Silverware and Sifting

I was near my favorite thrift store earlier in the week and found a few gems a few tarnished utensils.

I got all eight pieces for two bucks.

Apparently the only thing you can get for a quarter anymore is a old dirty fork, and I’m thinking they will be perfect in photos with some dark wood.

Or with this

I love the spoons.

Especially the one in the middle with the open spaces in the handle.

It reminds me of something my grandma would have used to stir her coffee.

Or something I can use to dig out mouthfuls of a Microwave Strawberry Vanilla Mug Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Glaze

My big score was this 5 dollar sifter with the turn-crank handle and wooden knob.

Too bad I never ever sift flour. Nor does Christina Tosi so I don’t feel too bad.

It feels so old-fashioned turning that crank.

Makes me almost contemplate sifting just to put this sifter to use. Almost.

The retro-chic of it was just too cute for me to pass up.

Between the tarnished silverware and the vintage sifter, I felt like I hit the 1950s jackpot and may make June Cleaver jealous. It was the best 7 dollars I’ve spent all month.

Okay, well, the best 7 dollars I’ve spent all month was on ingredients to make these.

Do you sift your flour?

I don’t sift because the flour most of us buy is pre-sifted. If there happens to be a little lump, gently tossing the flour in the bag will break it up.

I also give the bag a little tossing and jostling before I measure my flour to make sure it hasn’t compacted and is a little bit fluffed up. “As flour sits, it slowly settles, becoming more compacted.  A cup of sifted flour may weigh 20% – 25% less than a cup of flour that has settled.  This difference can significantly affect the results, making breads and cakes more dense.”

Also important to remember from here: A recipe that asks for, say, “one cup of flour, sifted” will use more flour than one that asks for “one cup of sifted flour”.  In the first instance, the flour is measured prior to sifting, while in the second it is sifted first then measured.

But let’s face it, the less steps and dishes dirtied in the baking process, the better, which is why I don’t sift. Nothing I am  making is so ultra-precise that I’ve found it matters when cooking at home for just myself and my family. Many websites suggest sifting is an antiquated practice rarely used anymore, but maybe I will do some side-by-side recipe tests to see if my results vary dramatically.

I also recently did a post comparing different types of all-purpose flour.

 Have you found anything fun at the thrift store lately?

Or anything cute or fun in general?

Have a great weekend and thanks for the Lemon and Orange NuNaturals Stevia Giveaway entries

   

50 Responses to “Silverware and Sifting”

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    Deirdre — March 30, 2012 at 9:47 am

    LOVE your thrift gifts!! Happy Friday!

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    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — March 30, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Wow, what great finds. I should go thrift shopping too.

    That sifter is so cute. I have a plain old Oxo one. Sometimes I sift, sometimes I don’t. It depends on my mood. But when it comes to cakes, I definitely sift.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 30th, 2012 at 11:22 am

      Good to know about the cakes, specifically. I like hearing what everyone’s strategies are.

      Reply

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    Kris — March 30, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I love that spoon! I have several pieces of vintage silver that I have picked up from antique stores, they are all sitting in a cup on my desk next to my pens. :) The intention is to use them in photos, but…

    I rarely sift flour – the only time recently was when making French macarons – those require it!

    my latest AWESOME find is a … um … Dog Butler – it’s a standing dog statue that holds a tray, it is used as a mini table. I have been looking for this exact one for YEARS, and finally found it. I’ll share photos soon – each time I look at him I smile.

    Happy Friday!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 30th, 2012 at 11:22 am

      Ive seen dog butlers! And ones that are monkeys, cats, etc. They are so cute! I’ve seen people use them for hor’s deourvs trays for parties, to hold wine/champagne rather than passing it out, or as a photography prop :) So glad you found the PERFECT one!

