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Part Two: Vintage Cooking Tools and Misc.

Winter crafts.  I can’t even type it without cringing, but that’s what this post is about.   This time of year, Christmas is just over and the weather is usually pretty sucktastic, so I start looking for things to do in between Xbox marathons.  This is what I’ve been up to (all of them are really easy!)

Making vintage cooking tools from Christmas trees:

I’ve actually been making these for a while to use at medieval reenactments, since a friend of mine saw one in a medieval museum.  My clients are used to my bizarre requests by now (you have walnut trees? I need the  green ones!, for example) and the ones I’ve had for longer all know to bring me their christmas tree tops every year, so I was delighted to stumble across this in one of my vintage magazines.  This one is from the January1919 issue of Hilf Dir Selbst. If you’re wondering what that is, I’ve posted tea and mushroom recipes from it before (I now have a bunch of them!)

Click on the photos for a larger view:

the one on the left is finished, the one on the right is in progress

The instructions read:

“To Use a Christmas Tree

Before burning them, Christmas trees that have served their purpose  can be turned into kitchen utensils.  I find if you prepare the whisks in different sizes,you can completely subsitute them for the ones you can buy in the shop carved out of solid wood. They are especially good for taking laundry out of the pot.  You cut the top so that the only the teeth of the whisk remain, be careful that the wood doesn’t crack, see figure 2a.  Then each whisk  should be peeled with a sharp knife in the direction from the thickest part to the thinnest of the handle [if the wood is still green you can also peel it off with your fingers]. After peeling, leave the whisk for a while in hot, but not boiling water to soften it.  Then let it slowly dry in a mild temperature so it doesnt turn brown [I actually skip this step].  Then take sandpaper and sand it down until the whisk is smooth.”

I also rub mine down with olive oil to make it extra smooth.  These will beat eggs and cream like nothing else on earth!

Turning a Scarf into a Hood, 40’s Style:

So a few days ago I came across this post on Diary of A Vintage Girl and fell in love with her hood. I was even more excited to find that she got the idea from a collection of 1940’s fashion advice videos found here: British Pathe.  In addition to the headscarf video there’s advice on how to tie a turban, how to make slippers, tweaking your dresses from day to night, and making hats! The Day to Day frock video is my personal favorite.  Anyhow, I decided to try the scarf to hood idea and found a scarf I had that was wide enough to do so (it’s a little to wide, but this was only to test out). It took like 5 minutes over coffee at a friends house to stitch it. Also, I look like Little Red Riding Hood.

All you need to do is fold it in half (ends together) and stitch it down until the back of the “hood” reaches the bottom of the back of your neck.  With all the wind and rain it’s so useful, I’ve worn it every day since I made it!  Her’s totally looks better than mine, but next time I’m going to use a thicker and narrower scarf and see how that works out.  It would be great for my long-stretch hiking too!

And to wrap up, two of the highlights from Christmas:

Learning how to salt a sheep’s hide to prepare it for tanning at a friend’s house in Franconia. There were also giant jello shots and a trip to a 6th generation potter, but this is probably my favorite moment 🙂

I was also gifted some 50’s christmas ornaments by my friend’s grandmother. I love them!

And in between Christmas and New Year’s I was invited to celebrate Spanish style with friends here in Köln. There were tortillas. And sausages cooked in flaming rum. Awesome!.

And that’s that! Have a great week!

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