Heirlooms

From personal experience a common lament from empty nesters who are in the process of downsizing is that their offspring have no interest in the precious belongings handed down through the generations. The crystal punch bowls that were the crux of wedding parties all those years ago, the vases and all of those other family heirlooms simply have no place in todays modern homes with their all white interiors and granite bench tops. ( Didn’t anyone ever tell them that white shows up the dirt?)

My daughters were no different and the Wedgwood and Royal Doulton all went out with the cardboard moving boxes. And that’s fine.

My eldest however did have a special request. “Mo, these would be handy. May I have these?”

According to Australian Food Timeline the Jaffle Iron was “designed, named and patented in Australia in June 1949 by Dr Ernest E.Smithers”.

When the Jaffle Iron was first advertised in 1949, the device was described as a “pressure toaster”. Its advantage was that the edges of the bread were pressed together to contain the hot filling.  According to my reading the jaffle iron was embraced with some fervour. There were even cookery demonstrations showing how to use it ! One advertisement said:

It may be used over any type of heat and we suggest that if you are having a barbecue it might be an idea to provide your guests with three or four bowls of appetising filling and let them make their own. Haute Cuisine!

I remember these jaffle irons as a child from Easter mornings sitting around a man made barbeque carved out of blocks of local sandstone with a billy tea over the flames. Instead of lacy lingerie they also accompanied me on a honeymoon around the National Parks of Tasmania where I shared breakfast with potoroos and wallabies. ( There may have been some lacies but given the temperatures more likely thermals).

Many years beforehand, prior to my existence even, they accompanied my parents on camping trips to Cobbity in western Sydney before it became suburban sprawl, where they would spend their days swimming and shooting bunnies for home made rabbit pie.

Good choice, Pocohontas. Much more interesting than the crystal.

25 thoughts on “Heirlooms

  1. As I am the caretaker of the matriarch of our family, I have been tasked with the title, “keeper of the family heirlooms”πŸ˜‚ My older sister houses them at the old homestead, I affectionately dub “the museum” and do my best! It s so hard! They re ALL worth money, the ALL have sentimental value passed down for generations and it becomes a weighty endeavor. I do love the stories and using the pieces that are still quite functional though!😁 Enjoyed the read!

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  2. OMG, thanks for the flashback! I remember a blackened jaffle iron thrust into the brickette flames of our lounge room fireplace and waiting in great anticipation until it was pulled out and carefully opened. Delicious toasty ham and melted cheese or sometimes baked beans. Somewhere long the line a teflon electric jaffle press was purchased but never had the same flavour.

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  3. So many are now of the practical generation. Of course my china and crystal is sitting around gathering dust. My sons aren’t interested in any of that but the cracker (biscuit) tin that is all beat up will be something they argue about! Go figure.

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      1. If my Grandpa was handing down 1909 T206 Honus Wagner baseball card, I could say it was just a piece of paper with no logical use. Basically a worthless resource. Except it is the rarest of the rare and is worth between 3-5 million dollars (US). Usability is not really a variable when it comes to am items worth, would you not agree?

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  4. dianapenson

    theearthspins
    If my Grandpa was handing down 1909 T206 Honus Wagner baseball card, I could say it was just a piece of paper with no logical use. Basically a worthless resource. Except it is the rarest of the rare and is worth between 3-5 million dollars (US). Usability is not really a variable when it comes to am items worth, would you not agree?

    I’m certain my adult children would consider the baseball card to be a very useful cash donation rather than a family heirloom. “Thanks, mum”, I can hear them say. “That’ll come in handy!”

    Like

  5. Yes, I remember the waffle iron! Mum used it over the gas stove as well as over the camp fire, usually with baked beans or spaghetti. I wonder where it is now? I have some of that crystal stuff too, in the back of the china cupboard and rarely used. My daughter Bec appreciates some of the heirloom stuff, especially when we know the history, so perhaps some of it will survive into the next generation. I don’t think Dan will ever have any use for it though.

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