      Reply

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    Paula — March 30, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I stopped sifting flour years ago–don’t really even know why or what made me stop. I haven’t noticed a difference in my results either, though maybe I’d sift if I was planning on making a fancy cake ( which won’t be happening anytime soon)! I got some kale, spinach and lettuce planted so I’m hoping to have some cute little plants in the next couple of weeks. Have a great weekend!

    Reply

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    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — March 30, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I loveeeeeee your silverware!!

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    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — March 30, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Ok, so clearly I have been a very bad blog reader and totally missed your transition from Love Veggies and Yoga to Averie Cooks, but I LOVE it!! I also love the looks of those cake bars… they’re making me wish I had some right now! As for flour sifting, I’m what you’d call a very lazy baker – separating wet and dry ingredients is about as detailed as I get! ;)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 30th, 2012 at 11:20 am

      Early in the month, I transitioned…bits and pieces. Now the only thing I have left to do is somehow convert all the old links from LV&Y.com/recipe to averiecooks.com/recipe But what an undertaking and recipe for disaster. Pun intended!

      Reply

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    Angela / Canned Time — March 30, 2012 at 10:35 am

    That spoon is beautiful, I bet someone’s Grandma used it plenty. I also like the fork with the woven pattern. Great find! I use a sifter a lot to mix together dry ingredients more than just to lighten up the flour. Don’t have a great sifter like this one, I’m stuck just shaking it through my strainer. Isn’t it so gratifying to find things that look so cool for just pennies? Love it.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 30th, 2012 at 11:18 am

      I would love to know the story behind certain things, too! “I bet someone’s Grandma used it plenty.”

      Reply

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    Anna @ The Guiltless Life — March 30, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I love the vintage sifter! Gorgeous, I am also a rustic chic freak :). Our entire apartment is kinda decorated in a beachy rustic style. Just makes everything feel so homey!

    Reply

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    Cassie — March 30, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I love thrift store silverware and I fell in love with the Milk Bar cookbook even more after I read that she doesn’t sift. I don’t sift. I never have and I don’t plan on it, even if a recipe calls for it. I guess maybe I should try it out sometime to see if it really makes a difference but I’m like you – I feel like it’s an extra step and extra dishes to wash!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 30th, 2012 at 11:17 am

      Ok I am SO GLAD to know you dont sift, either. And when I read Christina doesnt sift, uses Skippy PB and Pam cooking spray, just old school stuff…I was in love with her even more!

      Reply

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    Heather (Where's the Beach) — March 30, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Those forks & spoons are really pretty actually. That fork in the center….grew up with that pattern. I remember the old sifters – mom always made me sift flour for anything I baked. Now..um…not so much.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 30th, 2012 at 11:16 am

      Oh how funny that you grew up with that pattern. Small world!

      Reply

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    kris (everyday oats) — March 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

    ohh cute finds! especially that sifter!

    I hardly ever sift my flour. its such a pain and i end up getting flour everywhere!

    Reply

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    katie @ KatieDid — March 30, 2012 at 11:11 am

    loveee the look of those vintagy pieces. They will add a perfect touch for certain photos. And the sifter… cool! I’ve never seen something like that.

    Reply

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    jojo — March 30, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I love going to thrift stores because you never know what you find, and it’s usually something so unique! I love what you’ve found so far :D
    I knew that you had to spoon the flour in the measuring cup, but didn’t know how much of a difference it makes (sifted vs. pre-sifted)!! Does that mean I could blame the times I failed baking on that…? :P

    Reply

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    Amber K — March 30, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Love finding good deals like that! I have never sifted flour before. Mostly because I don’t own a sifter, but I just don’t think I would take the extra step. I don’t usually use cup measurements anyway. I weigh out pretty much everything. I don’t know if that helps my cause or not, but it is so much easier to me that way.

    Reply

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    sally @ sally's baking addiction — March 30, 2012 at 11:27 am

    what great finds at the thrift store Averie! I just love the detail on those spoons… so elegant and would make me feel fancy :)

    Reply

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    Cookin' Cowgirl — March 30, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I love the first pic, third little spoon down. CUTE! I think I need some of these!

