It Came From My Cupboard: Flour Power

by Robrt L. Pela

A lot of my favorite kitchen stuff came from my mother. Mom appears never to have purchased a single kitchen item herself; point to any implement specific to food prep in her kitchen, and she’ll tell you who gave it to her as wedding or bridal shower gift in 1946.

My rusty old flour sifter is part of a “kitchen set” given to Mom by my cousin JoAnn, Mom’s favorite niece who died from a rare skin disorder in the 1950s. The sifter still works, although sometimes bits of its shiny chrome flake off when I’m using it.

“What are those little dark specks?” Mr. Grossman asked the other day when I was sifting six cups of flour into a big, green ceramic bowl, part of a set given to Mom by her sister Lucille at her bridal shower 60-odd years ago.

“History,” I told him.

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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela