9 Things We Used To Do in The Kitchen That Just Don’t Happen Anymore
If you grew up helping your mom or dad cook, baking cookies, and eating family dinners, then you probably remember all sorts of cooking practices and gadgets that your family had—ones that we don’t necessarily still use today.
As years go by, times change, and things aren’t quite how they used to be—especially when it comes to the kitchen. Some of these things might hold a special place in your heart, if you can remember them. Some of them you might think are just plain weird.
Either way, all these gadgets and processes are pretty fascinating. Let’s dive in:
A meat grinder helped shop or mince meat, and back in the day, the chef of the family would use it as a daily kitchen tool. The first meat grinder was invented in the nineteenth century, and required you to use your own hand and arm strength to crank it in order to get those long, thin meat strands. Nowadays, we have electric grinders that don’t require as much petal to the medal.
Pounding meat with a mallet.
If you weren’t grinding the meat, maybe you banged the bajesus out of it with this hand-powered tool, commonly used to tenderize slabs of meat before cooking them. There are a few different kinds, but they all basically do the same job: Make the meat wider and thinner, which worked well for certain recipes and also made the meat easier to chew and digest. People still use these today, sure, but they were much more popular back in the day.
Using a percolator to make coffee.
While percolators are actually making a comeback in hipster world, the percolator first made its appearance in 1880, before any other coffee brewing system was invented. A coffee percolator uses a type of pot that cycles the boiling or nearly boiling coffee through the grounds using gravity until the required strength is reached. The aroma was incredible!
Making your own butter.
Okay, if you’re reading this, you probably weren’t alive in a world when we churned butter, but maybe you grew up a parent’s with homemade butter. You might remember adding cream to a churner, and basically cranking away until it starts to become a buttery substance. It’s time-consuming, but worth it—it’s creamier, lighter than the mass-produced butter you get in the store.
Baking with nesting cutters and hand mixers.
We bet your mom or grandma had a set of nesting cutters for making pastries, scones, or cookies. And to make that pastry dough, you probably used a hand mixer or egg beater, where a crank was used to whisk ‘em up. Those were the days!
Canning and preserving food.
Ever wonder why your elders are so fearful of food going to waste? That’s how things were in the past, especially if they grew up around the depression era. If veggies weren’t looking so hot and were about to go bad, canning would make them last longer. You might also remember using a strainer sieve, an old-school must-have for making homemade jam and tomato sauce.
Using real, hardcover cookbooks.
Nowadays, if we want a recipe, we just search Google or download an app. People might own cookbooks, but opening one and actually going by a recipe is a rare commodity these days. If you go way back, you’ll probably remember recipe cards even before the cookbooks. Those were the days!
Storing flour, sugar, and other foods in canisters.
Another item making a comeback, canisters were all the rage back in the day. They were used to hold anything from sugar, flour, coffee, or tea, and makes for super easy access to these ingredients, since they’re left right on your counter. Bonus: They make you feel super organized!
Storing bread in a breadbox.
Until bread began being commercially made, people used to store their freshly-made bread (and other delicious baked goods) in a breadbox that sat atop your kitchen counter. Now breadboxes are more known to be collectible antiques than bread storage!