Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Confessions of a Feemster fan

I found this picture on ebay showing two Feemster peelers for sale
for $9.99. They were advertised as "Great-grandma's potato peelers".

I have never had one like that shown on the left, (sorry, I don't know how to crop or enlarge photos) but the one on the right is my potato peeler. This is the kind that I learned to peel potatoes with as a child. I was often pressed into helping make supper and since we had meat and potatoes at every meal, I peeled a whopping lot of potatoes during my youth.

When I became a "housewife" (ugly term) I got my first Feemster to peel potatoes. Over the years I tried other types of peelers but found them so awkward that I always returned to my old faithful. To this day, I find it almost impossible to peel potatoes without my Feemster.

When my mom died ten years ago, I inherited her potato peeler (actually, nobody else wanted it). I had the luxury of two of them in my utensil drawer. I felt so secure having a backup one.

One day recently, I discovered one of them was missing. I was worried sick. I was down to a single ancient Feemster--what if it broke? What if that one disappeared? Thinking I might have accidentally thrown it away, I pulled the plastic garbage bag out of the waste basket and carefully sorted through potato peelings, coffee grounds and various un-recyclables. It was a messy job but darn it, my Feemster was at stake! I searched through all the kitchen drawers several times and racked my brain over where it could have gone. I was discombobulated--I was living on the edge of disaster.

Several days later I was digging something out of a lower cupboard and noticed some baggies had fallen out of the drawer above. This rang a bell in my cluttered brain. I went over to the lower cupboard under the utensil drawer, and there, behind the bread pans was my beloved potato peeler! I had found it!

OK, so this was not an earth-shaking moment, but coming to the end of your supply of something nearly irreplaceable is scary. There's something sorta apocolyptic about it. Therefore, I write this post in the calm assurance that there are two Feemster potato peelers safely tucked away in my utensil drawer.


Bevie said...

"coming to the end of your supply of something nearly irreplaceable is scary"

That's so true. Even if it's something you used to live without.

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

Honey, with eBay, a lot of my worry about "irreplaceable" items was lifted! I have found things on eBay I NEVER thought I'd see again...still doesn't stop me from mourning some lost doo-dads from my granny, but...I have found that there are often the same things for sale that I was grieving!

Strangely enough, sometimes it's all I need to know, I don't even need to buy the item in question (and bidding goes too high for me anyway many times)...

My mother did not believe in potato peelers. I had a special little paring knife to use for ALL peeling jobs. Now I helped out as soon as I was able to stand on a chair at the sink or ironing board, and there were a minimum of 14 at the table...we ate SO MANY root soon as I got away from home I got me a peeler like yours on the right -- brought it home and showed my mother -- she adopted that thing like it was the 11th commandment and often remarked that she didn't know how she had lived without it!!!

Thanks for your story!!! And glad you found the peeler after its "escape attempt."

Ms Sparrow said...

You are both so wise, my dear friends. Maybe I'm an alarmist but I guess it goes back to being in one's comfort zone.

bjsisk said...

I can not believe I don't have that gadget!

Pearl said...

I feel that way about lipsticks and bras.
Why o why are things made for a limited time?! If it sells, if it works, why would they stop making it?!

Caryn Bounds said...

I know it's been a few yrs since your post was made but I just stumbled across it and had to comment.

W.R. (William Roy) Feemster (b.1886-d.1972) was the man who designed and patented the Feemster potato peeler. Every member in my family learned to peel potatoes with that peeler! I am proud to say that William was my 2nd Great Grand Uncle! I was thrilled to come across your story. I now just how you feel about that peeler. I am sure that Uncle William would be thrilled as well to know how much you loved that little peeler. Nothing compares to them today. They just don't make things like they use to!