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Forgotten kitchen tools


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I did this topic because our oldest was moving flowers and plants into bigger flower pots. She wasn't finding the small planting shovel at once, so she took the closest to it.




If you look at the picture you understand why she took the kitchen tool as a shovel to plant flowers in a pot. But what is the real usage of the tool? It has razor sharp blades. Ours is in fact made from an old worldwar 1 bayonett - old peopöe recycled everything useful in between war times. The tool is used to pierce into the mid of a cabbage and remove the hard inner part (which isn't made from leaves) with a rotating movement cutting throught the outer leaves.


Do you have old kitchen tools laying around, which aren't used: a birthday gift from a friend, a heritage from grandparents, something from a garage sale? Something you forgot how it is used if you lost the manual or are too young to know its old time usage?

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This is a great topic!The article on the bayonet recycling is fascinating. This kind of interests me because way back I used to be fascinated by Victorian etiquette... it's unbelievable how much ceremony there was in their lives, especially with food.


I just just got this new word which I've begun to pepper my language with at every opportunity just to annoy people after hearing it in the remake of Arthur...


Grape shears, used for adorning ornate plates piled with piles of grapes, of which their stems and small mini-clusters could be cut away with this tool!




lol, I'd just love to buy something like this to be able to fling that word around at a party






p.s. I'll rummage through my some old stuff here, I remember than having some really strange things packed away.

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We have something very similiar to this in our living room. But polished and cleaned. We use it only one weekend each year when our village does a historical day: old way to do milk, sour dough cakes, bark harvesting for tanning, creating charcoal, ...




It is a centrifuge used to depart cream from milk when creating our own butter. But since my generation of the family no longer has a cow, goat or sheep ihave to buy 50 litres fresh milk at a farmer.


My wife is the opinion that modern sculptures won't fit into our century old wooden patchwork house and so the decoration are more or less old farmtools.

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  • 2 months later...

Bought by my father at our so called family-wandering years. He is an electrician specialized on big turbines for power-plants and we used to move from one powerplant to the next for 4 years. So this potato-press was bought as a compromise: bigger than the ones used for a 2 people family (we were 4 kids) but smaller than the ones used on a farm. Was used to do potato dumbings or fresh fruit juice.





How this is used to make thurengian dumplings (from un-boiled raw potato mass) is in this video.


In our area we are more used to Whetstone dumblings, which are half raw with water removed by centifuging or pressing and half from mashed boiled potato in skin.

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Fear I have to read into the definition of Vodka. In german word usage it is an alcohol made by heating any plant with stark to transform the stark into sugar. Then yeast it added to transform the sugar into alcohol. Then a lot of repeated filtering and destilling to receive an alcohol with nearly no taste.


Probably the water from making dumpling contains a bit stark, but not much. I think I would use the whole mashed potato and add water to produce enough stark by heating. Could be that potato variants used to feed pigs contain most stark and are better fitted than the variants for human usage.


Pack to the press:

I do mainly Apfelwein (apple wine), other fruit wines and fruit vinegar, for marinating meat and for salads. Making your own fruit wine is a bit tricky: you want wine and not vinegar. So you have to make sure that you have no vinegar bacteria in your wine making equipment. Many people add sulphor, I prefer the more classical method to add fruits with anti-bacteria contains like Speierling.


From wiki:

"Apfelwein is made from pressed apples. The juice or must is fermented with yeast to produce an alcoholic beverage usually around 6% abv. Apfelwein can be made with the addition of the unprocessed juice from the fruit of a small, indigenous tree known as Speierling (Sorbus domestica) or Speyerling, an endangered species that is easily confused with the wild apple."


The Speierling juice (97% apple, 3% speierling) slows fermentation, reduces vinegar bacteria, ... and results in a sour, more clear waterlike apple wine, with not much filtering needed. Pure Speierling juice can be transformed into highest quality fruit vinegar, but overly expensive when you buy it.


