Antiques expert Allan Blackburn looks at the world of kitchenalia...
Shrove Tuesday is always the day before the first day of Lent – which is known as Ash Wednesday.
This year Pancake Day falls on Tuesday, February 28, which is next week, so in readiness I thought I’d feature some general household objects you would find in your kitchen.
Basic they may be, but essential in the kitchen, especially on a day like Pancake Day!
These scales would be a great retro way of weighing out your flour and are on sale for £18.
The word Shrove derives from the word shrive, which means to “free yourself from sin”, and the idea behind the tradition is that you use up all the food in the house before the beginning of Lent.
Pancakes are a good way of using up eggs, flour and milk all in one meal.
There are many people that collect items of kitchen ware, gadgets, cutlery and serving dishes.
Together these items make up what is known as “Kitchenalia”. Kitchenalia is popular with even novice collectors, as items are not difficult to find. Early Kitchenalia was made to last a woman a lifetime so it is often very durable.
Kitchen utensils had to be as sturdy as their users! Solid, iron pots were used for cooking and wooden ware was used for preparation. Much of this wooden ware was decoratively carved. Sheaves of corn and floral designs were favourite motifs. Even a humble wooden rolling pin is worth collecting.
There are two different types. The “roller” type has a thick cylindrical roller with small handles at each end, whereas the “rod” type rolling pins are usually thinner, tapered batons with no separate handles. This one is on sale at GB Antiques Centre for £4. When one thinks of baking, however, surely the most essential ingredient is the weighing scale.
Balance scales date back to 2,000 BC but the spring scales (like the one pictured here) came into common use in about 1840. Originally used for weighing letters and parcels, it wasn’t until the 20th century that they became accurate enough for widespread usage in the home. Manufactured by household names like Salters, and Fairbanks, they were designed to sit on flat surfaces and the weight of the goods in the pan forced the spring down revealing the measured weight.