curiousbaker

                I collect cookie cutters too. I have a lot of graduated sets of one shape (stars, hearts, fluted squares, circles, even feet!) I love miniature cutters too. Have a ton of those. I also collect vintage cookie cutters made by a PA tinsmith sometime in the 1980s. They are flat back cutters made to look antique and all of them are really designed well. I have a pig, cat, fish, raven, 3 different hearts, a snowman, a rabbit, a heart in hand and a huge noah's ark all made by the same artist. I use them and hang them in my kitchen as "art".

                1. re: curiousbaker

                  I don't think I quite have two hundred cookie cutters, but it's close. I have them stashed in several large tupperware containers and drawers according to season/events. My most coveted items are my Hammersong line of cookie cutters. They are so intricate and beautiful, perhaps a little pricey, but incredibly well made. You can see them here:
                  Also, I have enough tart/pie/cake pans to open a bakery. It's crazy!

                  1. re: luvarugula

                    OMGoodness!! It's a good thing I didn't know about Hammersong cookie cutters when the children were young and we were making cookies together. They're gorgeous.
                    I must have about 100 cutters just sitting in a container on a back shelf in the pantry. Just not into cookies any longer. :-(

                    1. re: Gio

                      I'm thinking perhaps curiousbaker or luvarugula might be interested in those cutters. :-)

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Really? I'll have to track them down. Thanks Linda. They're really not anything special but some are quite nice. And, they're old....
                        I really need to start clearing out stuff I don't use and try not to buy things to replace them. I'm even considering all those green handled things too. Wish CH had a bulletin board so we could list things like this.

                        1. re: Gio

                          I am totally with you on this one. I started a thread on another foodie board for sharing or trading and it went no where. I was hoping it could be like a I have this, do you want it, want to buy it or give it away? type thing, but again, it didn't work.

                      2. re: Gio

                        oh oh oh oh, can I have 'em? *)

                        1. re: iL Divo

                          Have what? :-) E-mail me - the address is on my profile.....

                          1. re: Gio

                            those green handled things you have hanging around the house. I collect I them too. Okay, I'm done with this collecting thing, oh no I bet I'm not ....
                            My husband says it's a sickness I tell ya, a sickness.

                2. I collect fridge magnets. often food related, but not always. Unfortunately, I have limited space for my collection, so I have to be very choosy about what I buy.

                  1. Absolutely. I collect wooden spoons. Not ones with writing on them or decorated with paint, but old hardwood, wooden spoons or stirrers - *usable* spoons. They have to be the right size - not too long, not too thick in the bowl, an interesting shaped bowl or carving on the handle. I have about 5 I use all the time, but I just counted them - I have 31 of them.

                    And I've got family and friends who help me in my obsession when we go antiquing - if I haven't already spied the item, they'll pull it out and say "How's this one?". :-)

                    While I don't collect cutting boards, I do have 7 of them. I also have some old wooden handled kitchen tools--a meat fork and a skimmer, cookie/dough cutters in graduated sizes in their original tins, and some old kitchen gadgets--a child's sifter, a few old whisks/beaters, tin scoops--all hung on a small antique hat rack that hangs on my wall.

                    Oh! I almost forgot - Christmas-related molds or cake tins - Santa and Rudolph cake tins, and a few old Christmas candy molds take up another wall in my kitchen.

                    And finally, I have a full set of 8 (I think) of old (1950's?) composition bobble head wine bottle stoppers similar to this one:


                    Obsession? Yes. Will I probably buy more at Brimfield next weekend? If I find the *right* thing - absolutely. :-)

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Shawnee salt & peppers, cookie jars, old wooden rolling pins, Franciscan Ware Autumn. There are many things on my "to collect" list but until the kitchen is remodeled...Bavarian tomatoes and more that I just can't think of so maybe I'll post again.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        The count of wooden spoons/stirrers is now up to 33 after yesterday's trip to Brimfield. :-)

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          OK, it's several years later, and I saw buttertart revived this thread. I'm up to 38 wooden spoons, I believe. There's an antique show at the Concord Armory this weekend, and Brimfield is coming up.

                          Rut-roh. ;-)

                      2. We collect cheese-related objects- old cheese boxes, old cheese slicers and cutters, cheese labels, etc.

                        1. Antique and unusual cork screws. My favorite: a 5" long antique sperm whale's tooth carved into an eagle's head w/ a wrought iron screw coming out of the middle. Beer coasters, beer glasses, chop sticks & holders, menus, cast iron cookware, and my wife collects back scratchers.

                          1. I collect salt and pepper shakers. I've got hundreds of them from everywhere. Some are over 100 years old. I also have quite a few culinders. I am certqainly not lacking for bowls.

                            1. I collect pottery water pitchers from the 30's and 40's.

                              I do use them... for serving drinks, but also for flowers.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Jennalynn

                                When my kitchen is done, I would love to collect Deruta.

