Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This & That Junk Drawer Wednesday~Grease Lamp Spoon Tutorial & An Ostrich!!

Grease Lamps - From A Silverware Serving Spoon

Old Grease Lamps are hard to find and expensive if you do find one…So if you want one you can make a simple version of a Grease Lamp from a kitchen silverware serving spoon.
Some of the family had doubts about using a kitchen serving spoon as a grease lamp. So dug through the "junker" silverware box and came up with a half dozen serving spoons to play with. Hammer shaped several - to narrow out the "spout" end. But also just took one as-is and just bent the handle up in a gentle arc to hang it drilled a hole through the end, put a twisted wire loop in it, and then hung it in the kitchen using some hemp twine. Hung it over the sink to catch "drips", and also hung one with a necked in spout next to it by a simple hemp twine. Then raided the (new) mop for some wick material, and used Crisco veg oil (cleaned out the bacon grease drippings can last week). So the test was on. It took a full stick match to get each one lit - to heat up the oil enough to start vaporizing on the end of the wick. It did have a few ... drips. But the sink caught those. With each "bowl" of the spoon 3/4 full of veg oil, they both burned around 20 to 25 minutes with a light similar to a candle….just topped both up without putting the flame out. But did have to adjust the wick in one - pull a bit more up. The wick only burns above the oil level.

Simple observation: The regular unmodified spoon bowl worked as well as the one modified by necking it down and pointing it.

So the only thing necessary for you to make your own Grease Lamp from a serving spoon is to gently curve that handle up and back over the bowl of the spoon. Then figure out how you want to hang it - either with a simple leather/hemp cord tied around it, or with a hole drilled/punched through and a wire loop in place. After you have your tie point established, then you can ... tweak ... the curve in the handle until the spoon bowl hangs level.

So a full forged grease lamp is nice, but you can make your own from a kitchen serving spoon. Just check the shape/style of it against the known patterns of silverware for your time period. A surprising number of those old patterns are still available.

The unmodified spoon bowl one is on the left - with the wire loop in the handle. That hole with wire loop is nice, because you can swivel the whole thing around as needed when hanging it up. Need to "trim/file" the top edges on the other one flush - to remove those little lumps sticking up along the top edges. They are from necking in the "point" of the spoon. It is not really necessary, but does make it look better.
Historical note:
A grease lamp burns left over cooking grease. So you can use your bacon grease for light. The heat from the burning wick heats up the spoon bowl and the grease to keep it liquid enough to flow up the wick - where it vaporizes to feed the flame. In days past, this gave you a light source at night - instead of burning a candle. And it saved you the effort of taking that cooking grease and making it up into tallow candles. The light is pretty similar to that of a candle, but it does require more attention to the wick and the grease level. And it can smoke a bit more than a candle, and they can drip "oil" from underneath. Some of the liquid can flow over the edge a little by the wick. Plus, if you are using bacon grease in your grease lamp, it also then smells like you are frying bacon. But the flame is just as susceptible to breezes/drafts as on a candle. It still gives off a pretty ... satisfying ... light - very similar to a candle

Measurements used in 1800's Cooking

Liquid Measures:
About 25 drops of liquid will fill a common size teaspoon
4 tablespoons equal 1/2 a jill
1/2 a jill will fill a common wine glass
4 wine glasses will fill 1/2 pint or large coffee cup
2 jills equal 1/2 a pint
2 pints equal 1 quart
1 quart black bottle holds about 1-1/2 pints
4 quarts equal 1 gallon

Dry Measures:
1 tablespoon of salt is about 1 ounce
10 unbroken raw eggs weigh about 1 pound
1 quart of flour, butter, sugar and other pastry ingredients is about equal in quantity to a pound avoirdupois (16 ounces)
1/2 a gallon equals 1/4 of a peck
1 gallon equals 1/2 a peck
2 gallons equal 1 peck
4 gallons equal 1/2 a bushel
8 gallons equal 1 bushel

Avoirdupois is a weight used quite a bit in old time cooking

The Ostrich

A man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich behind him. The waitress asks them for their orders. The man says, 'A hamburger, fries and a coke,' and turns to the ostrich, 'What's yours?' 'I'll have the same,' says the ostrich.A short time later the waitress returns with the order 'That will be $9.40 please,' and the man reaches into his pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment. The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, 'A hamburger, fries and a coke.' The ostrich says, 'I'll have the same.' Again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change. This becomes routine until the two enter again. 'The usual?' asks the waitress. 'No, this is Friday night, so I will have a steak, baked potato and a salad,' says the man.'Same,' says the ostrich. Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, 'That will be $32.62.'Once again the man pulls the exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table.The waitress cannot hold back her curiosity any longer. 'Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change in your pocket every time?''Well,' says the man, 'several years ago I was cleaning the attic and found an old lamp. When I rubbed it, a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there.' 'That's brilliant!' says the waitress. 'Most people would ask for a million dollars or something, but you'll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!' 'That's right. Whether it's a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there,' says the man. The waitress asks, 'What's with the ostrich?'The man sighs, pauses and answers, 'My second wish was for a tall chick with a big butt and long legs who agrees with everything I say.'



Vera said...

I liked the tall chick, that was toooo cute!!!

Rooster Inn Primitives said...

Hi Sue

Well it was warm over the weekend and nice today but the wind is blowing and its getting cooler. I can't wait for spring.

Hugs pam

The Charm House said...

Today she turned 92.... Had an awesome day! Her grandson, the chef from Atlanta, visited her with a complete meal that he had preapared for her. My Mom had cupcakes for anyone that came and she had company all day. Best of all~ Today was the first day she was able to see her great, great grandchild, Emma for the first time! She loved that!
Thank you so much for remembering to ask, that means so much to me...
I didn't get to visit today because I had my treatment yesterday and I have to take it easy for a couple of days. :(
But I will be jumping around like crazy in a few days when my treatment kicks in!!
Sue, Spoons and An Ostrich, You are a Hoot!!!
Love You, Yvette

LoveThePrimLook said...

hi Sue, I just gave you The Lemonade Award. Please stop by and see what you can do :)

Hugs !!! Angie