Kathy’s Vintage Kitchen
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Universal Food Chopper
The Universal Food Chopper
The ‘Journal of Domestic Appliances’ declared in 1882, ‘Year by year domestic inventions of every kind are increasing; and no matter whether we desire to clean knives, or make stockings, peel potatoes, black shoes, make butter, wash clothes, stitch dresses, shell peas, or even bake our bread, all we have to do now is turn a handle…’.
How times have changed. Now all we have to do is “plug it in”. But what other appliance has stood the test of time like these grinders? U.S. made of cast iron and wood over 100 years ago and still in working order! They don’t make anything like this anymore. When is the last time you bought a kitchen appliance expected to last for a century?
The #00, #0 and #1 are most useful for making your own breading, grinding herbs and spices (even coffee!). The #2 is the workhorse . I use mine alot during canning season and it works perfectly for grinding vegetables into salsas, relishes , chutneys and more. It is also powerful enough for grinding meats and nuts.
A fine/breadcrumber, medium and coarse blade were standard with each UFC; but a nutbutter attachment is occasionally seen and they work great! The grandkids love making peanut butter and it is delicious. Just start with a can of salted peanuts (or other mixed nuts). Add a tiny bit of honey or peanut oil to get it to the consistency you wish.
A restaurant size UFC (#3) makes short work of meat for sausage . I also use my #3 for grinding the Fels Naptha when I make detergent. (another story for another day)
hey sat forgotten in a corner of the cabinet while we flirted with the modern day food processor; but its time to take that vintage gem out and dust it off! The slower speed of the handcranked grinder is ideal for chopping vegetables without turning them into mush. Its sturdy and simple parts are practically indestructible. It’s “green”, consuming no energy but your own . and we all know we can afford to burn a few calories now and then. And since they were so well made, they are still readily available and rarely cost more than $10-20.
note there are four essential parts which are quickly and easily taken apart to clean. Always take it apart and rinse it immediately after use and set out to dry.
How to clean The original instructions that came with the UFC recommended running stale bread through the grinder to clean it; but you may wish to clean it a bit better. If you take it apart and rinse the pieces right after use, it is quite easy to clean. Do not put it back together until it is dry.
To restore an old UFC, treat it like a cast iron pan. After cleaning the parts and allowing them to dry, take a clean dishrag dipped in a bit of cooking oil and wipe all metal parts applying an extremely light coat of oil. It doesn’t take much. Then set in a warm place ( a sunny window or sunporch, an oven on a “keep warm” setting for an hour or so).
If you find one with a little bit of rust or corrosion it is not a big problem as long as the rust had not caused severe damage to metal parts . Wash and brush them for any loose bits of dirt or rust, then season and use. I store my collection of grinders in the Hoosier cabinet and yes, I use them all!
Kathy’s Vintage Kitchen Thursday, February 7, 2013 Universal Food Chopper The Universal Food Chopper The ‘Journal of Domestic Appliances’ declared in 1882, ‘Year by year domestic