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What the Fork?

Most days I play a little Antiques Roadshow at the store. Dealers and customers come in with an odd piece they found at auction or a clean out and ask me, “What is it?”. I often have enough knowledge to be dangerous and the rest I make up. Just kidding I look it up.


Today I brought some miscellaneous serving pieces. Most of the time I check to see if its sterling or silver-plate. However, the serving pieces were elegant and unusual, and I enjoy the history hunt for its origin.

In my research, I found some other interesting serving pieces that have fallen away in today’s casual dining atmosphere, the 1 or 2 tine Butter Pick for lifting butter off a serving plate known as a butter pat. Then there’s the Cheese Scoop and Dried Beef Fork. I also found an ornate crumb knife and food pusher; used by servants, waiters, and mom's clearing the table and cleaning up. But, the piece that piqued my interest the most was a Tomato Server, with a lovely ornate serving bowl. Assembling any or all of these pieces would make an interesting and useful collection.

My favorite finds are the more obscure pieces like a lovely

Aspic Server, I love aspic, and I have an excellent recipe. Why not serve it at your next

dinner party.

Tomato Aspic Ingredients

4 cups V8

One tablespoon lemon juice

One tablespoon Worcestershire

1/2 cup each chopped green pepper, onion, celery

Three tablespoons chopped green olives

Four packages of Knox Unflavored Gelatin

2/3 cup of water

To make the aspic: Soak the gelatin in 1 cup cold water. In a large saucepan, combine V8, lemon juice, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, onions, celery green pepper, olives, lemon juice and bring to a slight boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a low simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, taste, add salt if needed.

Stir in the gelatin.

Pour into 12 lightly oiled ramekins or an individual mold. Cool to lukewarm.

Refrigerate molds for at least 6 hours. Unmold and serve on a lettuce leaf with a garnish of your choice. I like canned shrimp and Guacamole. You can thank me later.

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