Sunday, May 13, 2012

Kitchen Gadgets I Could Live Without But Would Prefer Not To: 1970s Nutmeg Grater

This vintage nutmeg grater has graced my kitchen and grated my nutmegs for 37 years (I counted backwards and, yes, that's about right).  I bought it at a now-closed (and more's the pity) gift store in downtown Davis, my hometown, called Discoveries, a place with small beginnings in 1960 that grew to occupy three levels - basement, main and 2nd floor - next to what used to be the Cinema II indie movie theater.  My older boys will remember fondly the basement level, filled with quality childrens' toys including their beloved Legos.

Discoveries was the first gift store of its kind in Davis to feature greeting cards that were not Hallmark (a rarity in those days), small kitchen appliances, table top ware (I bought my first cloth napkins there - probably in shades of avocado and gold), small unique gifts, the sweetest gift wrap around - their signature emblem sticker, a gold sunburst, affixed a tiny bouquet of dried straw flowers to each beautifully wrapped package - and the most complete section of kitchen gadgets I've seen anywhere.  Bar none.  One could say, and I do, that my kitchen began in Discoveries.

Dorothy Briggs, one of the original three owners who went on to be the sole owner/manager until 1993, was a pretty scary lady.  As a newly married 23 year old, I remember when I wanted to return a duplicated wedding gift and she glowered at me, sending me away with a curt admonition to "come back when it's not so busy" and just what was I thinking, anyway?

So, what's so special about this nutmeg grater?  It's made of stainless steel, has never worn out (I stopped using pre-ground nutmeg when I bought this, freshly grated nutmeg being far superior), the non-grated portion of a nutmeg nut may be stored in the lidded compartment, and it was fabricated in West Germany.  Yes, West Germany.  Which, last time I looked, does not exist anymore.

Kinda like Discoveries.

You can buy a stainless steel nutmeg grater, made in China, in my Amazon Store, but if you truly want one like I have you'll have to go antique hunting.

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