Old Stuff I Own – Part Deux


Deux means 2 – or II.  I used a little French there, because we Anglophones marinate in it up here in Canada, and to attract a higher class of reader – not that there’s anything wrong with the ones I already have.

My first “old stuff” post was about knives.  This one is about food.  It’s not difficult to see where my interests lie, although I would never lie to you.








I’m not sure how to identify this apparatus.  If I say “food processor” people think, electrified gadget.  This is a food processor, only, people-powered.  My Mom just called it a grinder, and I was the teen-aged, or younger, people who used to power it.
















Like, you should start assembling it today, to have it ready for tomorrow.  The main body used to screw to the simple, plank counter-tops, back before every home got patterned, arborite counters with big, rounded, no-drip edges.  I have a large cutting board, or the cut-out from the double sink, which I screw this to.

Once the main body is secured, the large central feed-screw is inserted, then the slotted disc is placed over the end, with the wing tab in a small slot, to keep it from rotating.  Then the perforated disc with the ovate center is placed over the screw’s protruding end, which forces it to turn.  The long rod, with the threaded end is pushed through, toward the operator; the handle is fitted over the triangular end, and held in place with the wing-nut.  (No, not me!)

This thing was manufactured about a century ago.  It is cast from “white metal”, a zinc/tin alloy.  This is not the specific one that my Mom owned and I ran.  This is a substitute that we managed to find at a yard sale, shortly after we were married.  We’ve owned it for 45 years, and it was an old bugger when we bought it.

When my Dad decided that he wanted to put himself in a retirement home, he sold his house off, as-is, with everything inside.  Many little mementos and knick-knacks were lost, including Mom’s grinder, and his Second World War Armed Service knife, although I did find and rescue Mom’s stash of dollar coins, and discontinued two-dollar bills.

All kinds of stuff can be run through this old baby.  Ring, or slab bologna (baloney), or even wieners can be ground.  Add salt and pepper, sweet relish and mayo (We use Miracle Whip.), and mix, to make a low-cost meat-salad, sandwich filling or cracker topper.

After dicing up some of the left-over Easter ham, for an Austrian ham and noodle casserole, I later ground the balance to make a similar ham salad, and have ground leftover beef roast, to make hash with.

Mom and I ran a lot of vegetables through ours, to make relish and chili-sauce, six-quart baskets – bushels – of cucumbers, onions, peppers and tomatoes.  The biggest problem was the liquid that gets forced from the veggies.  I worked with a galvanized pail, sitting on a large towel, beneath the dripping handle.

All food must be firmly pressed down into the feed auger, taking great care that finger tips are not added to canapés.  That would make for very unappetising appetisers.

It must be carefully cleaned after use, because there are lots of little nooks and crannies where bits of food can lodge, rot, and later cause sickness. It must also be carefully dried.  Parts like the cutter discs are not zinc alloy, nor are they modern stainless steel.  They are merely old mild steel, much subject to rusting.

While they are handy, there are many jobs that this old baby can do, that modern “food processors” can’t.  After many years, Kitchen Aid added a power takeoff at the front end of their big mixer, much like farm tractors, and began selling meat-grinder attachments.  They are all-stainless, and retail for about $100.  They take almost as long to assemble and clean, but are smaller, and don’t process as quickly.  They do though, sit higher off the counter so that a larger collector bowl can be used.

We bought one, but eventually the daughter “permanently borrowed” it.  I can have it back in the time it takes to drive to her place, but, as long as I have the patience and arm-strength, I still prefer to do things the old-fart way.

24 thoughts on “Old Stuff I Own – Part Deux

  1. Sightsnbytes says:

    my grandmother had one of those. She used it to make all sorts of sausages, including my favorite…Blood Pudding. Great gadget that also went missing after she passed….probably by a greedy family member who has a gambling problem and sold off most of my grandparents stuff….but that’s another story. nice post, brought back memories.


    • Archon's Den says:

      I’m not surprised your Grandma had one. I’m a bit surprised that you don’t. Sad about greedy relatives. After the big day, you can tell us all about them. Church wedding? Catholic??! You gonna post pictures, or is your better-half internet shy? 😕 🙂


      • Sightsnbytes says:

        not internet shy, she works as a social worker who specializes in child removal. big risk to show her pics on the internet. it is a catholic wedding in a church so old that it is a landmark. beautiful building. maybe I post pics of the church.


  2. I haven’t seen one of those in years. My parents had one, and used it every fall for canning season, I wish I had grabbed it when they passed away.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Newer doesn’t always mean better. There are lots of things that many people wish they’d kept, after they threw them out, and couldn’t get acceptable replacements for. 😦


  3. I have a couple of those sitting on the shelf. Nice thing about them, you can still use ’em when the power goes off.


  4. Dan Antion says:

    I remember “being allowed” to run that contraption as a child. IT was fun for me and free labor for my mom and you could control the consistency pretty well with those disks.


  5. BrainRants says:

    The new powered variety are wholly unreliable. Not only do I own one of these, but a local (at the moment) hardware store sells new components. All I need is a type that will take a sausage skin.


  6. Jim Wheeler says:

    I too remember this device. In the 1940’s my mother would use it to grind leftover meat to make “hash”, a concoction of meat and potatoes. As I recall it had a variety of circular pieces in which the holes were of different sizes, depending on how fine one wanted to grind the product.

    It occurs to me that hash was probably healthier than the processed stuff we now buy in plastic casings.


  7. coastalcrone says:

    My mother had one I would power it. I wish I had one now and would buy one if I found one. They were better than any food processor today. Thanks for the memories!


    • Archon's Den says:

      I’ll be handing out other batches of fond memories later. You might contact BrainRants (above) to see where he finds parts, or try an online search for one, Ebay, Amazon, Kijiji, even hardware chain websites. I’ve got mine, I’ve never thought about where to get another.


  8. 1jaded1 says:

    My grandpa had one of these. Brings back memories!


  9. benzeknees says:

    We had one of these! My mother used to use it to grind leftover roast beef, etc. to make hash. Lots of arm strong needed!


    • Archon's Den says:

      I guess we’re all a group of old buggers, everybody seems to have one, or at least remember them in use. Multi-practical, they produced good food – and physical fitness. 😯


  10. garden2day says:

    Hey. Speak for yourself being an old bugger. 😀 I don’t fancy myself old…yet.

    A meat grinder…cute. I remember wanting to turn the crank when I was little and my father was scared I would put my fingers in so I had a strict talking to. I still have an old one. Thanks for sharing some old memories. It makes me think back to the old farm. Too much “old” in my comment…sorry. Take care! – Amy 🙂


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