The Must-Have Item Every Retro Kitchen Needs

Do you recall the time spent at Grandma’s on Sunday afternoons, and the smell of the pies just coming out of the oven? The kitchen was a active workspace with flour smeared on the countertops and a line of impeccably cleaned, often used baking tools on the counter for the baking relay. Amongst those tools, one of the several dozens, that were used frequently yet rarely noticed was the pie crust crimper. This simple device with a fluted wheel and a strong handle was common in many households in the fifties up to the eighties and provided a certain degree of class to home made pies.

Pie crust crimpers that were used by my great aunt or may be still used by some people are not only useful items, but they are the embodiment of home and traditions. The golden age of home baking was in the 50’s and 60’s; people devoted time to prepare meals, including pies for dinner, not just for dessert. The pie crust crimper was rather an essential tool in this process that helped to turn the plain dough into the lovely patterns on the edges, which were not just for the aesthetic purpose but also for the purpose of sealing in the filling.

Source: eBay

Before the invention of the pre-made pie crusts or the ready to bake desserts we commonly see in the market today, the pie crust crimper was something that many home bakers couldn’t do without. It reflected the fact that baking was something which was learned at the feet of one’s grandmother, a bridge between the old and the new. The patterns made by these crimpers showed the effort and the art that was put into home cooking. All pies that were presented were equally great and reflected the efforts of the baker to the fullest.

The design of the pie crust crimper with the fluted wheel and handle was developed in the 19th century. Nonetheless, it reached its peak in the mid-20 th century America in line with the culture of domesticity and home cooking. Such tools were usually manufactured with a view of withstanding the test of time as they were made of strong materials such as metals or wood. The fluted wheel not only made the pie more beautiful but also made it more secure as it wouldn’t spill what was inside during baking.

Source: eBay

While thinking of these passed on kitchen gadgets, it is rather easy to recall the happy memories of the past. The pie crust crimper is just one of the many examples of how simple items can have such great meaning. It’s not just about the pies it brought to life, it is about the memories, the joys and the conversations, the gossip, the laughter, all the while Rolling Pin in hand and a Dough Bowl in front.

Looking back at this past with nostalgia, we can find the good things that came out of these two decades. Pie crust crimper just makes me happy, it makes me reminisce the time when baking at home was all the rage and the joy of making something from scratch. It also focuses on the role of the family and the values that are passed from one generation to another as well as the role of traditional home made food.

Picture this you are entering your grandmother’s kitchen during the afternoon when the sun is shining brightly and the fragrance of apples and cinnamon is filling the air. She gives you a small, rather strange instrument with a rimmed wheel and, grinning, she explains how to make ‘crimped’ edges of the pie. This seemingly simple tool, the pie crust crimper, encapsulates all those precious moments, it is a symbol of love, tradition and the beautiful craft of home baking.

Thus, the vintage pie crust crimper is not just a kitchen tool, it is a cultural artifact, a symbol of the nostalgic reference to home cooking, the warmth it brings into every home. Hence, the following time you are engaged with pie baking, do not forget to use a crimper and give your pie that vintage charm that it deserves.

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