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Food for thought: Sentimental objects of the kitchen

Nancy Leson
Two of Nancy's favorites

“I don't know if it's because we've all been feeling extra emotional lately or what,” Nancy Leson told me. “But I've been thinking about the emotional attachments I have to certain kitchen tools.”

She went on to describe the giant cleaver taking up real estate on their knife rack even though they never use it. Get rid of it? Never. It was Mac's grandmother's and they love to see it there.

My wife, the lovely and talented Cheryl DeGroot has always loved the kitchen treasure she hauled from the Alder Lake mud, while I have a curious attachment to my rubber auto body mallet. Also covered in this week's Food for Thought: The fabulous Montana corkscrew and Nancy's feel-good tale of how an heirloom found its way back to her.

Gone but not forgotten: DeGroot's Lake Alder pot score

Years back when DG pulled her one-handled Revere ware pot from the Alder Lake mud she didn't have a pot to cook in. "Or," she said, “anything else.” Every time we used it she'd brag “I pulled that pot out of the mud at Alder Lake.” 


Wooden chopping bowl helps sisters make up

The Seattle Times recently reprinted one ofNancy's articles about her grandmother's wooden chopping bowl, which went not to her but to her sister in Philadelphia. Sherry hadn't read the original article, but caught it online the second time around. Things were a little tense between the two at the time, but a week after that reprint, guess what came in the mail?

Credit Nancy Leson / KNKX
Bubbie's wooden chopping bowl

Plastic and proud.

Even though we rarely drink anything that requires a corkscrew, I've always admired the utilitarian beauty of the one DeGroot found in Red Lodge, Montana.

Credit stein/composite by Leson / KNKX
Ain't that cool?

Still mallet-justed

Who needs a fancy tool to flatten a piece of meat? Not me. I don't say I'm emotionally attached to my rubber auto body mallet, but I do feel smug every time I use it. And when I've beaten those cutlets into submission I can go bang some dents out of my car.


Got a sentimental favorite in your kitchen? Post a story and pic below.


Man's sentimental attachment to objects is one of life's greatest consolations.” – Orhan Pamuk






Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.