                                  1. re: iL Divo



                                    It's an Italian hand-painted pottery....faience and Majolica are two of the "styles" I believe.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      I have antique Deruta plates that I adore.... I use them at holidays, but it scares me to.... I love just looking at them.

                                      1. re: Gio

                                        The vibrant colors just remind me of Tuscany or Spain - not that I've ever been to Tuscany or Spain. :-)

                                  2. re: Fru

                                    Deruta is beautiful.

                                    This is the kind of thing I collect: http://hallchina.home.att.net/index2.htm

                                    1. re: Jennalynn

                                      I LOVE Majolica and have collected quite a bit.

                                      This looks interesting Jennalynn. It looks like Fiesta Ware.

                                1. I have well-over 200 wine glasses. My husband fears the day he can't park his car in the garage for my glasses will have taken over!

                                  1. I don't collect, so much, as get given antique kitchen things.

                                    Whenever someone's Great Aunt Mollie dies, I seem to be offered the kooky contents of her kitchen.

                                    I have cast iron drop-scone pans from the 1890's, a marble slab, which was my great-great-great grandmother's, a milk billy from the 40's, lots of anodized teapots from the 50's, a cake rack from the 20's and random other things I have no actual idea what they are.

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: purple goddess

                                      So, what makes you think that the , "random other things I have no actual idea what they are" have anything to do with the kitchen? They may well ...

                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka


                                        someone gave me Great Aunt Gertie's "strainer". Apparently it hung on her kitchen wall for years... it looks like wire bowl thingy, with a twisted wire handle and a a wooden handle thingie... Oh hell.. I'll take a photo and post it tonight....Probabaly turn out to be a Victorian "Tipping the Velvet" aid.... ;)

                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                          Here is a pic of said "strainer".. anyone have any idea what it might be??

                                          1. re: purple goddess

                                            looks more like a fryer basket than a strainer. i'd be very curious to know what it was used for, once upon a time.
                                            then again, you could probably fit it with cheesecloth and use it to scoop particles out of cooking liquid.

                                            1. re: vvvindaloo

                                              many people would call that a 'spider'

                                              1. re: babette feasts

                                                Ok.. this is going to sound really odd, But I am not going to google for "kitchen spider" as I am a card carrying arachnophobe!

                                                Can some one tell me what it is??

                                                  1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                    Thanks, love..

                                                    I had nightmares about googling that and coming up with a freaking big beastie!!


                                                    I think that's what it might be, but I'd have to be retrieving bloody great hunks of food for them not to fall thru the gaps.

                                            2. re: purple goddess

                                              What is the depth of the bowl? And is the handle deeply angled down to the basket, or just a slight angle? If it's deeply angled, I would call it a fryer basket like this one: http://www.soaresantiques.com/images/...

                                              But if the handle is parallel to the basket like this one: http://www.shreveport.com/forums/grou... I'd call it a strainer of some sorts - maybe for larger vegetables, because there's no real "mesh" to the basket. Perhaps to scoop out boiled potatoes and chunks of carrots from the cooking water.

                                                1. re: purple goddess

                                                  I think it's some kind of a spider retrieving thingie.
                                                  Like you'd use to take something out of a batch of very hot oil, fried foods etc.

                                            3. Pepper mills
                                              veggie peelers
                                              salt and pepper shakers

                                              1. I do. I collect lemon-themed Sicilian pottery: antipasto platters, coffee canisters, salt servers, berry bowls, tiles with my initials on them, you name it.
                                                I also like Christmas cookie tins, and have about 20 of them. One thing I tend to buy with frequency are wooden cooking utensils. Not just spoons, but also tongs, spatulas, salt and pepper servers, knives and spreaders, and even whisks!
                                                Finally, I have a collection of cocktail shakers (in the shape of a fire extinguisher, a penguin, some antiques, many of them gifts) and martini glasses. I hardly even drink hard liquor anymore (not sure why. maybe it's time to pick it up again-ha!) but I've got enough glassware to open a (very swanky) bar. Ironically, I can't fit hardly any of this stuff in my current kitchen. It's taking up plenty of space in my (bemused) parents' basement.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. i collect jadeite glass kitchenware from the 40s & 50s.

                                                  1. I'm not a huge collector, but I do have a number of cat-themed cookie jars and teapots. I used to have a lovely collection of old serving bowls (carnival glass and gorgeous crystal mainly ) that was a victim of my husband's clumsiness. I did forgive him, eventually!

                                                    1. I love old linens--aprons, napkins, table cloths, dishtowels. (Also old bathroom and bed linens, won't go into those here.) I'm particularly partial to hand-embroidered ones--they were often kits; you can still see the faint gray lines. My fave is a flour sack towel that's has a line of conga-dancing tomatoes!

                                                      1. This is a little wacky, maybe, but my husband and I are always on the lookout for items featuring pigs eating pigs... you know, a pig in a chef's hat, working at the BBQ grill, etc.

