Every kitchen needs one…

​With apologies to Alan Scherstuhl, Pitch archivist of the brilliant and the bizarre, I must share with all of Fat City my own recent historical find, a hardbound book titled Household Equipment, which I discovered over the weekend in the FleaMart.

You haven’t heard of the new-ish FleaMart? It’s the clean and shiny flea emporium at 14300 E. Highway 40, in the location formerly occupied by Rick’s Picks, once the vendor of all kinds of fabulous salvage treasures, including dozens of gourmet food items that were, as often as not, past their suggested expiration date. My friend Truman didn’t care if the gourmet cookies, sodas, imported pates and such were several months past the expiration date. “Look, I’m still alive, aren’t I?” he once asked me. That wasn’t encouraging enough for me to buy them.

But now the building is all about fleas. I mean, cast-off treasures. Some new, some old, some certifiably antique. While I shopped, I suddenly realized that FleaMart features live entertainment: a skinny middle-aged man playing a guitar sang upbeat Christian songs into a microphone that carried throughout the store. Not hymns, exactly, but variations on hippie folk songs with Jesus as the pivotal character.

​While prowling through the many, many little booths, I found Household Equipment by J.J. Peet and L.S. Tye (1949, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). It was priced at a dollar and loaded with black-and-white illustrations of all the equipment a modern, state-of-the-art kitchen should boast in 1949, including this snappy white-enameled range (right) that looked exactly like the one that one of my neighbors set out in front of his house last week as bulky trash. I certainly wish I had hauled it away myself!

Categories: A&E, Dining