Vintage Mashers and Forks
All you Luddites out there will appreciate the vintage-style petite masher from Sur La Table's Things Cooks Love collection. I never thought I'd say this about a kitchen utensil, but this wood-handled tool, made by artisans in Massachusetts, is rather beautiful. It works better than a fork for mashing small amounts of food, like berries and peas, and it's perfect for making guacamole. It can also be used to soften butter and blend pastry dough.
Another great retro tool in the Things Cooks Love series is a long, three-pronged granny fork. I purchased this for several relatives and myself so that we would stop fighting over our own grandma's fork. (In case you're wondering, my mom got it.) You can read about other weird old utensils in the online archives of the Michigan State University Museum, home to a large collection of historic cooking implements.
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