                                                        1. I collect green painted wooden handled kitchen tools and have done for about 25 years. Among the collection is a rug beater, a perfect green glass measuring bowl with a green handled egg beater, numerous rolling pins, anything and everything one would need in the kitchen during the 1920's - 30's. They cover the walls in my circa 1900 farmhouse kitchen.

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                            Gio, that sound very cool.... If you had a picture of your walls, I'd love to see them (But please don't feel pressured)

                                                            Sadly, due to the lack of space in our downtown condo, I could never collect a display of wonderful pieces like that...

                                                            1. re: moh

                                                              Agree - would love to see a few pics if you have them Gio!

                                                            2. re: Gio

                                                              That thing that purple goddess has has a green handle.

                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                I know, Sam - I don't have one of those.... I'm calling it a Spider, as babette feasts did above.

                                                                Moh: I'll try for the pic..but as we're beginning a mini-renovation, painting, etc. things are a bit topsy turvy right now. I have a really neat green-handled stove top corn popper I proud of. Some of the utensils I actually use like the pastry whisk and the rolling pins. I've been considering selling the collection, but I think most of the tools are ubiquitous.

                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                  Oh Dear Gio, sorry for the pressure!! I understand the stress of mini-renovation (which I hate to say, is likely an oxymoron). It just sounded so cool... Please don't feel compelled to get a pic, you have enough to deal with now.

                                                                  Good luck with the renos! You'll love it when it's done!

                                                                  1. re: moh

                                                                    I hope so moh! I just don't want to remuddle instead of remodel. It's a bit frustrating!

                                                            3. I sort of aspire to collect cake stands and pigs, because I'm a pastry chef and year of the boar, plus I was vegetarian for about 10 years, and my family was so happy when I finally couldn't resist the bacon anymore, my sister gave me a pig cutting board and my grandmother gave me a pig cake pan. Hey, we're Italian, we like prosciutto!

                                                              1. Pint Glasses from different restaurants and breweries around the country

                                                                anything that has a crab on it.

                                                                1. I just love great martini glasses! Kills me when I break one.

                                                                  1. I can't believe nobody has yet said it: cookbooks. I buy a cookbook wherever I am travelling. It has lead to some fun ones, like The Kitchen Witches' Cookbook (Salem, Mass.) and River Road Cookbook (the original edition, from New Orleans, LA).

                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                    1. re: DanaB

                                                                      Ditto Dana! I am a notorious cookbook collector, but have restrained myself in recent years. I especially love the funky little church and school fund-raiser cookbook because you just know that the recipes are favorites and have been made over and over. My sister-in-law collects Junior League cookbooks from everywhere, and I think she has about 75. I attended the Friends of The Houston Public Library book sale last weekend, and during the preview day I made a beeline for the cookbook table. I promised Mr. Wonderful I would not buy back any of the books I had donated, but I did find a few gems (an original Galloping Gourmet from the late 60s!) and a few others I decided I needed. I also have a pretty impressive collection of cookie cutters (I seem to get other people castoffs too).

                                                                      1. re: Cheflambo

                                                                        Cheflambo, I was in Seattle three weeks ago work related and was brousing through a few stores for things I collect. I found a few treasures that I put into my cart but then, last minute, found the book section. The section for only cookbooks was mind boggling. I was stymied but only had a few minutes left on my bus transfer and didn't have any more cash so I looked for a brief few minutes, hating to leave, but had to. I have a little under 1,000 cookbooks, yeh, I am addicted to them. Any and all....old new good bad famous infamous, you name it, I love them...

                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                          I collect Jewish cookbooks, and seem to be getting quite the collection of old synagogue or temple sisterhood spiral bound collections. Very kitschy, but I love them!

                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                            I'm addicted to cookbooks too - although I don't think I have anywhere near 1,000. I'm probably looking at somewhere between 350-400. I'm seriously running out of room and now have to start looking at editing my collection to make room for all the ones I absolutely must keep. But it really is an addiction. I keep telling myself I just bought the last two this past week for a long time. And I really mean it this time...

                                                                            1. re: flourgirl

                                                                              What helped me break the addicition before it got THAT far out of hand was an analysis of how many recipes from the entire collection I have ever made... Oh, and how often I actually cook from a recipe, or even an approximation of a recipe (almost never). So WHY am I crowding all of these linear feet with cookbooks when I could be crowding them with books about other stuff...! '-)

                                                                              Linear Feet of Cook Books: 9.75
                                                                              Linear Feet of Other Books: 142
                                                                              ..........Sanity reigns!

