Let’s Get Technical…Technical…

Some of my favorite kitchen tools are simple things. I mean, I love my electric mixer and all, but you know what? Nothing beats cream like the old fashioned Dover beater. If you are uninitiated, that is a hand cranked beater, just a step up from a whisk .  It is downstairs in a drawer at the moment or I would get a picture of it. Fantastic machine, red wooden handles and very eco-friendly. I have a  hand cranked mouli-grater from the 1930s. I would not trade that thing for anything. Nothing, and I mean nothing grates nutmeg like that thing!

My parents lived through the Depression. My dad was born in 1917 and my mom in 1918. They saw an amazing amount of change in their lives. Maybe because of the Depression or maybe because they grew up in the country, my parents were very self sufficient. My dad could fix anything, build anything, and come up with the answer to anything. His answer to any failure was to try harder and think deeper. There was nothing you couldn’t do if you just kept trying.

Anyway, I was trying to find a round cutter to make hamburger buns one day. I wanted a particular size and could not find what I was looking for. Finally, a light went off in my brain and….


Do you see it? No? Take a closer look…


Yep. It is a big tomato can. Perfect size for hamburger buns.  The normal size cans are great for biscuits, and the small cans, like tomato paste size,  make great cookies or mini scones.

This is one of my favorite kitchen tools. Every time I use it I think of my dad.

So…True confessions. Do you have a “highly technical” kitchen utensil that you love?

images: marye audet

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    • Lisa

      Love it Marye! I have certainly used cans in the pasr for cutting dough. Sometimes drinking glasses. You are so right about the perfect uses for small tomato paste can, the regular can, and the large tomatoes can. I have an old-fashioned apple peeler/corer. My kids loved it and now younger kids who come into my home love it too. That hand cranked machine makes Slinky apples, don’t you know!! I love it!

    • JulieF

      My favorite biscuit cutter is a pumpkin can! Perfect sized for biscuit breakfast sandwiches.

    • JulieF

      I forgot to say I routinely scour the thrift shops for old fashioned kitchen gadgets. Nothing like hand cranked to make you forget about a blackout or even a shoddy plug.

    • http://adventuresofacuriousfellow.blogspot.com/ TomW

      Thanks for posting the hamburger bun pictures. Do you let them rise in stacks of two?

      I ask because I am trying to re-create the cafeteria-made buns I enjoyed in mid-sixties elementary school, and I think that is what those ladies did.

      Your bun recipe (on another link) looks like it yields a tastier & softer bread than what I remember from long ago. Do you think an LBJ-era grade school cafeteria would have used eggs in their hamburger & hotdog buns?


    • Marye Audet

      Yep, good old ingenuity!

    • Marye Audet

      Me too Julie!

    • Marye Audet

      Tom the buns linked in this post are almost exactly what you are looking for, I believe, and yes, eggs would have been added. Having done elementary school cafeterias through half of the 1960s I am pretty confident that you will like these. You can roll them thinner and let them rise stacked. That way you dont have to slice them, it saves a step. I like mine sliced so I don’t stack them to rise.