Kitchen & dining antiques: culinary and food-related articles

Culinary is a useful word. It pulls together everything connected with food (and drink) preparation, storage, serving and eating. So the “kitchen” articles here at HomeThingsPast.com cover a range of antique culinary items from elegant to basic. Antique, vintage, simple, stylish, as the tagline says.

Info on dainty silver marrow spoons sits alongside a post about a home-made wooden butter worker in a farm kitchen. The only rule for this category is that topics have a connection with food as well as something to do with home life in the past. Click ‘previous entries’ at the bottom of the page to find links to more culinary-themed articles.

If there’s a topic you’d like me to research and write about, please do say so in a comment on a relevant article or email with a suggestion. (See “about” page for contact details.) Or you could try looking through this list of sites about kitchen antiques and historic food utensils.

Butter tubs can be beautiful

Thumbnail image for Butter tubs can be beautiful

Wooden tubs with fine carving inside the lid were traditional containers for a few pounds of butter in parts of Norway and other Scandinavian countries. Some were beautifully finished on the outside too, and could be used to take butter to festive gatherings and serve it attractively. Because the interior carving gave the top of […]

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Tiled stoves, winter warmth

glazed tile stove

Tiled stoves were a wonderful way of heating homes in Northern Europe. I’ve often wondered why the British never used them. The settlers in North America hardly used them either, even in regions with bitter cold winters. At first they seem to have followed the British idea of having a fire to warm yourself by, […]

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18th century American kitchen

early American kitchen

This model of an 18th century kitchen in New England should appeal to people who like historic kitchens, and to people who like doll’s houses. There are lots of “authentic” things in it, and care was taken with historical details. The room is interesting and charming even though it may not be 100% realistic, but […]

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Using a dough box or kneading trough

dough box kneading bin

If you’ve ever made bread, how much flour did your recipe call for? One pound? One kilo? Just enough for one or two tasty loaves? You need to get into a different mindset to understand a dough box. (Also called dough bin, dough trough, kneading trough or tray, with or without a lid and/or legs.) […]

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A kitchen in 1930 – what do you recognise?

Kitchen 1930 Germany

Enamel cookware, dishes and candlestick, a black stove with a flat iron and skillet on top, a nice old wooden high chair – nothing too surprising for a 1930-ish kitchen. But if you live in an English-speaking country, there may be things in this German kitchen that seem slightly, or very, unfamiliar. Do you recognise […]

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Soap, sand, soda – a clean trio

sand soda seife soap

German kitchens used to have a decorative shelf with a set of pots, neat and tidy, filled with three essentials for a clean home: soap, sand, and soda. Although English-speaking countries never had a special storage unit like this, and didn’t think of the “three esses” as a trio, they also made much use of […]

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Early rotary egg beaters

antique Dover egg beater

Hand-operated rotary egg beaters were invented just before 1860, but at that time it wasn’t yet clear what the best design for the job would be. Different inventors had different ideas for labour-saving ways of whisking eggs. The first beaters with rotating parts were probably an American design patented in 1856 (below right) and, in […]

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Is it safe to use a vintage briki, ibrik, or cezve?

ibrik, briki, cezve

Drinking strong coffee made in a small pot called a briki, ibrik, cezve or rakwa, has become quite popular in English-speaking countries in the last few years. If you have an old briki – from an antique shop, relative’s attic, or an old souvenir – you may wonder if you can put it on the […]

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Spoon warmers

Spoon warmer

Food served with a cold spoon may cool down too quickly for some tastes. Even worse, a dish with rich, fatty gravy may congeal unappealingly on its way to your plate. A decorative container filled with hot water to keep serving spoons and sauce ladles warm seemed like the perfect solution in Victorian England. The […]

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Can you ID stovetop utensils in a 1920s kitchen?

kitchen stuff 1920s

This kitchen is on an early dude ranch set up for city dwellers who wanted an “American West” experience on vacation. Perhaps it’s a little more folksy than some other kitchens of the 1920s, but everything in there is authentic, and could have been found in other homes of that era. Before I start naming […]

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