                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                See, I'm in the same camp as Passadumkeg, below. My initial motivation for buying cookbooks isn't about cooking from them. (Although of course I do, and often.) I just enjoy sitting and reading them, looking at the fabulous pictures and daydreaming about what I'm going to make next. I use my books as a reference library for ideas, and sometimes I don't cook out of a book for literally years and then suddenly I go back to it again. I'm really not looking to break the addiction - I really, REALLY love my cookbooks. I just have to stop buying any new ones for a while. (I think I might actually have reached satiation levels for the time being. At the moment there are no more books I am dying to have. I have them all already.)

                                                                                1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                  Well, I talk the talk, but I ain't walkin' it! I think I bought something like twenty (Yes! TWENTY) Japanese, Chinese, Greek, and Turkish cookbooks last month, plus three more for good measure that are about chefs and food history. So now I am restricted to ONLY buying non-food related books until gasoline comes back down to $1.49 a gallon! '-)

                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                    Now see, you just made me feel a whole lot better. :) And yep, it's the gas thing. It seems like every penny is going to fill up the tanks these days. Luxury spending is really having to be pared down around here. (Not that there was a whole lot of "luxury" in the first place - we're a pretty low maintenance family) but yeah, I really do have to lay off the book buying thing for a while. Which is fine, because I have stacks of books I haven't even cracked yet, never mind explored fully. I can stay busy for a loooong time with my current stash. Which makes me very happy.

                                                                        2. re: DanaB

                                                                          You're right. I just inherited my deceased mother-in-laws collection of 19th cent New England cookbooks. I collect them in English, Spanish, Norwegian-Swedish, an Russain. I asked my wife for a Spanish lang. Bolivian cookbook, Mi Comida for Father's Day. I sit and read cookbooks. I feel that if I cook one meal from a cookbook, it has paid for itself.

                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                            "I feel that if I cook one meal from a cookbook, it has paid for itself."

                                                                            I don't even necessarily have to cook from a cookbook to feel like it was worth it. I really like cookbooks that give you a sense of place and time. I may never have the ingredients, or cooking utensils, or techniques to cook from a specific book, but if I feel transported by the recipes, that's enough! I love reading recipes from the turn of the century. I also have a Cuban cookbook, entirely in spanish, that links music and food. I don't speak spanish, I can't read the recipes, but I can look at the pictures, and lists of ingredients, and get an idea of what they are talking about, and it is very cool (Fortunately, my food vocabulary is surprisingly developed in multiple languages...)

                                                                            I just like to see how others prepare food and talk about food. Hence my CH addiction.

                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                              I definitely have a smaller collection than some posting here (less than 100), but that is by design. I have some books I inherited (my grandmother's copy of Fanny Farmer's Boston Cooking School Cookbook from the early 1930s, and my mother's copy of Joy of Cooking from 1962, both of which they got when they were married, and both of which are tattered and food-spotted. I also have my mom's copy of "Epicure," put out by the Junior League of Newport Beach in the mid-1970s, which actually has some pretty inspired recipes for the era). The latter book got me on a kick of spiral bound cookbooks, most of which were collected as souvenirs when I was visiting the place they originate, such as the original "River Road Recipes," first put out by the Junior League of Baton Rouge in 1959; "Taste of Tradition," from Wisconsin; "50th Anniversary Best of Our Favorite Recipes from the Island of Maui." I also have essential classics (Julia Child, Marcella Hazan, Richard Olney, Patience Gray, Elizabeth David, Larousse Gastronomique, Deborah Madison, Mark Bittman, Rick Bayless, Irene Kuo) and some contemporary (Judy Rodgers, Alice Waters). I then have the eclectic books (a first edition of Pearl S. Buck's Oriental Cookbook, a first edition of Helen Gurley Brown's Single Girls Cookbook, and Fergus Henderson's The Whole Beast.)

                                                                              I have some others (Silver Palate Books, Christopher Kimball, Gest of Gourmet, etc.), but my bookshelves are full and so a couple of years ago I instituted a "no buy unless" policy for cookbooks. Basically, I only buy a new cookbook if I think I can't live without it. I've been getting books from the Library instead. The last book I bought under the "no buy" policy was Zuni Cafe Cookbook, so you can see I'm being very strict ;-) On my list of books I WILL buy when space and money affords, are Sunday Suppers at Lucques (Suzanne Goin), Arabesque (Claudia Rodin) and Fuscia Dunlop's books).

                                                                              Couldn't live without them, though!

                                                                            1. I didn't mean to collect dishes, but I love them! Plates, salad plates, bowls. I happen to love cutting boards too, (love all the bamboo that is everywhere now) and I also collect cow creamers, I just can't help myself, they are so cute.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: waitress

                                                                                  Really cute waitress! I think you are in Charlotte. Have you been to Antique Kingdon on Central? I have found terrific things there. There is also a little house across the street that is chock fill with plates, glasses and lots of silver serving pieces. Great prices.

