For weeks now, my family has been clearing out my grandparents' house — a little split-level suburban home where they carved hams and raised children and grew a garden and held Easter egg hunts for more than a half-century. The process has unearthed just as many inexplicable objects (a doll made from a feather duster, molds of human teeth, teddy bear tank tops) as it has treasures, which to me equals old-timey baking equipment. There were barely used individual-sized bundt pans; a cake breaker still in its original packaging; a cookbook with a recipe for something called "nibble teasers," which I first read as something more explicit; an iron for making rosettes and patty shells; and a cookie press that I plan to bust out at Christmas. In the box, next to the barely used attachments, was a note written by one of my aunts: "You wanted me to remind you to have the girls over and make fancy cookies." Whenever I go out in Lowertown, I get an urge to leave myself a similar... More >>>