The crazy part is: my grandgrandpa did the trees for their wood and only secondary for the fruits. Speierling wood is very heavy and dense, most of all european leaf trees. So mechanical parts from wood were often done with it. Nowadays mainly queue for billiard and pipes for bagpipes are still made from it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great to see you back. We rarely do creme brulee. If I do it I use a gas burner. But the most often usage of my burner is to peel tomatoes or paprica. Cross cut, then burn till skin is yellow and you can easily peel. Water boiling tomatoes would be only at amounts bigger than 6-7.


Removing small feather remains from quails is another great usage of a burner. We have like 100 quails, quite robust birds which are easy to keep. Each does like 100 eggs a year and selling them at marketplace together with fruits and vegs is a money source for my daughters. They are too far away from a place which would allow earning some money with babysitting or newspaper delivery.


Another tool which is replaced by a gas burner now:




At house butchering: used to cut away hair from a pig. Whole pig was put into a wooden container and poured with boiling water. The hook had a double function, you could hook it on the ladder/tripod which was used to cut the pig in halves. The other usage was to remove the claws from the pig feet. The circle shape prevented to damage the skin with its razor sharp edges.

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Hi Chattius, I see you are continuing the good work.


Hardly a day passes without my thinking of this forum and something I could be commenting on, but I never seem to get here. Lots of concerts, and in spare time trying to keep up with Podgie in Lotro is full time and nerve wracking. However I have been promised a useful camera for Xmas so things may change. Web has it's uses, but photos of work in progress and finished products are necessary.


Quite a lots of old kitchen utensils at home, but we are in Vancouver at present, in daughter's too modern and too tidy house, with nothing old in view except myself. Now I have spotted this thread I will be back.


Will be here for another couple of weeks.

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  • 4 weeks later...

There was a time when this tool was a must have at countryside


Above you place a small light source in the opening

This drawing shows a variant which has a petroleum lamp with a black screen



Sadly I modified the Eierprüfer (egg tester) we had, no lamp, but a mirror. It was used to look if a egg was breed already. Yes there was a time when roosters and hens were living freely on a farm and layed eggs everywhere. Kids were called to search them. but you couldn't be sure how old the eggs were

With 2 of them a smart 8 year old could build a nice periscope, place one on each end of a fitting black paper pipe :)

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Sadly I modified the Eierprüfer we had, no lamp, but a mirror. It was used to look if a egg was breed already.



This is really cool. Just by using an instrument like this, you could tell if an egg had been fertilized or not? What would someone be searching for?





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Not usable, allready arteria, a disc like shape in mid which will build the embryo




If you want to breed birds it is just the oposite, what you want and what not;)

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  • 5 weeks later...

Today I will present a tool which I haven't at home but which will I rebuild this year: a Hannebambel. If you hear this local slang word in our area it is meaning a very stupid person. But the name came actually from a tool, which I sadly have no pictures and none of the people around seems to have one still. But some of the 80+ year old people remember luckily. My mother says when she was a young kid the family one broke apart and was used as firewood :(




The comb of a rooster (Hahn) is sometimes hanging (bambeln) down. At the kitchen tool a wooden board was cutted like this rooster comb. The upper part of the comb is the segment of a circle. The board had a slightly smaller diametre than the one of the cauldron. It was used to move a mix of german plums, sugar and cinnamon for half a day in a big big cauldron. The plums gave the board a red colour, so this was probably the read for the name Hannebambel. A red rooster comb hanging down into the cauldron.


The persons who had to turn the plum mix for half a day hadn't to be the smartest ones, so the name of the tool was used for stupid people too.


So what is a Hannebambel. I searched the internet for pictures and first I got this: But you can't see the full tool here, and I wouldn't call the young lady to be not smart.




I visited the page of the people who were reviving the old way of doing plum jam, plum honey, or however it is called at english. And I found this:




So here we see a bit more. It looks like the rudder of a small boat, but you don't see the actual rudder which gave the name. But as you can see at the tool, it is designed to hold sometihing like a rudder/mixer.


We have a bigger cauldron integrated oven in a small hut at house which was used for washing clothes, boiling sausages (only use now), plum jam, ... I could either use this or my field kitchen to do a local revival of the old tradition.



