I hadn’t seen it for over forty years.
Fern green. As I recall, fern green was the noted exterior color of Mom’s mid-Twentieth Century flour sifter.
Upon recently reuniting with this baking instrument, that same exterior now shines silver with nary a fern-green-color remembrance to the naked eye. Age has its way of bringing beautiful patina to the surface, Dear Readers.
Just as in recognizing an I’m-so-happy-to-see-you-again friend from the past, the initial re-unveiling of my mom’s sifter signaled warm memories that flooded my soul.
Let’s Get Sifting
There I was as an eight year old, standing at the kitchen counter in our North Dakota farm home sifting together dry ingredients in preparation for making Lace Cookies and Oatmeal Crispies Cookies.
The number of rotations that single-screen sifter made with the action of my right arm and hand paled in comparison, though, to its day-to-day movement initiated by Mom’s skillful bread-baking hands.
Contents of hundreds of 50-pound sacks of flour came face to face with this little but mighty baking companion, Dear Readers.
And now, with thousands of traveling miles in its book of life, it has made the trek back into my hands!
What really is the purpose of a flour sifter, Dear Readers?
Getting It Right
It’s all about accuracy in measuring. Flour settles or rests as it stands. It gets denser. Therefore, a sifter incorporates air into the product. But also, sifting manipulates small clumps of flour into fine powder thereby allowing this ingredient to be more accurately measured.
Taking the sifting action a step further, when combining a recipe’s dry ingredients such as baking powder or baking soda, salt, and even sugar with flour through the sifter’s screen, a more thorough preparation of dry ingredients is accomplished. Truly, a more top-notch product will be the result of this action.
Even though the exterior color of my retro I-learned-to-bake-with-you baking-companion took me by surprise, it certainly has not modified its usefulness or the heartfelt memories of my childhood as an eager budding baker.
The Miss NiNi Baking Team has had the pleasure of seeing this well-loved baking tool and learning of its past. Mom’s flour sifter now holds a place of honor at Miss NiNi’s Desserterie. How appropro!