Press-Republican

Columns

August 10, 2011

Vintage kitchen items bring back fond memories

I've been cleaning out closets and getting ready for family to visit this summer. In one closet, way in the back, of course, was a box of dishes and keepsakes I had packed away a couple of years ago.

In that box was something even I didn't know the true name of until I did a Google search on the Internet three or four times. It's a wall pocket.

For the younger set, it's like a small flower vase that hangs on the wall, normally keeping snips of ivy or other plants until they grow roots. According to the online Oxford Dictionary, it is "a vase having one flat side, designed to be hung on a wall."

The wall pocket comes from the 1940s and 1950s. My dear friend and colleague, Denise Raymo, gave me two wall pockets, one shaped like a cuckoo clock and another fashioned like a small cottage with a cute little yellow bird standing in front, welcoming visitors. These two items always take me back to my childhood days. My mother had quite a few of them, probably to keep her plants out of little kids' hands like mine.

I began to think about other themes and items we used to see and use then but don't see much of now. What about turquoise and pink in kitchen décor, especially pink stoves and refrigerators? Do you see many tin canister sets, black cat clocks with eyes and tail that move left to right, apple or pig cookie jars, bread boxes with homemade bread, dish towels with days of the week embroidered on them or red glass refrigerator dishes with clear glass lids?

I love vintage kitchen items. While I'm not sure where this love comes from; I have fond memories of my mother always home, baking, making meals, doing the laundry (and other chores required of farm living). I was there, alongside her, involved in baking and cooking.

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