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  • 2 months later...

So what to do with the boiled plum sirup:


Filling Krapfen, Berliner, holeless Donuts...




But how to fill the sirup into the Krapfen...


One obvious solution:




Or with a little machine:




My grandma, and now my sister, had an old variant made from cast iron and wood, looking very similiar. You could attach it to the desk plate, fill in the sirup, and by turning the grip a spring was loaded and at enough turns released and injecting the set amount of sirup.

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  • 2 months later...



Long forgotten, I made one when I was 12 years old at school. Wood working project week. I found it recently again: in the kitchen of my mother, but she used it to store rubber bands for preserving vegs and fruits in glasses.

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  • 8 years later...


 An old tool to make leftover bones into more or less powder. The bone powder is used as fertilizer or as additional food for animals, mainly hens.

Found a deffect  one in the barn, wooden parts wrotten aweay. Hope I can make it into something like the above again.


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Aw heck. First thing I saw when I arrived was this topic. Thought it was new and it drew me like like pollen to a bee.......and it was nearly 10 years ago!! 

But it is always a pleasure  to read through some of Chattius' topics, with the fantastic illustrations.

I didn't used to look back, but with Covid it is not easy to look forward.


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The twins had a school project to reduce waste at home. Our main waste is the bio-hazard one time wear from my wife as a doc. Can't do much against this because of laws. The next big part is the heap of bones in a container. Pre corona it was collected and a farmer took it. Now the container is nearly full and the kids asked what could be done with it. The tool was an old Knochenmühle (bone mill?) and it was used after the fat in the bones was removed using gasoline or pressure heating.. They tried it and the resulting Knochenmehl (bone meal) was mixed with compost for a better fertilization. But the container is still nearly full :sigh:

Should be done regulary when a basket is full I think. At least it is autumn and a lot of leaves on the compost which could use the bone meal for a better mix.







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Great. Found our German dictionary, and we can fill in a fair bit of time on this diagram.. The last diagram I remember of multi-use of a raw material was I think for Petroleum. My wife knows a little German, but not enough.  Love the drawing though....do you have a rough date for it?

Our main problem is how to use the wood ash from the oven. The garden is fast becoming neat potash.. We don't compost enough to mix it with, and I am sure that wood ash does not have the range of uses  that are shown for bones.



Edited by Bondbug
Could have caused offence
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Think it reads 1937.  When I was at ground school in an old village school we still had lot of these diagrams. I know that the school in neighbour village had overhead projectors already and the teacher was doing paintings himself. But the old disgram had more nostaltic charme.

Wood ash...  My mom used to fight weeds with it. In autum she powdered deep-rooting weeds like dandelion in morning when they were wet from dew with the wood ash. The next spring the kalium in the ash prevented the weed to grew because the roots were damaged.

Cleaning silver is old, and as a fertilizer, depends on the pH acid value of the ground.

Tooth paste replacement, fighting moss and algae on stone, ...


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On 11/19/2020 at 4:25 AM, chattius said:

 The tool was an old Knochenmühle (bone mill?) and it was used after the fat in the bones was removed using gasoline or pressure heating.. T



lol..holee moleee... Seriously Chattius.. how did I miss this...and I would ONLY believe a post like this because its been posted by you.. bone grinder... lol i thought I'd stumbled into the horror movie topics thread... 




p.s. im so happy though that we have members to connected to the land... it places some substance into my grocery shopping and forces me to think about our food,  how it gets to us and whats important :hugs:

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My grandma told me that pre-war there were travellers who visited houses with house butchering, small or big farms and bought bones, bristles from pigs, ....

It were mainly jewish families and only a few of them survived hidden below barns of bigger farms. It was hard to feed them towards end of the war when every pig, cow, milk, potatoe was counted and farmers only allowed to keep just enough food for themself.

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Dandelions ... how I would love to, but in France it would be an offence against their gastronomy. They have "pissenlit" festivals here. 

Sorry but that is the correct French  name for dandelions.

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