Saturday, November 22, 2008

They don't make 'em like they used to

I like something new and shiny just as much as the next girl. BUT, there are some things that you just cannot buy today and get the same quality as you used to. This is an ode to those few precious objects I have inherited from my mother (and mother-in-law), that I would never, ever buy new.

Object Number One: The Magic Mill

This is my stone grinder that I use to grind my wheat for my homemade bread. (More on that another time). It has a hardwood cabinet and lovely stainless steel detailing on the knobs. When is the last time you admired the intricacies of an appliance knob? My mom got it when she was first married. In 1971. Still good as new. It is made to last a lifetime. I saw one on Craig's List for $295. Seriously! The super-fine, warm, freshly-ground wheat is one of several secrets to great tasting bread. I use it with a grateful heart about twice a week.

Object Number Two: 1894 Mathushek and Sons Piano
This piano is a beauty at the tender age of 114. My mother-in-law taught thousands of piano lessons on this piano, and now I am doing the same. Original ivory and ebony keys. With a duplex (meaning double, or TWO!!) sounding board still in excellent condition, this piano sounds better than any upright piano you can buy today. It needs a restoration, which we are saving up for, but in order to get the same quality of sound from a piano today, I would  have to buy a Steinway, and they can cost more than my house. I feel so lucky.

Object Number Three: Bernina 830

Perhaps you have tried to sew and thought that it was too difficult, or you didn't have enough patience. Well, that is because you haven't sewed on this Bernina 830 from 1973. These machines are still in high demand and can sell on Ebay for about $800. 100% metal mechanical parts. Twelve different original, metal feet. No-jam bobbin. I have sewed curtains, pillows, English-smocked dresses, button holes, endless denim patches, and upholstered ottomans with it. And it purrs.


  1. A girl after my own heart!
    I love your stuff - I WISH my mom had that sewing machine to pass down, and it was made in a great year - (teehee)

  2. I guess that's one downside to being a middle child... there's nothing left to inherit. I often wonder why they don't make quality stuff still and just charge more for it.

    I'll watch out for Mrs. Ghetto Stiletto. Ha!

  3. Wait Anna... I'M the middle child.

    Rachel, I'm a little jealous of all 3 of those things. Especially the wheat grinder - now that I know how to make bread (thanks to you).

    I'll email you soon with pictures, and some questions about Christmas presents!