Out of the Museum

Readers haven't been stumped yet

By: Carol Feineman, Editor
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Where: Beermann Plaza at 640 5th St.

When: Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays

Free: Donations always accepted

Readers continue to be on a roll. For the third consecutive week, they knew the identity of last week’s mystery item.

This week’s mystery item, which docent Lynn Ethen is holding in front of the Lincoln Area Archives Museum, is trickier. If you know what the item is or is used for, please send answers to Answers will appear in next week’s newspaper.

The Lincoln Area Archives Museum is downtown at 640 5th St. Museum hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays at 640 5th St.


Last week’s mystery item

Maureen Munro called last week’s mystery item like it is: a fruit strainer.

Ralph Zitzler: “Growing up in Pennsylvania in the 1940s and 1950s, my mother used this item in the kitchen. The item was placed over a bowl with the funnel located into the bowl. Cooked fruit or vegetables were placed into the ‘funnel’ and the accompanying wooden pestle was rotated around the inner surface to squeeze the juices out through the ‘screened’ wall.”

Barbara Vineyard said that last week’s item is a sieve. Her mother would use the cone-shaped tool to “ream the apples to make applesauce.”

Rachel LaForest: “My mom had one. The object is used to squish apples and make applesauce and also apple butter.”

Heidi (Ciccarelli) Smith: “I can tell you are not Italian. This summer, grow tomatoes, cook them and then put them into this chinois strainer and you will have the beginning of spaghetti sauce! Yours looks just like my grandmother’s and mine. Good for applesauce, too!”

William J. (Bill) Majors also had an Italian-themed answer: “I use one of the still to strain tomatoes for my Italian dinner. There is a pestle that looks like a rolling pin with one end narrowed down to mush the tomatoes or whatever else needs it.”
The Lincoln Area Archives Museum docents almost didn’t pick the sieve as last week’s mystery item because they said the tool was probably not known! Readers showed them that wasn’t the case.

Consider the sieve as a vintage food processor.

According to the Encarta Dictionary, when used as a noun, it is  a “meshed utensil consisting of a round frame surrounding a mesh and used to separate solids from liquids or large particles from small particles or to puree foods.”

The sieve is next to the Hoosier cabinet and other vintage food preparation and storage items in the museum’s kitchen area at 640 5th St.

Here’s hoping that readers tell us what docent Lynn Ethen is holding in the photo above.