Saturday, 30 March 2013

Family Matters

When my father was in Canada recently he was sorting out his flat there. When he returned to England he brought back a couple of items that he thought would be of interest to me. They are indeed.

First up is this item -


This was made by my great-grandfather  He was a whitesmith. This is like a blacksmith, but does not involve the working with horses bit. Whitesmiths makes things from metal. I believe my great-grandfather must have worked with copper a lot as I have some candlesticks made by him as well. The above item (if you know a name for it please do tell me) is used for crimping pastry and sealing the edges of a pie. Cool, huh?!

Before I laid eyes on it I was more interested in my grandmother's cook book.


As you can see, she received it for Christmas in 1937. Unfortunately there are a lot of blank pages in it. And the recipes that are copied in are few and far between. The few recipes that are there are mostly cut from magazines and newspapers.


And as interesting as it sounds (?) I don't think I am about to produce a Raised Pork Pie Made with Tinned Sausage Meat. I think that bit where it says use 3 ozs of fat from the tin is enough to put me off the very thought. (I wonder just how much of the contents of the tin were fat and not meat?!) But it is very much a recipe of its time in post war rationing Britain.

The best bit of the cook book is the hand made cover. The stitching is gorgeous.


Useful, or not, these items are part of my family history and to be treasured just for that fact. Now, if I could have only had her button tin too, but I think disappeared into wherever button tins disappear to long ago.

Susan

42 comments:

  1. What wonderful things to have - I love the recipe book and the gift card that goes with it. Am intrigued by the pastry crimper - have to say when I first saw it I thought that would be a good use for it before I read the description.

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  2. I can see where you get your stitchery talent from! Such lovely heirlooms to have! Jxo

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  3. So much family heritage in those items and in the skills being passed down through your similar interests! The recipe journal cover is beautiful as is the crimping tool. I hadn't heard the word whitesmith before.

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  4. What wonderful things to have! At first glance I thought the pastry crimper was a tracing wheel and was puzzled by the pieces on the side. Then I had a proper look ;o)
    The embroidery on the recipe book cover is gorgeous!

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  5. So lovely, I have my Nana's recipe book too, though it doesn't have a pretty cover like yours, it is still a treasured possession. Rx

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  6. What fabulous family heirlooms, I think you could probably do some real damage with the pastry crimper! Love the stitching on the recipe book, very pretty :o)

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  7. Lovely heirlooms, the stitiching on the recipe book is beautiful. I've started a recipe book but having boys i'm not sure if they'll ever want it! Perhaps I should make a cover for my book... :o)

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  8. I love having things that mean something to the family. As for our button tin - went the same way as yours I'm afraid

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  9. how wonderfulto get those things love the crimper sealer and it is up to you to fill up the recipe book and the stitching is to swoon for ............lucky you and no i dont fancy the 3oz of fat either :)))

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  10. Oh love your recipe book cover what a lovely treasure. It's funny, I have no idea where my mother's button tin went... perhaps they are both in the same place!! Hugs xxx

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  11. It is a family treasure! So great to keep these things.

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  12. What absolute treasures! Never heard of a whitesmith before.

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  13. I love stuff like this! I was lucky enough to inherit my Grandma's button tin last year when she moved into a home. That and her barometer have fascinated me since I was a wee girl.

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  14. Remind me to commandeer my mother's button jar please.
    Even if ithe recipe book doesn't have many recipes in it, it's still a wonderful reminder of family. I hadn't heard the term whitesmith either, but what a fabulous tool.

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  15. Objects that have been treasured and looked after are so special. Enjoy having them. Di x

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  16. Always good to receive family treasure although a shame the recipe book wasn't fuller. As for button tins my grans button tin disintegrated as it had been kept in a damp cupboard and the builders through it in the garden with the other building rubbish. I was at school at the time and was horrified that this and other stuff was thrown away!

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  17. those are wonderful! I have a tiny hammer that used to belong to my great-grandfather. I am not sure what he used it fore, but it's perfect for knocking in pins when making a hat!

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  18. I think it's an instrument of torture... ;o)

    Love the recipe book cover, but think I might also pass on that pie!

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  19. What wonderful treasures to pass in to your girls someday. The stitches on the recipe book are beautiful

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  20. I have both my mothers recipe book( minus the pretty embroidered cover) and her button tin. I was just looking through it yesterday. Love the pastry tool- you could do yourself some damage with that!

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  21. What fabulous family treasures, very special indeed :)

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  22. I love family history and these are great items! You could probably use the first one like a hera marker!

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  23. Susan, these are cherished treasures indeed. I've never seen one of those pastry crimpers and your Grandmother's recipe book has the most gorgeous cover! I know you'll cherish and enjoy these.

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  24. This is so cool! I love items that ask the question "Whatever was that used for?" and the fact that there's a closer connection to this is piece makes it that much more intriguing. Being a "smith" myself, adds to my fascination :)

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  25. Total treasures; it must be in the blood xxx

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  26. Get crimping then - just leave the fat in the tin!

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  27. I recently found a sheet of hand written recipes my mum had given me 20 years ago, including a steak and tomato casserole made with tinned steak and tomato soup!! Goodness only knows where she got it from and I have no recollection of her making it for us, ever, I'm relieved to say!!

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  28. What wonderful family treasures! So nice to have - and useful too!

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  29. Susn, you're such a lucky duck owning family treasures like these! Hand made pastry cutter and hand embroidered cookbook cover? Seriously?! I'd die to have something like these!

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  30. Such a treasure you now have. Guess you know your hand stitching is genetic , what beautiful work!

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  31. Both of those are so lovely! Has he cleared all the treasures or are there more hiding still?

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  32. Oh what lovely treasures, are therefore to come or is that it? Made me think of when my Grandmother cleared out her home just before she went into a nursing home and I got some fabric that had been in her cupboard for forever! Strangely enough her button jar vanished also...

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  33. Fabulous heirlooms. I have books and linen from my granny too, treasured items

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  34. Oh wow, that is one fantastic recipe book. I mean I love the pastry crimper thingumy but the recipe embroidery steals the show. I'm wishing that I could embroider because I'd love to keep a recipe book like this, not least to record recipes but also to pass {inflict} on to the children some day.

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  35. So very cool to have these things to cherish and if the kids get out of line that crimper looks like a good weapon ;-)

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  36. That pasty crimper is just fabulous and the embroidery on the recipe book is so beautiful!

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  37. Love the pastry thing .. do you think you'll use it? I love old things, especially those with a family connection. and the cookbook, how nice. I have my mother's but I don't know what happened to either of my grandmother's cookbooks and actually the one of my mother's is an old one she was tired of. There aren't any notes or recipes in it. Somewhere there is a binder with her recipes ..

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  38. Such treasures....and memories. I know what you mean about your Granmother's button tin. I know EXACTLY where my Nan's tin is (my mother has it)and everyone in the family know that it has MY name on it!!!!! x

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  39. Pretty and useful recipe book... good job you had room for one more ;)

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  40. Oh, Susan, how amazing! What a wonderful piece of your family's history. That must be so amazing to receive such a thoughtful, amazing gift like that. Amazing.

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  41. Wow, to get things from both your grandmother and great grandfather which were both food related! I think you should fill in some of those blank pages with your fabulous recipes to truly make this a family heirloom.

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