Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fire King Reproduction Alert!

I've read many warnings about Fire King reproductions on the market, but mostly these have been limited to fabricated mug decals and not focused on the area I collect - Mixing bowls, grease jars, shakers & bakeware items.

But here lately I've noticed more and more "fakes" turning up in local antique stores, and I just wanted to share my experiences.

Reproduction Fire King Mixing Bowls:

I've seen these now in Tulip & Red Dots. These are very solidly opaque, similar to Vitrock but absolutely bone-white. In most instances, the decals are full color and without flaw. The bottoms have no markings whatsoever except sometimes you may find a Made in China gold foil sticker on them. Both bowls I've seen have been the 2 quart (7 1/2 in) Splash Proof, but very well may come in all sizes. It's also possible to come across one of these that is 5 1/2 inches since the grease jars are also being reproduced.

Reproduction Fire King Grease Jars & Shakers (aka Range Sets): I have seen these in Tulip & decaled Jadeite. First word of warning: Fire King never made a splash proof style grease jar in Jadeite. This is technically a "Fantasy Item" instead of a direct reproduction. Of course these are not marked in any way on the bottom, except possibly by sticker. All the ones I have seen are decaled in some way. I don't know if the shape is truly identical to the original white grease jars, but they appear to be quite close. The Fire King Tulip Grease Jar & shakers are also dead white. The biggest additional giveaway on the shakers is that they come with new silver lids. The real shakers have tulip decals on them & say salt or pepper.

Unfortunately, the jadeite shaker reproductions in circulation right now are too numerous to count. And not just jadeite - white with decals and fired-on color styles are being repro'd. It's every style and decal imaginable - and they span the likes of not just Anchor Hocking, but McKee, Hazel Atlas, Tipp City - the whole spectrum. The only thing I can say is, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

I have a very strong (but totally unconfirmed) suspicion that one of the newest Fire King fakes is the rare and very expensive "Kitchen Aids" pattern. I've seen what appears to be fakes in online auctions, which makes it hard to say for sure. But until yesterday, I had only seen the "fake" Red Dots in online auctions, so Buyer Beware!

I'll update this post & cross reference it if I can confirm more.

1/26/12 *Edit* Check out the pictures here. Solid proof on the Red Dots bowls. Also, I did not know that Fire King Vitrock is now being Reproduced!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Loot!

This made me cry. These two Pyrex sets were gifts from my mother-in-law that she originally received as wedding shower gifts. She has used them and cared for them for 30 years now. Amazing! I'm about to tear up again just writing about it, so I'll just say these will be treasured family heirlooms for a long, long time to come. Love you, Mom!
This handsome casserole here is an uncommon promotional piece whose actual age and name are unknown. It's been nicknamed "Brown Onion" or "Raffia" by the Pyrexlove flickr group. It's an incredibly useful size - 475 2 1/2 quart - a style of piece that I knew existed but almost never see for sale. Far more uncommon still is the fact that it has its original decorated lid and hugger cradle - all things that tend to become lost, broken, or otherwise separated over time. It's in amazing condition and has definitely been taken care of. It *almost* scares me to use it, but I'm going to. It's just not going to see the inside of an oven, I'll tell you that much. I think this is going to be my new banana pudding dish.
And finally, these are gifts from my dear husband. Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child - hooray for having a hard copy to take into the kitchen with me!!!! A new Fiesta ring-handled teapot in Peacock blue & a vintage original, radioactive Red Fiesta teacup and saucer. Love them!!!

Is it ridiculous that I am distrustful of modern plastic but have no qualms about eating or drinking out of radioactive dishes? The way I see it is, I haven't turned into Spiderman yet, so unless my superpowers become activated, I'm using my pretty Fiestaware. (Actually, I'd try to use it more and more if it activated superpowers................)

Anyway, this is my fantastic vintage Christmas loot. I am beyond grateful for the wonderful, wonderful people in my life who are the real gifts & treasures. I love you, all.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Holidays: So Sick Edition

Here I am, a dentist appointment tomorrow, Christmas Day bursting at the seems to get here, and I am just flat-out sick. (I've also never had a head cold and a dentist appt. at the same time, so I don't know how exactly that's going to work out...)

Hot beverages are the only things really making me feel better - except lots of sleep WHEN I can get it. I feel like I have consumed my entire body weight in apple cinnamon flavored Theraflu and Chai Tea with milk & orange juice. Not all at once, mind you. I don't have a picture (because I don't feel like taking one right now) but I have been using some of my vintage creamers for the milk & orange juice - a Hazel Atlas milk pitcher & a forest green Harlequin creamer - both of which were cheap-and-cheerful purchases that set me back around a grand total of a dollar fifty.

Finally, a pop culture reference. I don't know when I got the idea to put both milk & orange juice in my pumpkin spice Chai, but it is quite tasty. I can't help though but to think of the moment in the movie Heathers where Christian Slater & Winona Ryder are standing in the kitchen of their frienemy Heather's house, trying to find an upchuck-worthy hangover "cure". Winona Ryder's character settles for combination of milk and orange juice. Christian Slater's character opts instead for a "wake-up cup of liquid drainer".

Good stuff!

So if I don't get around to updating before the holidays have passed:

Have a very blessed holiday! Wishing you the best now & in the coming year!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Depression Era Cooking with Clara

If you've never heard of Clara, then stop reading this post immediately (!), clear your schedule for the rest of the day, and watch everything on youtube.

Seriously. You'll be glad you did.

And if you're anything like me, you might just be a better cook for it. Here's Clara's recipe for Pasta with Peas

And here's what my attempt turned out like. And this is just what I had left over!
I made 3 of her recipes in one day. Here's the baked apples I made for desert. Not the prettiest things, but putting them in my Pyrex "Black Tulip" casserole dish does seem to snazzy the appearances up a bit. Her video didn't tell an oven temperature, so I baked mine at 350 degrees, probably for around 50 minutes.
Also, I used my gigantic new (to me) Le Creuset au gratin dish I wrote about just the other day - a 10 dollar thrift store find - woo-hoo! I actually cooked 6 apples at once, spaced them out evenly, and added water to the bottom.

I pulled them all together for this picture just to illustrate how truly huge this au gratin dish is!

And finally, Poorman's Meal. Originally, I didn't add any tomato sauce to the dish because I didn't know if my husband would like it, so it's shown here without it. We both decided later that the tomato sauce was a requirement.

I can totally see why this dish was such a hit around her household. It's basically hot dogs with french fries and ketchup, but in a different form. Try it and see if you agree!
Also, I have to say that I love Fire King sapphire blue ovenware. I don't have a lot of clear glass pieces, but the blue glow and pretty Philbe-style pattern hooked me. I have this covered loaf dish and an individual casserole, both of which were GW finds a few months ago.

I love you Clara! You're the best!