This butter mold was made by a New Hampshire company called Blanchard and Sons. It is made of white birch and is actually three separate pieces. Two of the four sides of the mold are permanently held together with dovetail joints to make an “L” shape… the flat piece with the design fits into grooves in the sides of the two “L” shapes… and all three pieces are held together by brass hooks that fasten onto large threaded brass pins.
Antiques & Simple Treasures
A few years ago we met up at the local post office with a distant neighbor who commented on how huge our pig was getting. She went on to tell us that she always looked for the pig each time she drove past our house and that she was almost always able to find him moving around somewhere in our fenced-in gardens or yard. She said she had always thought that pigs were destructive diggers, and that ours must be a most unusual pig to be allowed to roam freely throughout our gardens without damaging our flowers and plants.
This pitcher and I have a history. The first time I saw it was after an elderly aunt asked me to feed the cats and dog, gather the eggs, and take care of the chickens while she was recuperating from a broken hip. Every morning and every afternoon for over three months I walked up the hill toward the old homestead to “do the chores,” and I would see this pitcher way up in the loft window of the barn, perched rather precariously on a huge pile of what appeared to be just junk. Even from that distance I could tell that the pitcher was old, and I often thought what a shame it was that it was part of my family history and it had just been thrown away.
With Thanksgiving almost upon us, and a big pie-making day looming in the very near future, it seems an appropriate time to write about my favorite rolling pin. This rolling pin is old and is made of stoneware, with a blue wildflower design. This particular rolling pin was made around 1880 by the Fulper Brothers Pottery Company in Flemington, New Jersey. Another company, called the Brush Pottery Company, also made stoneware rolling pins with the same wildflower pattern, but these seem to have been made a few years later and there is an obvious difference in quality of the wildflower design, with the designs on the Brush rolling pins being a darker blue with thicker lines that are often smeared.
This bowl came from my father’s family. I’m not sure exactly how old it is, but I know it was still being used in the early 1900′s as a favorite casserole dish by one of my relatives. Although I never knew her personally, I am lucky to know quite a bit about this woman and her husband. She gave birth to twelve children and raised eleven, plus three others from her husband’s first marriage. She was often called to nurse the sick and deliver babies. She took in boarders, including the local schoolteacher, and made butter and cheese to sell. In photographs she is never smiling, but people who knew her remember her kind nature and the way she always whistled hymns as she worked.
I find this Neu Deel Cookin Ware earthenware dish intriguing because it has so much decoration and design for a dish with such a simple function. It obviously was made for use in the oven and has a tight-fitting lid, so I guess it would be called a dutch oven. Interestingly, the lid is glazed on the inside and is the right shape and size for a second use as a ten-inch diameter pie plate.
Many years ago my mother got this Swans Down tube cake pan as a free premium with the purchase of a bag of flour. She always used this pan when she made a particular sponge cake… so since that cake is my favorite and I have always had a special interest in this particular pan, she gave it to me after I got married.
This is my Prize butter churn. Some of the lettering on the front of the churn has faded and is somewhat difficult to read in areas, but the top line says “THE PRIZE” with a curlicue design below it, the next line says “CHURN,” and the last two lines are “Pat. Oct 8, 1867 & Mar 18, 1873.” This churn is in such wonderful condition, I would guess that it either did not see much use or its previous owners took extremely good care of it. It still has its original finish and all of its original parts, including the small square-headed iron cotter pin on the iron gears.