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Diana Bulls

by Diana Bulls


Ever since human beings began cooking food as opposed to eating things raw, some enterprising soul has tried to come up with tools that would help make cooking and kitchen chores easier. Rock and wood tools eventually gave way to those made of metal, dull edges became sharpened, woven containers were replaced by clay, etc. etc.

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by Diana Bulls


Spring has sprung, and Easter is just around the corner. My family, along with many others, will be gathering after church to celebrate this first holiday in spring. And those gatherings are sure to include food. For my family, Easter is usually a potluck buffet on the patio. My brother furnishes the ham and the rest of us bring the baked beans, deviled eggs, Jell-O salad and desserts. Yes, I did say Jell-O salad. It’s a tradition.

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by Diana Bulls


The end of World War II called for a big party. Soldiers and sailors were coming home; families were being reunited and it seemed that the worries of the 1930s and early 40s were over. All of the home front effort in war production had helped pull the country out of the depression. There were more jobs with better pay. Rationing was over and Americans wanted to spend money. For the first time, in a long time, any American housewife could buy something that wasn’t necessary or needed to run a household.

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The Sweet Art of Conversation Hearts

IN THE February 7 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andDiana Bulls,
andFood Fun,
andHometown History
SECTIONS

by Diana Bulls


February is the month of romance, and February 14 is considered by almost everyone, to be the most romantic day of the year. In modern times (around the end of the 18th century) Victorian lovers exchanged notes or cards, but pretty soon those cards were being accompanied by a gift like candy or flowers. And in 1847, a clever young man invented a lozenge cutter that turned out to be America’s first candy machine, and in so doing started the commercial candy industry in the United States.

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Vintage Kitchen Gadgets & Gizmos

IN THE January 3 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andDiana Bulls,
andFood Fun,
andHometown History
SECTIONS

by Diana Bulls


Christmas is over. The wrapping paper and ribbons have been cleaned up and the presents have been put into use. Maybe you were the recipient of one of the newest juicers or coffee makers–hopefully not the one that was recalled–or some other kind of clever kitchen device that has been advertised on late night television. My husband, who loves French fries, received a potato cutter from the cats. (Yes, in our family the cats shop for Christmas.)

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Kitchen Collectible: Cookie Cutters

IN THE December 20 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andDiana Bulls,
andFood Fun,
andHometown History
SECTIONS

by Diana Bulls


Christmas is just around the corner and I bet most of you will be baking at least one batch of cookies. It doesn’t matter if they are sugar cookies, gingerbread men, or snicker doodles. It doesn’t even matter if they are made from scratch or out of a refrigerated package or a box mix. When Christmas arrives, there had better be cookies. (I mean, you do want a visit from Santa. Right?) Yes, Christmas is definitely cookie season.

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by Diana Bulls


Just about everyone I know has at least one cast iron skillet in their kitchen (or maybe in their camping equipment). Most of these pans were family hand-me-downs, but the more astute cook has actually searched them out at yard sales or thrift stores. Besides skillets–in all sizes–there are griddles, Dutch ovens, pots, waffle irons and muffin pans. In fact, cast iron was the world’s first “non-stick” cookware.

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by Diana Bulls


I think I have shared with you before, how fascinated I am by things “Made in Japan” during the 1920s and 1930s. I have, at one time or another, collected pitchers, tea sets, dogs, birds, small celluloid toys, holiday decorations, party favors or anything else that caught my fancy.

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by Diana Bulls



One of my fondest childhood memories of summer is homemade ice cream. For no particular reason, other than it was hot, Mom would mix up a batch of ice cream and Daddy would get the old White Mountain, hand-cranked freezer out of the tank house. The filled freezer container would go in the wooden bucket, and Daddy would layer in the ice and salt, and finally the cranking mechanism.

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by Diana Bulls


Last month, I confessed my obsession with buttons. This month I have to confess that I am equally obsessed with stoneware crockery. It doesn’t matter to me if it is a bottle, jug or jar, I love them for their various shapes, colors and decorations. Before refrigeration, crocks were used in American kitchens to hold foodstuffs such as butter, salted meats and pickled vegetables. They were America’s major house ware from 1780-1890. I use them to hold kitchen utensils, flowers, magazines or kindling. I don’t care if they aren’t in perfect condition.

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by Diana Bulls


Ever since Eve ate the apple in the Garden of Eden, humans have been trying to fashion coverings for their bodies. Fig leaves progressed to animal skins (much softer and less itchy), and eventually to woven cloth. And along the way, a plethora of sewing accessories have come into being, opening another opportunity for collectors: the fascinating history of fashion and the evolution of how garments were created.

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by Diana Bulls



Here we are, Easter almost upon us, with spring just around the corner–well whatever we call spring in central California. When I think of spring and Easter (the secular holiday, not the real one), it’s not long before I am thinking about eggs, specifically deviled eggs. Honestly, can you have an Easter picnic or get together and not have deviled eggs? Not in my family. In fact, Thanksgiving is the only time the family gets together when deviled eggs aren’t there too.

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by Diana Bulls


Reamers–a useful little kitchen gadget–have been around for a long time, but their heyday only lasted through the 1930s and into World War II.

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by Diana Bulls


Today there are not many Americans who think about how to store food. Nearly every household has a refrigerator, a freezer and a variety of plastic or metal storage canisters. Food comes from the grocery store in cans, bottles, boxes or bags–ready to just put away in the frig or pantry–with little concern about hungry critters

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