The new kitchen in the new house is nice. It has a new stainless fridge. A new stainless dishwasher. An ok stove. Plenty of cupboard room. Decent work space...and zero decoration. For countless years my kitchens were bedecked with a hot pepper motif. I had hot pepper everything from pepper cookie jars to pepper pitchers, strings of ceramic peppers and little ornamental glass peppers, a pepper cat, pepper hot mitts and pepper pot holders and even pepper salt and pepper shakers. Maybe it was the move to the country. Maybe I outgrew hot peppers. Or became allergic. Who knows. But with the move in, the peppers moved out. (I did keep the pepper cat). Hence, my new kitchen is naked and bare and awaiting adornment of some sort or another.
Now, I’m not a thrift store shopper by nature - in fact, I regularly take bags and boxes TO thrift stores in an effort to declutter and downsize - but the area where I live sports a dozen or so very cool, closer to antique store type thrift shops. A couple months ago, I was browsing in one and found an aluminum percolator coffee pot with a black Bakelite handle complete with the glass top. The chord was missing (I didn’t really plan to use it anyway), but it was in great shape. As a child I loved watching the coffee grow darker and darker as it peeped through the top of the percolator pot brewing on my grandmother’s stove. Maybe it was a sentimental moment of weakness, but I bought it – sans chord – for three bucks.
For a while my antique coffee pot sat on the back of my stove next to my new stainless tea pot while I mused about the potential old cooking implements might have as embellishments for my au naturel kitchen. Today I found myself, oddly enough, browsing in the very same store when I spied the most beguiling spun aluminum flour canister with a black Bakelite handle. I tentatively picked it up and peeked inside. Nested inside “FLOUR” was “SUGAR” then “COFFEE” and finally “TEA” - all with lids. I couldn’t believe my luck and carried them around the kitchen section for a while, put them back (partially because of the twelve dollar price tag and part due to the fact I’m trying to purge - not acquire), walked around some more all the while keeping my eye on the set to make sure no one else snatched my lovelies. Finally, I realized it was meant to be, grabbed my prize, paid the lady, and headed home.
Some sleuthing on ebay found similar sets selling for more than twice what I paid. Apparently, they hail from the 60’s and also are available in “COOKIES” and…certainly to authenticate the age, complete with strainer insert is…”GREASE.”
Maybe “Retro Culinary Chique” is in the future for my kitchen – maybe not. In the meantime I’m keeping my new old canisters…and maybe I’ll keep my eye out for more.