    Reply

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    Nicole — March 30, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    That sifter is adorable! I haven’t sifted flour in ages…I think my mom used to require that when we would bake!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 30th, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      Mine too but I’ve found it to be pretty…unnecessary :)

      Reply

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    Tracy — March 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    That spoon is so fancy, I makes me want to go look for similar ones. pprreettttyy.

    I don’t sift anything, I just can’t bring myself to spend the extra tiime using it and then cleaning…. I have never had a problem with any baked goods, cakes, cookies, breads, etc.

    Have a great weekend!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 30th, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      And until there’s a problem, why bother is my thought process!

      Reply

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    Erica — March 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    If we ever meet up! We are thrifting!! Great finds. I just got a cute dress at old navy

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    Michelle — March 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    I love, love, love your photography! I oogle over it almost daily! Just thought you should know…:)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 30th, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      Awww, thank you! That’s the highest compliment someone could pay me. THANK YOU!

      Reply

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    Patricia — March 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    What I really love about the spoon with the holes in the handle is the beautiful shape of the spoon part (I’m not sure what the word for that is!). It is beautifully and gracefully contoured.

    I don’t sift but I stir the flour around and try to pour it gently into the measuring cup so as not to have it be too dense. My mom was a strict sifter, though!

    Reply

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    Ellen — March 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I put my flour through a sieve, especially if I am adding baking soda. I keep my flour in the freezer and I swear that makes it clump more easily so I find sifting necessary. I have a sifter, but for some reason I use the sieve instead. No rhyme nor reason to it…

    Reply

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    Marina@Picnic at Marina — March 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Hahaha! What a fun coincidence! I got another day a set of forks and knives at the local thrift store too! I love those places, to me it’s not just a stuff, it’s a story that each piece tells me. It’s like a museum of history but down to earth…:)
    Yes, I do sift the flour. Grandma did it, mother does it, and I do it, i guess just out of tradition?! A ritual?! I use different sifter though. I really love the turquoise plates you found some time ago. My favorite color!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 30th, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      this is so true and I agree 100%
      “to me it’s not just a stuff, it’s a story that each piece tells me. It’s like a museum of history but down to earth”

      Reply

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    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — March 30, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    I have a strange obsession with little spoons. I love to eat my desserts with it. Your silverware are so pretty. I want to go to a thrift store to see if I can find any. I do sift my flour when called for, but I use my strainer to do it, maybe it’s suppose to be used as a sifter? I don’t know, but it works! :)

    Have a great weekend!!!!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 30th, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      keep on doing whatever you’re doing..it’s obvi working!

      Reply

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    LiztheChef — March 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    So with you re the sifting…I have silver going back 200 years – but it only counts if the shot of food is good.

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    Ela — March 30, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    That’s a great tip and interesting semantic point–”flour, sifted” versus “sifted flour!”

    I love the spoon and fork with the open spaces in the handles too!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 30th, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      Yes and the same could be 1 cup melted butter or 1 cup butter, melted. I never really paid that much attn to the subtleties until a few years ago but they are important!

      Reply

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    Michele Sparrow — March 30, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Do I sift flour? Um…no. I absolutely love to bake for my family, but my recipes and the recipes I prepare are the Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am type! ;-)

    Loving the sweet little finds you scored! That spoon with the beautiful tear drop openings will be perfect for your photography!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 30th, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      I’m of the wham bam mentality with recipes, too. It’s for my..family. Not cooking for Emeril or anything :)

      Reply

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    Christine (The Raw Project) — March 31, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Such pretty finds, now I want to check out our thrift stores! And great recipe inspiration. I’m not a flour sifter, especially since I rarely bake. But I remember my mom using one as a kid. My life has been pretty boring the last few weeks – running and work. :-P But good weather is on the way … I hope.

    Reply

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    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — April 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I only sift flour if the recipe says too … but even then sometimes I don’t.

    Reply

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