Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Does Anyone Still Use a Meat Grinder?

One thing I've noticed when we go to estate sales is that almost every kitchen from an elderly homeowner has a carefully stored set of an old meat grinder and the attachments. We've even bought and sold a few of these vintage kitchen collectibles ourselves.

I remember like it was yesterday that my mother would attach ours to the edge of the kitchen table and grind her own hamburger meat, and also her own hash from leftover roasts.
Vintage Universal Meat Grinder


These ole timey food processors make great country kitchen decorations, as well as interesting collectibles to display. I've seen them in all sizes, from a very small number 2 to a huge farmhouse size 22! Most collectors are interested in the ornately molded ones, particularly if all the attachments are still there and they are still in the original box in good condition.

Does anyone still really use these staple kitchen tools from years gone by, or has the convenience of "store bought" ground hamburger meat made them obsolete?

Do you have any childhood memories of turning the grinder handle, or maybe of home ground sausage, meatloaf, hash, or other wonderful dishes?

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16 comments:

nanciesweb said...

My mother used to use one when we were really poor. My parents would raise their own cow, then pay $100 to butcher it and my mother would use it to grind whatever meat was left when we ran out of ground beef.

I'm guessing those that still homestead use them. Lehman's (http://www.lehmans.com) still sells them brand new and even has some more modern plastic models. I know the Amish still use them and order through the mail order catalogue but I'm not sure who else.

Dirty Butter said...

We bought a half of a cow once,but we had the processing plant cut everything per our instructions, and they made all the hamburger.

I didn't realize there were plastic models, and I really can't imagine they'd be very sturdy.

Thanks for stopping by, and don't forget to see if you can answer the vintage collectibles question, "Ever Heard of the California Perfume Company?"

Susan said...

Wow! Just looking at it brought back tons of memories. I remember turning it and being so little at times it was really tough. I can't remember exactly what the concoction was, all I remember is stuffing bologna in it :-) and it made some sort of sandwich spread with pickles or relish

dawn said...

When growing up, my mother would take out the meat grinder and we kids would get to turn the handle. Not had to do that in ages.

We now split a cow, between my mom and I and the cutter does the grinding for us.

Dirty Butter said...

You're right, Susan, memories are powerful things. Sometimes it only takes a sight, sound, or smell to bring them flooding back - just as if it were happening right now.

Turning that handle was a a big treat for me back then, but I don't remember my mother ever making sandwich spread with it. Just think, actually knowing what's in what you are eating!?!

Dirty Butter said...

Thanks, Dawn, for taking the time to share your memories of a bygone time with us.

It would be a shame, in this modern era, to forget our vintage past, don't you think?

weenie said...

Wow, haven't seen one of those in ages and I recall my mum having one. I used to think that the meat being ground out looked like pink worms...

Dirty Butter said...

You're right, weanie, it did look like worms! LOL!!

Thanks for taking the time to comment, and come again soon.

Alden Bates said...

We used to have one made from plastic (It was very solid plastic too!). I remember actually using it, but not what the result was used for.

Dirty Butter said...

I'm going to have to do some research on these plastic versions, Alden. Thanks for the comment!

Gem said...

My mother had one (and I'm not that old, lol), but I don't think she ever made hamburger with it. She gave me a ham salad recipe that I can't figure out how to make without one, though! You grind up the ham with a bunch of other stuff, then put into a mold. You can't by ground ham, lol!

Dirty Butter said...

Hi, Gem! Nice to see you again :)

My mother used to make a ham loaf. I hadn't thought about that ham loaf in years, and boy, was it good. Made like meatloaf, but with bacon on top, and a mix of ground pork? and ham.

The butcher would probably grind it for you at the store, if you asked, don't you think?

eMMa said...

I remember my family having one when I was a child. For some reason it was only ever my father who used it. Me and my brother were banished to the other end of the dining room table to watch.

When my daughter (shes nearly 7) was a baby I used an old fashioned 'moulie' to make her baby food. I guess its kind of like the meat grinder thing?

Dirty Butter said...

Your father probably kept you at a distance because of the possibility of losing a finger if one of you were the curious type.

A Moulie would work fine for grating or grinding vegetables in small quantities. I'm not so sure it could handle meat, though. I've seen a vintage Moulie at an estate sale or two, but do they still make new ones, too?

eMMa said...

It worked fine on meat! I don't know if they still make them. I was given mine by an old friend.

Dirty Butter said...

Thanks to you, Lara, we bought a Moulie at an estate sale yesterday! Guess I'll find out if anyone collects them, huh?

Maybe they come in different sizes, the way the grinders do, as I can't imagine this little thing grating meat.