– Retro Kitchens and Vintage Kitchenalia –
A Little Girl’s Dream Comes True!
Plus, Top Tips in the Kitchen
Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved to watch her mummy and grandmother bake – she sat on a stool in the corner of the kitchen and watched them weigh and sift before rolling and shaping……hand held whisks whirred and food mixers purred as breads and tarts, cakes and scones emerged from that comfy kitchen. And, she knew in her heart of hearts that when she grew up, she wanted a kitchen JUST like that, a kitchen that was warm, and filled with love…….a kitchen that had a smart Formica table that would be groaning under the weight of cakes, buns, pies, tarts, scones, fancies, sausage rolls, fruit loaves, tea cakes, casseroles, stews, dumplings, bread, muffins, crumpets, fairy cakes and many more family favourites. Her kitchen would also be filled with all the latest gadgets, she could visualise it now……..there would be a “batterie de cuisine” to include: whisks, graters, blenders, food processors, ice cream scoops, cream makers, rolling pins, jelly moulds, pie moulds, scone cutters, sandwich cutters, pie dishes and trifle bowls…….toasters and kettle, she would have it all.
There would be a shiny red electric kettle, she loved red when she was little, and a big food mixer that had a blender attached for milk shakes and creamy soups……the toaster would be big and take large slices of “door step” sized bread to toast, and it would be red again of course; and, there would be a very handy hand-held whisk for her favourite jellied mousse. There would be a meat mincer too…….she had seen her grandmother grinding meat in one – attached to the table – the ground meat all ready for making cottage pies, rissoles, sausages and meat pies…….she had all of her desired appliances sorted in her mind, her kitchen would be a bastion of gadgetry for daily baking and cooking……people would admire the chrome breakfast bar stools as well as her “fitted cupboards” and they would all leave replete and happy.
Over twenty years passed, the little girl was now at university, living away from home and sharing a flat with other students for the first time……..the kitchen was sparsely furnished and gadgets were few and far between, But, her parents and grandparents came to the rescue, she WOULD have her gadgets for cooking and cleaning, as well as ironing and baking……..”spare” irons were discovered in the garage and old vacuum cleaners were dusted off from the back of the broom cupboard whilst trusty whisks, rolling pins, kettles and toasters were packed in old cardboard boxes and ferried to the new flat. Ironing boards were tied to the tops of cars and old plugs were replaced with new ones……and, mum’s old enamel bread box was “loaned” to the student kitchen…….to house the bread for that classic of student dishes, “Beans on Toast”.
And so we jump forward to the present day, that little girl finally has her own home with a family kitchen. There is NO chrome or Formica though, but soft mellow wood, practical marbles work tops with porcelain sinks and a warm cherry wood kitchen table – her dreams have nearly been realised; modern electric gadgets jostle for position with much-loved old kitchen appliances – tactile old wooden pins nestle next to a shiny electric kettle whilst a four slot toaster takes pride of place next to an earthenware jar filled with hand-held whisks and wooden spoons………a much used electric Slow Cooker stands beneath a cupboard filled with old enamel pie tins and roasting trays……….there are only a few things left to complete the dream now; a shiny new Food Mixer/Processor or maybe a Coffee Machine, and an electric handheld whisk would be nice, or a steam iron for super fast laundry days……….let’s face it, for a gadget fanatic, there is ALWAYS room for more “labour-saving” appliances in the family home, oh yes, and there must be room for that shiny RED KETTLE!
I leave you with a favourite family recipe, one that is as popular now, as it was when I was that little girl, a recipe to celebrate the Easter season and one that can be made in a Bread Machine, Food Mixer or Food Processor……..Hot Cross Buns……they can then be cut and toasted in your Toaster……..that’s GADGETS for you!
My Top Retro Tips in the Kitchen:
1. To save time, grate your cheese in on go, then store for up to 5 days in a sealed container in the fridge ready for instant cheese on toast and cheese sarnies.
2. A dough hook that comes with a food mixer is an invaluable extra pair of helping hands in the kitchen – you can be preparing other things as the dough is being kneaded.
3. A Slow Cooker is NOT just for stews and casseroles, I use mine as a “bain marie” for making lemon curd, melting chocolate as well as “steaming” classic British puddings.
4. To save on time and energy, two slices of bread can be toasted back to back, as long as they fit in the slot; half way through toasting, just take them out and put the toasted sides together, leaving the un-toasted sides to toast, simples!
5. Place a piece of heat proof glass in the bottom of your milk pan, such as a heat-proof coaster, this will stop the milk boiling over; marbles work too!
6. Don’t throw the ends of your asparagus tips away after trimming, they make the base of a wonderful asparagus soup; sauté them in butter until soft and then add them to a vegetable stock, with other vegetables if using; then pulse them in a blender or with a stick blender just before serving to make a velvet textured soup.
7. A Rice Cooker is not just for rice; it also cooks soups and stocks to perfection, as well as cooking pasta and potatoes.
8. A hand held stick blender makes amazing mayonnaise, I have the recipe here on my blog: Simple Mayonnaise made with a Stick Blender
I am submitting this as part of the bidding process to become a Morphy Richard’s Innovator in conjunction with Foodies 100.
Because I’m VERY innovative in the kitchen, love writing and developing recipes and I really want a shiny Red Kettle!