                                                                                  1. re: southernitalian

                                                                                    I am in Charcargo-- I will check it out... Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                  2. re: waitress

                                                                                    I simply adore your collection. Boy could you have used me and my help in an antique store in Kallispell Montana a couple of weeks ago. ;)

                                                                                  3. Egg cups. Over the years I have collected about 200 antique (well mostly antique) egg cups of all different shapes, colours and sizes from different parts of the world, but mostly the UK and Ontario, Canada.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: JamieK

                                                                                      Copper anything. Plates, pans, bowls, cups, copper anything. Wooden bowls and platters, especially carved pieces. And fish shaped accessories like plates and bottles.
                                                                                      Japanese stoneware, pottery decanters and yes, bowls. Someone said they're the equivalent of shoes. I believe that.
                                                                                      I don't call myself a collector but wow, I sure have a lot of STUFF and I enjoy it.

                                                                                    2. I guess you could call menus "food related non-food things." I have a huge collection of menus, some going back to the 50s and 60s. A bunch of huge fancy schmancy ones from all of the great hotels on the strip during the years I lived in Las Vegas.

                                                                                      My original plan was to decoupage a folding screen for the dining or breakfast room, but now I'm not so sure I want to mess them up. Some of them are huge and multi-paged, then tied with a tasselled cord. One is signed by Marlene Deitrich. Lots of memories. I guess someday my kids will throw them out after I die...

                                                                                      I keep telling them to be careful what they throw away when I'm gone. Some of it is probably worth money! '-)

                                                                                      1. I just got two more butter dishes this week. Not much to brag on but they're now added to my collection. I also got a rare cream and covered sugar bowl, Wedgewood. Can't wait to see what I can do with that on one of those buyer web sites.

                                                                                        1. I love vintage aprons and smallish tablecloths. Especially if there is a fruit pattern on it. I also have trouble resisting contemporary handmade pottery, particularly bowls of all size and mugs. Many mis-matched bits of silver utensils have found their way to my home - I find so many uses for the little forks an such. Odds & ends of china without a particular theme except they make my heart happy!

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: meatn3

                                                                                            Oh yes, fruit patterns! I love fake fruit and vegetables. I have a collection of fake produce, the prize of which is a porcelain peach and a wooden mangosteen. A good fruit representation makes my day.

                                                                                            1. re: meatn3

                                                                                              You reminded me about my collection of kitchen towels. Some are vintage but most of them are from the same line of towels that often appear at Home Goods, Marshalls etc. They are embroidered and are really well done. I mostly just use them as decoration - which is not something I'm usually really big on but I have them for all seasons/major holidays and they really add a touch of whimsy to my kitchen that just makes me smile.

                                                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                I find it funny that so many people I have either met or meet, are into bowls. What the heck is it with all of us that adore bowls?

                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                  They are kind of an adult pacifier in a way. Most of my comfort foods fit very nicely in bowls - fill it up and get comfy and hug it close - you're good to go!

                                                                                                  Sounds a bit forlorn once it is spelled out, but feels very very cozy and good in reality! Also, a well made bowl or mug allows the hand to cradle it in a very satisfying manner.

                                                                                              2. i collect one food related non food thing


                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                                                  Thew, I'd happily give you my collection. It is extensive.

                                                                                                  1. re: moh

                                                                                                    Do you think it would help if we converted our pounds to shillings, or would we just have more to lose? :-(

                                                                                                2. I collect antique food labels, especially ones related to cranberries. I also collect cookbooks and cooking pamphlets--the ones that were free and featured recipes using the sponsor's product.

                                                                                                  1. I collect Griswold cast iron and useless old kitchen utensils. I used to collect salt and pepper shakers but I finally convinced family and freinds that I had enough and last but not least cookbooks, especially older ones with those awesome technicolor pictures!

                                                                                                    1. It all started with mixers...and then we went down the road of toasters and waffle irons, a blender or two...then we saw an elderly-but-fine Prosperity gas range for sale in the Old House Journal classifieds, and then after another year or two of searching scored our monitor-top GE refrigerator, and Voila! Our kitchen had become the Owen Museum of Culinary Power Tools! And of course the cookbook library had been coming along very nicely, up to 300-some by then, and the "Belmont Ivory" enameled-steel pots, pans, bowls and utensils, and the Fire-King Jade-ite pieces...and almost everything was in normal use, too, except for a few feeble examples or things with unsafe cords. A nice old no-name Hoosier cabinet, also in the Belmont Ivory color scheme, rounded out the ensemble.

                                                                                                      That was in Nashville. When we moved out to California, the only culling we did was of boring or seldom-used cookbooks; all the appliances and tools and utensils came with us. The new old house was bigger, but the kitchen has no place for anything but the little Sellers work table that stands in for an island. Luckily, there's a big room in the garage where the cabinet and range sit awaiting my refitting their space as the new OMCPT, though the refrigerator continues to earn its keep by catching such things as holiday overflow, or providing cold space when I'm brining something in my five-gallon tub. The toasters, mixers and waffle irons sit on the garage floor, patiently awaiting those new shelves I've promised them...

