18 October, 2009

Vintage Sunday: Wearever Aluminum Sieve

Sorry this post is so late...it was a rainy, miserable day today and I wound up spending the day in the kitchen instead of in front of the computer. That actually worked out pretty well, because my KP duty today directly inspired today's Vintage Sunday post.

Pictured at left: A beautiful old Wearever Aluminum Sieve. It has a wide funnel-like opening, and it tapers off into a perforated cone. this cone fits into a wide aluminum ring fitted with heavy wire legs, and with the sieve snuggled into the cone and steadied by gripping the comfortable, ergonomically-designed Bakelite handle, the sieve makes quick work of whatever soft material you're forcing through it.

I made braised short ribs and gravy for supper tonight, and that's just one of the uses to which I put my sieve. You see, I make pot roasts and short ribs and stuff like that the old-fashioned way: I roast the aromatics and the meat in the oven first, then add liquid and braise the meat. When the meat is just about done, all the roasted and simmered veggies go into the sieve and I use the conical wooden pestle to force the veggies through the fine mesh - allowing delicious braised veggies to improve the flavor and body of the gravy while leaving stringy bits, tomato skins and so forth in the sieve to be taken out and composted. The sieve is also great for making applesauce: cook the apples pips, skins, and all, then run the pulp through the sieve. The seeds and skins get left behind, and the marvelously smooth apple puree is ready to eat or can.

It's one of my very favorite kitchen tools, and it's one of the first things I unpacked when we moved to our new place a few years ago. If you do any food processing or canning, you'll find that one of these makes your life a lot easier. Check locally before you start searching online shops or eBay, though - online these go for upwards of $30 or more, but I picked mine up at a church rummage sale for 50 cents.
.

8 comments:

Mr.Dave said...

That thing is neat looking, I want one! BTW, I know you like job lot stores, I found something neat at the local Big Lots the other day. They were "Stew Bags". You throw all of your meat and veg in this big mesh bag thing, stew away, and then you can lift it out. I thought this was delightfully kitschy.

Tim W. said...

Hi Dave,

That's actually called a "china cap". Search on Wikipedia.

Love your blog!

Dave said...

Hi, Tom.

I wrote it up as a "sieve" because I think that's the way Wearever marketed it back in the 1950's. I'm still trying to find some old Wearever catalogs to check it out.

You'd be amazed at how many people call it a "ricer," or even funnier, an "applesauce maker."

Andrea said...

I have one that is identical. WEAR-EVER printed on the side. It belonged to my grandmother. She used it to make jam. She started homemaking in 1931 :) Not sure when she acquired it. Fun to see yours!

Andrea said...

I have one that is identical! WEAR-EVER on the side! It belonged to my grandmother. She used it to make jam. She set up housekeeping in 1931. I don't know when she acquired this gem. Fun to see another one :)

Anonymous said...

I have inherited one of these Wearever sieves from my mother but one leg and the wooden cone 'squeezer' is missing. Would love to replace these two things. Any ideas anyone?

Reba H.

Anonymous said...

I have inherited one of these Wearever sieves from my mother but one leg and the wooden cone 'squeezer' is missing. Would love to replace these two things. Any ideas anyone?

RJBH

fran said...

I have one of these things that my Grandma always used but in my last move the metal ring got misplaced. We always called it a "Johnny Scotchman" I have
no idea why!