Saturday, 28 November 2020

Oojamaflip Or Kitchamajig?

George's Triangle is all done, and Hermes is delivering it to Manchester. Thank you to the nice chap in Halfords who gave me a strong cardboard bicycle box for packing. I was able to tuck some of the other family Christmas gifts in the spaces. 

But now Bob is short of a project. Like me, he appreciates having something to work on, as a relaxation. He mended and repainted the handle on one of his hammers. "Oooh! can you do something about this, it is looking rather tired". I said, handing him one of my kitchen utensils. 

It was a wedding present - so that makes well over 40 years old. It was a gift from Helen. She was a young teenager in my Sunday Bible Study Group. Her elder sister was one of my bridesmaids, and our links with the family went right back to the mid 1960s. The family gave us a lovely Le Creuset Casserole [still in use] but Helen insisted on buying us her own gift from her pocket money. They had one of these in their kitchen, and she felt it would be a Very Useful Gadget, and so it has been. Bob has indeed refurbished the item.

"Thank you, the oojamaflip looks much better now." I said when he presented me with it. "What did you call it?" he said "Ooojamaflip - I'm sure that's what Helen always called theirs" I said.

But then I began to doubt myself, so I went and checked it up. I was wrong - it is a Kitchamajig. This was the actual name under which it was marketed in the USA and you can read all about the company hereThe earlier models even had the name and suggested uses engraved on the front - 

  1. mashing potatoes
  2. straining food
  3. beating eggs
  4. serving food




In this country, the Kitchamajig was produced as part of the Prestige Skyline range - and from the 1950s-1970s, almost every couple received some sort of Prestige Utensil among their wedding gifts. If you look on Etsy and eBay, you will find that people are trying to sell them at ridiculous prices. 

I may be decluttering, but this is is a cleverly designed item - and it meets William Morris' rule. This one is staying!

Do you have one of these?  Is there another 'retro' bit of kitchen kit you use regularly?

12 comments:

  1. I've never heard of a Kitchamajig, but, yours looks great with the refinished handle! The only possible retro kitchenware I have are two Pyrex mixing bowls; both were discarded by other people and picked up by my mother and I. I've found out that they are considered collectibles! But, I still use them all the time.

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    1. I love Pyrex - oven, microwave, dishwasher AND freezer safe. I'm reducing my collection though - I sold a lot at my last Yard Sale, to a young Mum assembling a 'Retro Kitchen'

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  2. I have quite a few old bits of equipment I inherited that I wouldn't be without, like the 1950s aluminium pan my mother always used for pasta. It has a very tight fitting lid, making it perfect for cooking rice, and is so light, something I'm appreciating more and more as I get older. I also have loaf tins inherited from my grandfather, who used to run a bakery, with long-lost brands of wholemeal bred stamped on the side, and fancy sponge tins with fluted edges that produce very decorative, scallop-edged cakes. They are so old they have a fantastic patina and never stick. And then there's my old metal fish slice which doubles as a cake server, so sharp it'll cut through most things. I've tried switching to plastic implements but it's just not the same. I wish I had someone as handy as your husband to refurbish it - after 70 years some of my implements are looking a bit the worse for wear.

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    1. Oh how I'd love to see your bread tins! I have a tiny Hovis tin - I think it was a tradesman's sample - with the name imprinted on the side. It is too small to use for baking - but I keep bag-clips in it. You are right about the weight of things - a friend recently said she had to give up using her heavy Le Creuset as her wrists didn't have the strength for lifting anymore.

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  3. I have a little gadget called a Parsmint. Do you know of it??

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    1. I never owned one, but I do remember one of the women used to bring hers to the church kitchen sometimes when they were preparing meals. She guarded it preciously - it was useful and important to her. It did chop the parsley etc very efficiently.

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  4. My mother asked me to get her a replacement tin opener a few years ago, and I found it on eBay under "vintage"! That was a Prestige Skyline.

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  5. Never heard of this item but I love that you have something useful that you have cared for over time and that it has had plenty of love and of course that it has prepared many a dish.

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  6. Oh, I've just put a "flat whisk" on my 'to buy list' and this kitchamajig would do very well, if it was still in stores. I agree with how heavy pans have gotten. I looked at the Pioneer Woman's Le Creuset once but couldn't lift it easily. I enjoyed reading about this kitchen utensil and its refurbishment!

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    1. I have watched Pioneer Woman's cookery show. I mistakenly thought it would be about making simple meals on a camping stove behind the covered wagon. I didn't realise PWs husband is a rancher worth $200million!

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  7. Well done Bob! It looks wonderful! I'd LOVE to have a husband that could do that! It's lovely to know that things are still being used well and have lasted. I'd like to see Fifitr' s bread tins too!

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    1. Your husband has other amazing skills. Take care of him well, and he will last too

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