                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                        Good on you, Will. You've painted a great picture of the Owen Museum. I can picture it and really like it.

                                                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                          As it happens, we entered some pictures in Metropolitan Homes's annual home-makeover contest and won a batch of highly inappropriate prizes and got the pictures published. Anyone who wants a PDF copy of the page can email me at <nashwill912@earthlink.net>

                                                                                                        2. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                          Antique redware turk's head molds. Wonderful colors, fabulous shapes. And they're always the same price as they were when I bought my first one!

                                                                                                          BTW, I think that wire contraption/strainer way above here is for poached eggs.

                                                                                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                            You cannot imagine how many years I have lusted after one of those old fashioned gas stoves with the Queen Ann legs and the oven at the side, and a couple of small wooden pickle barrels to sit under it! <sigh> But what am I going to do with a gas stove in an all electric house?

                                                                                                            You kitchen sounds wonderful, Will, and I have this sneaking suspicion that an apple pie baked in your kitchen will taste so much better than one baked in a modern kitchen! Godspeed on clearing the garage floor!

                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                              >>But what am I going to do with a gas stove in an all electric house?<<

                                                                                                              Cook easier! A gas stove is a prerequisite for me. It's not *that* expensive to convert, and you know you want to! ;-)

                                                                                                              1. re: DanaB

                                                                                                                Not that expensive? I guess it depends on what you call expensive. I checked with the city of Plano, and based on the nearest gas line, it will cost me something like $40,000.00 to bring natural gas into my house. If you don't think that's expensive, I want YOUR budget...!!! '-)

                                                                                                                And no, they won't allow me to have a propane tank either. But I CAN have a gas barbecue with one of those little tanks. I don't want to do all of my cooking outside.

                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                  I feel your pain! The last house I owned was close to a city gas line. The neighborhood voted against connecting - too expensive they thought - it was just going to be $600/house!!! It still kills me, and it has been 9 years. I am now in a house (but don't own it) which has gas for the hot water heater & clothes dryer. I am very tempted to just spring for the cost of the piping and new range...

                                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                    I didn't realize that you didn't have ANY gas in your house! Just assumed it was a situation like meatn3's, where you had gas for heat and it was a matter of routing a gas pipe to the kitchen, which can be pricey, but not 40K pricey. What a bummer and I feel you pain.

                                                                                                                    I just went through the process of renting an apartment for the first time in 15 years (I'm going to graduate school), and I had to do it from afar -- my main criteria was that that the apartment have a decent sized kitchen with a gas stove rather than electric :-)

                                                                                                                    1. re: DanaB

                                                                                                                      I bought my house via the internet... from 600 miles away! But it has some nice trade-offs, like almost an acre of gorgeous big green trees! Three are pecans. And a creek.

                                                                                                                      When it comes to gas vs electric, I like gas for things you stand over until they're done, but for long simmers, I don't trust gas not to go out and blow the place up. I'm sort of kicking myself for not going forward with the induction cooktop, but I didn't want to give up my copper pots and pans. Despite having put in a new electric cooktop, I;'m still thinking of the induction! That would make me a cooktop collector, right? <sigh>

                                                                                                              2. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                What is OMCPT? Google is no help.

                                                                                                                1. re: Sharuf

                                                                                                                  Owen Museum of Culinary Power Tools

                                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                    Yeah, we haven't gotten serious enough to attract Google's attention...in fact, it exists at the moment only in our memory. To bring it back into reality will involve both a website and my cleaning out the garage...and a cold day in Hell? No, a reasonably cool week in Pasadena, maybe.

                                                                                                              3. Flemington, New Jersey's Stengle Ware

                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                  I live in Flemington! :) (Isn't it Stangle, BTW?)

                                                                                                                  1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                    Yup! I was in class and some damn kid wanted my help. I can remember Flemington before outlets, stand in the old kilns while my mom hunted for good factory seconds in the '50's.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                      It's actually Stangl -- love the stuff, but everything chips immediately if not sooner. Drat!

                                                                                                                      1. re: birgator

                                                                                                                        I have not found my Stangl Fruit and Flowers pattern dinner set to chip at all in over 45 years.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                        I remember Flemington before the outlets too. I grew up in Bridgewater (in the 70s-early 80s) and we used to come out to Flemington all the time to walk around Turntable Junction and just drive around the countryside. I always loved it which is one of the reasons my husband and I ended up out here. Of course things have changed a lot and it's become the land of chain restaurants, etc. but there is still beautiful countryside here and we still love it. It must have been wonderful in the 50s.

