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What is the oldest item in your kitchen that you still use?

I was making egg salad this morning using an egg slicer that was my mother's. I would estimate it to be between 50-60 years old, and I use it all the time for things like egg salad, potato salad and slicing mushrooms. I once bought a new one that could eggs cut in slices as well as quarters, but it broke quickly, and I went back to my old warhorse. Though I have other bits and pieces from my mother's kitchen, the only other item I really use is an equally old butter dish. It has a glass plate and a lid of embossed aluminium. My husband really doesn't like it, but he has learned to live with it.

Do you have any old family items that you still use?

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  1. I have a meat grinder that probably 70+ years old. It screws onto the table- dont have all the attachments, but it still grinds meat! I also have a green glass juicer that is probably the same age So pretty- cant believe it has not been damaged in all these years.

    1. I have a skillet that I picked up at a yard sale back in the 80s. It had to be 20 years old then. I love this skillet because it is huge - it has to be a good 15" inches across. Took a lot of elbow grease to get back in shape after I bought it, but worth it. I've never seen another one that wide since.

      1. I've got some 100+ year old Griswold cast iron pans.

        1. Hmmm, let's see. I have a Nordic Ware Bundt pan that was my mom's that's probably about 45 years old, and I use it all the time. My mom still maintains her own home so the few family pieces we have still reside with her except for the bundt pan because she stopped baking a long time ago.

          I have a few other misc. vintage kitchen items I've picked up here and there that I only use occasionaly, like an Angel Food Cake comb, a rolling pin, some cookie cutters and some chocolate molds.

          And my DW was here when we bought the house 16 years ago - and it was far from new than. I think it's somewhere between 21 and 25 years old! But it still works and I refuse to replace it until it croaks. Just stubborn, I guess.

          1. Wooden salt and pepper shakers and a matching bowl where the garlic lives, made by my late husband's Uncle Harold when he was a boy.

            1. Hi, roxlet:

              Not to be a buzzkill, but here's an earlier treatment of y(our) question: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/792679 Vintage and antique are cool--thanks for the relief from relentless newness.

              Aloha,
              Kaleo

              1. My mother-in-law's Griswold cast iron skillets. A 6 inch and a 10 inch. They were purchased in about 1945.

                1. I have a fair number of old family things, and I really love them for practical reasons, and for the connection our family members that are gone. I never met my husband's grandmother, for example, but I have a *lot* of her things and feel as though I have a particular connection to her. I have:

                  * many of my grandmother's pots and pans
                  * my dh's nana's Blue Willow china and silverplate service
                  * my dh's nana's bain-marie
                  * my dh's nana's good china (kind of sappy -- floral with Barbie-pink designs on what now looks like crackleware, though it surely didn't start out that way. We jointly figured out that it was about the same age as some of my great-grandmother's things, and the gravy boat I have from her looks almost the same)

                  That's all I can think of now, but I will admit this: every time I get a fabulous kitchen item, I inwardly pledge to keep it in fine shape, in case it gets handed down. I love the idea that my LCs might go to my son's future family and I hope they love it and lots of meaning out if it, too!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Mawrter

                    That's a lovely story and beautiful sentiment, Mawrter.

                  2. I don't have any family heirlooms, apart from a few plates and glasses. If my parents ever had any such, they didn't still have them when they passed on. And I have no space for stuff I don't actually use. But some of the equipment I work with is 40 years old or more: a Kitchenaid stand mixer, a bunch of Meunier's tinned copper cookware, one of Cuisinarts' early skillets. I try to buy things that are made to last, and many of them have.

                    1. A small cast iron skillet that belonged to my great grandmother. It's at least a hundred years old. I use it to bake cornbread, as she did.

                      1. We still have some Gorham "Pace" stainless flatware from the early ‘50s and a few Descoware pans from that general era that are still in daily use.

                        1. I love vintage kitchenware and have way too much of it. The oldest family item still in use is my grandmother's Dormeyer mixer, circa 1950. She loved to bake, and it reminds me of her wonderful cookies and pastries, but it hasn't seen much action in the many years since it moved to my own kitchen (which is probably why it still functions). I've also got her hand-cranked meat grinder, which is even older, but haven't yet found a reason to try it. The oldest non-family items are my several Griswold cast-iron skillets: all pre-1940, all from flea markets or yard sales, all requiring so much time and effort to clean and re-season that by the time I was done, they certainly felt like family heirlooms!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Miss Priss

                            I use my grinder to make ham salad and relishes-just the right texture.

                            1. re: wekick

                              Hmm ... you've definitely got me thinking. I don't eat much ground meat, but homemade relish sounds really great. Care to share any favorite recipes?

                          2. My Mother's 1940's, 2 fingers & thumb, metal cherry pitter, ( still outbeats the fancy new ones I've bought & tossed) also, Mother's 1945 Blue Ribbon Cookbook, the first cookbook she bought after arriving in Canada from England as a war bride.

                            I also cherish & use often, a battered & bent, molded tin cookie sheet, my brother made for our Mother, in his 50's grade 7, metal shop class. That cookie sheet/kinda sorta almost 1 3/4 in high sided & 1 in low sided in other places, bent pan contraption, made the best roast potatoes when I was a kid, & it still makes the best roast potatoes for my grandkids!

                            Edited to add..

                            I almost forgot my grandmother's silver gravy making spoon. It's probably the oldest item I have and still use, but not regularly. The spoon is from the 1800's or early 1900s, none of us are positive of the exact date, but we do know grandmother brought the spoon with her to Canada in 1908. It might have been my Grandmother's Mother's spoon actually, as the initials engraved on the wide end of the handle are not my Grandmothers.
                            The spoon is not heavy but has more weight than the average stainless & it measures approx. 12 in long with the bowl being 4 inches of that. My earliest memory of the spoon is watching my Grandmother using it to stir her turkey gravy in the big old flat roaster. I don't know if it was my Grandmother's knack, or her big silver spoon, but boy o boy, she always made the best gravy!

                            1. The knife my mom used for everything except bread, that my dad cut down from a tire knife for her and that took on the shape of her hand over time. It was the only thing I packed up when we were threatened by the hurricane last year (the cat carriers were at the ready, of course).

                              1. My hands. They are 51 years old. :)

                                1. My sister has 4 piece, nesting Pyrex bowls that came from house we grew up in. They're in REALLY nice shape... NO chips and NO faded color... thinking that's cuz we never had a dishwasher?!? She has them at her weekend/mountain place that she rents out frequently. Those bowls are locked up in her "secret" closet.... says if anybody's gonna break them it's gonna be her. They have to be over 60 yo.

                                  I have my Grandmother's Foley food mill. She used it when she made grape jelly to spearate seeds/skins from juice.