Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Beautiful AND Useful

I thought about Cro's post 'using the valuable antique breadknife". I use a few things which haughtily believe that they should be standing cherished in a vitrine :-)
Here is my lovely Sheffield Grapefruit-cutter-set:

©Brigitta Huegel


The case is made of brown reptile-skin (maybe not allowed to be sold today) - inside beautiful off-white silk and a funny little device in dark-blue velvet to keep the knife in place. The knife has a Faux Bone handle, the slim spoons are Silver Sheffield and of excellent use even if you don't cut the grapefruit before, because they have little 'teeth' on one side.
But I do cut the fruit - always.
I, then being very young, was so impressed when at breakfast they served us the cut grapefruit in Gosford Hall Inn - a beautiful listed hotel in Cumbria (now 350 years old), - we were there in 1976 - coming back from Scotland in our old blue Merc (1969 with tail fin). Coming home (to Mainz then), I cut a grapefruit every day myself.
I don't know when the grapefruit-cutter was made - maybe around 1940 or the beginning fifties?
Anyway: they are beautiful AND useful - thus I use them.
Every morning.





16 comments:

  1. I have a serrated grapefruit knife which has a curved blade and a bone handle, not quite as pretty as your spoons though.

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    1. The curved knife is above in the cover of the box - I never know whether it is real or "Faux" bone. I like cutting with that knife.

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  2. It truly is lovely. I am so happy that you use it rather than packing it away. Too often things like this are kept to "have" rather than to use.

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    1. Thank you, Emma! I too feel sorry for objects (and subjects :-) that are not appreciated in the way they were meant.

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  3. No you don't, not every morning Britta; there are only six there! ;)
    Greetings Maria xx

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    1. Haha, Maria - you might know that I wrote a book on doing housework (not only a how-to book, but also with literary ambiotions :-) - in wich I showed over 60.000 buyers how to make most of one's assets? Subtitle for the third edition might be: "How To Live On Six Spoons For A Whole Week - And Still Have Fun"? Greetings Britta xx

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    2. "ambiotions" instead of "ambition" is trying to include our German Green Movement - we seldom call it "ecological", we call it "Bio" :-)

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  4. I cannot keep up with the grapefruit my granddaughter eats. Without such a beautiful set, though, she goes through her own ceremony of peeling, stripping away offending membranes, and eating one, section by section.

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  5. I, too have a set like this. It was a wedding present back in 1972. Absolutely perfect for eating grapefruit, especially the knife for cutting out each segment and all around the edge of the flesh.

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    1. Yes, the knife is wonderful to cut the segments - and it is fun to do it. A great wedding present, Helsie!

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  6. My people had a set of silver Grapefruit spoons (No knife). I think they went when the price of silver rocketed back in the 1980's. Lovely things to use.

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    1. That was clever, to sell then - and, if I look at Tom's remark below it might also be healthier to buy stainless steel ones :-) Yet the feeling is not the same...

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  7. I was told (by a friend who died of liver cancer) that eating too much grapefruit is bad for your liver - it has some sort of enzym which attacks it. So the choice for me is wine or grapefruit - maybe the fruit in smaller quantities than the wine.

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    1. I read that this concerns "silver plated" spoons etc - because under the silver is a nickel-(silver)-copper base - and that can be slightly toxic. On the other hand I only know that "furanocoumarine ", which is contained in grapefruits, does not go with quite a lot of medicines and pills (so abstain from Earl Gray too - it is in Bergamotte!).
      I recommend half a grapefruit in the morning -, and (hahaha: half!) a glass of red wine in the evening :-)
      But then: you are tall, Tom, so your liver can work on much more than mine.

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    2. Yes, it is unfair that women's livers can be destroyed by alcohol 7 times faster than men's. Originally, all solid silver dining room ware was called 'plate'. Then silver-plating came along and the meaning was distorted. I am heartened by your explanation of the toxin (or flavour) of grapefruit reacting to certain medication. I like grapefruit!

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    3. I didn't know that about "silver-plated"!
      In Bavaria son & DiL had to pass a health-test before becoming a judge/prosecutor, and they were asked: "Do you drink alcohol?" Then - unique in whole Germany, I think - came the addition: "Mind: Beer is considered alcohol, too!"

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