                                                                                                                        1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                          My mom and some uncles still live in Sayreville-South River. I got out of NJ in the mid 60's, went to Muhlenberg, worked overseas for a long time, Moved to Maine when dad got sick(as close to NJ as I wanted to live.) Still return to NJ to visit 92 yr old mom and we enjoy playing tourist and loading up on all the foods we can't get here. I still have a cousin w/ a fam on Cranbury Rd in E Bruns. and we load up on corn & especially tomatoes when we visit. I grew up doing a tremendous amount of hunting & fishing, especially in the High Bridge area, In NJ and still do in Maine. When mom dies, I doubt we'll be back much. I work summers as a sea kayak guide on 3 day trips on the Maine Island Trail. Still cold here. I took the temp of the soil in the garden tosay and it is still only 58. Planting our garden this weekend ,but a frost is predicted for Mon. night.

                                                                                                                  2. Hi,

                                                                                                                    Does anyone know how to find out the history and the value of certain utensils?

                                                                                                                    I collect rolling pins and have searched the internet, but not had much luck identifying the age and market value.

                                                                                                                    All suggestions are welcome!

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: buonappetitonj

                                                                                                                      Oftentimes, a good gauge of price is what similar items sell for on Ebay, which is pretty much the biggest marketplace for collectables on the net. For members, you can search completed auctions to see what price items actually sell for.

                                                                                                                      There are also a lot of collector websites out there. For instance, the website linked below is a really good one for collectors of cast iron:


                                                                                                                      I know you said you have already searched the net, but I would try again -- maybe you can find a yahoo club or similar group devoted to collecting rolling pins. Good luck!

                                                                                                                      1. re: buonappetitonj

                                                                                                                        You might try http://www.kovels.com They cover *everything*! But finding something as esoteric as rolling pins might take a lot of searching.

                                                                                                                        1. re: buonappetitonj

                                                                                                                          Most of the antique malls we go into have at least one area - sometimes a rented space, more often belonging to the mall owner - that displays and sells value guides for just about any item a person can collect, from kewpie dolls to salt shakers to Tonka Toys. As with any such publication, the information will be out of date the instant it's printed, but kitchenware items do not exactly occupy a volatile market, so if there is a book devoted to bakery collectibles you should probably find its advice to be reliable.

                                                                                                                        2. I have one question: where do you guys STORE all of this stuff?

                                                                                                                          While I am kitchen obsessed, I thankfully haven't gotten into 'collecting' in a big way. I do like colourful tins (storing cookies, chocolate bars, etc on top of my kitchen dresser), I am slowly but surely building up my le Creuset collection as fast as I can afford it (although nothing matches!) and I definitely collect handthrown and handpainted/glazed pottery, for serving and eating off. That's probably my biggest pride and joy, art I can use and actively enjoy every day.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: Gooseberry

                                                                                                                            with all I have collected over the years, I really do wonder why. our children won't want any of the stuff I have come the day, and yes, it's hard to store. but with things that are little like wooden spoons,they fit in the drawer,with rolling pins, they're harder and with le creuset, that's a real problem. I have a 6 burner stove and it's always got pots on it, not being used, also, I put things in my double ovens when not in use

                                                                                                                            1. re: Gooseberry

                                                                                                                              I don't know that I've ever thought of it as "collecting", but like Gooseberry, I do have quite a collection of handmade pottery, mostly bowls of various sizes, purchased from potters and galleries all over the place. I love that they don't have to match to use them together, although I often pay close attention to how the food will look in the bowl.

                                                                                                                            2. I actually don't collect anything as I'm afraid it will bring out my OCD-esque tendencies where I have to find every single tea accessory or every single Hello Kitty product out there (I've once considered having a room devoted to Hello Kitty until my friend told me that was really scary). And I also live in a small 1 BR apartment.

                                                                                                                              My sister also likes to say that when we leave this world (aka dying), what good would those possessions be. So I try to keep that in mind whenever I buy something. That said, I've got a bunch of food related things that I don't use very much -- okonomiyaki grill, Kitchen aid blender (when I have a hand blender and a Magic bullet type of blender), ring and pyramid molds for food -- the list goes on.

                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                I suppose the answer to your sister would be, well, when I'm alive I get a whole bunch of pleasure out of looking at my collection of seventeenth century trifle moulds/hello kitty pencil sharpeners/your collection here.

                                                                                                                                That said, I'm kind of with your sister on this one. I don't like minimalism in a kitchen, but I do try to streamline the clutter. It's very rarely that I think of something I was tempted to buy for my kitchen, resisted, and now think "I should have gotten that!".On the other hand, I often look at some item I no longer like or never use and think, what a space-waster. Clearly time to spring clean and give away. Again.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Gooseberry

                                                                                                                                  well, I think it'd just be great if we all in here set up a barter system where we could trade our no longer wanted items. I'd be all for that.

                                                                                                                                2. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                  Greetings almost 2 years later from another Hello Kitty fancier. I've loved The Kitty since I met her in Taiwan ages ago. Have (mostly) restrained my acquisitive instincts with the merchandise but she's my girl too.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                    when we lived in camarillo ca, our daughter had a thing for the hello kitty store down the street from us. I didn't get the fascination but that store was intoxicating. so surprising how many "things" are hello kitty. don't remember anything kitchen related but I'm sure I wasn't looking for any of that then

                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                      Oh no...are there kitchen items I wonder...resolve is weakening...

                                                                                                                                3. I guess the only thing that I collect that's food related is knives and the devices to keep them sharp.

                                                                                                                                  1. Over the weekend, I found a myriad of Tupperware at a flea market. I went there searching out undergarments for a family member. Found 2 things regarding that, but moreover, found Tupperware and bought all but 2 items there. They're large, the two I left behind were small and I don't need more clutter but this stuff, I'm so excited.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                      LOL! See? There's always something more to collect. ;-)

                                                                                                                                      As for the storage query from Gooseberry on 7/16/08, most of my collection(s) are out as wall decoration. My wooden spoons are kept in three different containers - a French blue enamel milk can (these I use every day), and smaller ones are kept in a blue enamel salt container with the lid flipped back (like this: http://www.vintageweave.com/store/med... ). The rest are displayed in a wooden spoon holder with a drawer underneath - similar to this one (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3289/2... ). The blue enamel (and various old cobalt blue glass on a windowsill) are yet more collections I have. :-) It's a sickness.

                                                                                                                                    2. I collect lemons (not surprising), both on dinnerware and otherwise. And I collect food jewelry. One of the great fashion moments of my life came as I, the Midwesterner, came down the escalator onto the main floor of Bloomingdale's in Manhattan, and a store employee spied me. "Ooooh," he shrieked, "I LOVE your earrings! Look, Gerald! She's got sushi earrings!"

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: lemons

                                                                                                                                        ahahahahahahahha!!!! That is SO GREAT!!!! Thanks for making me smile (even if I just saw this more than 2 years after you posted it... ;)

                                                                                                                                      2. really do have entirely too many bowls. what is it with bowls? I love 'em

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                          just having finished and baking off tonights dessert, I know I also have a serious problem with measuring spoons and measuring cups. let's not even talk about White Lily flour, that's a real sad thing I will say :(

                                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                            um and then they're the graters, the cheese graters yipes!

                                                                                                                                        2. I collect vinyl figures (Snap, Crackle, Pop, Tony, Charlie the Tuna, Hood Guy, etc. etc. almost anything you could send away for..). Also I collect food related signs that i have up on the beams in our kitchen and on our sunporch. I also have two commercial cells (Trix and Tony), plus some original food book drawings by Roy Doty. For several years I had a full-sized Big-Boy statue (8'+) on my patio but then sold him on ebay when he started to deteriorate.

                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: junescook

                                                                                                                                            LOL at the full-sized Big Boy! Definitely an interesting conversation piece at parties! :-)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                              I was saddened at the thought of his disintegration...

                                                                                                                                            2. re: junescook

                                                                                                                                              June, I think UR my kind of girl................. :)
                                                                                                                                              I love those BIG BOYS and have one sitting in a sellers lot for sale.
                                                                                                                                              I love driving by him seeing him each time I do.
                                                                                                                                              He's beautiful.
                                                                                                                                              Probably like him most because of the memories instilled in me after all the times I've/we'e eaten there at Bob's Big Boy................
                                                                                                                                              What are commercial cells?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                Those are single celluloid drawings painted in from cartoon commercials. I've got one of Tony yellin "I't's great, and one of the Trix Rabbit.

                                                                                                                                                Btw, I just cook for June....

                                                                                                                                            3. Yes, old enamel-ware colanders. Love them. My old house had a perfect wall to display them all, but unfortunately this house doesn't, so I have stacks of them just waiting for me to figure out what to do about them now.

                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: shanagain

                                                                                                                                                where do you live? give 'em to me....... ;) ............yeah! I love 'em too, I have 4

                                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                  It's already a bone of contention between my mother and I. She's convinced her house is perfectly suited for them, but I know for a FACT I'd nevereverever get them back, and she'd guilt me over it somehow at the same time. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shanagain

                                                                                                                                                    don't give 'em up. they mean too much to you. reading Fru's post I now think I forgot about my cast iron fixation. I adore cast iron skillets, but wish it stopped at only skillets ;(

                                                                                                                                                    and as I sit in my office wish used to be our sons bedroom, but my husband now calls it my office so it's so cozy in here, I am viewing a partial tally of my 45 butter dishes......................in his bedroom cause my really huge kitchen hasn't any vacant walls to display, but husband promises to build me shelves to show them off, OH................> someday

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: shanagain

                                                                                                                                                        either that or partners in crime :)))))))))))))))

                                                                                                                                              2. Now that my kitchen is almost done, I'm scared to put holes in my beautiful yellow walls to display my cast iron trivets. My Shawnee salt & peppers & cookie jars can now go on display too.