Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's time for a new timer

The other day I was shopping at Galeria Kaufhof (a German department store), browsing through the kitchen section for shiny red appliances when I came across a most curious gadget: a kitchen timer by Zassenhaus. The bright enamel housing and the clean design of the face was enough to draw me in, but what really sealed the deal for me was the fact that this timer uses no batteries at all.

The picture on the packaging is for a 60-minute timer with a slightly different face, but the innards are probably identical with the model I bought.

The way it works is you turn the polished metal ring clockwise until the red hand reaches the 55-minute mark. Then turn it back (counterclockwise) to your desired length of time. The winding action creates enough tension in an embedded spring to set off a loud metal bell for about 4 to 5 seconds once the time is up. The sound reminds me of the old-fashioned school bells I used to hear as a child whenever school was out.

Don't they look like candy?

These delightful little things come in many bright enamel colors as well as stainless steel, and their size (about a handwidth) is practical as well. You will need a metal surface such as a refrigerator door to place it on, since it only attaches with a magnet on its back.

Now the cons: you have to use both hands as the magnet is not quite strong enough to hold the body in place while you wind up the timer. Also, if you happen to be two rooms away and have the doors between you and the timer closed, you might not hear the bell, although I've personally found the length and volume to be sufficient for normal everyday use in my household. And finally, if you need a timer that can handle times above an hour, this may not be the one for you.

Overall I am absolutely delighted with this purchase and have ended up buying a half a dozen as presents for friends and family.

The manufacturer, Zassenhaus, is a German company most famous for its spice and coffee mills, which they have been producing since the mid-19th century. So far I have only found these timers on German retail sites, with the exception of one Australian company which imports kitchen accessories from Europe.

Zassenhaus product page:

From the German Amazon site:

From Chef's Greatest, an Australian kitchen products retailer:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Westmark "Safta" Juice-extractor and apple corer

I must confess something to you. I am in love with the packaging for this Westmark "SAFTA" juice extractor and apple corer. The fire-engine red combined with a deep yellow, almost mustard color...and the perfectly manicured hand preparing a tall, cool glass of lemonade. Oh, for me? Why thank you!

Can you wash paper buttons?

Take a look at this apron I found at a second hand store in my local city. The red and white gingham pattern matches the color scheme of my kitchen perfectly, so I snatched it up instantly. Don't you just love the use of blue, red, and white rick rack to decorate the borders and pockets?

What has me scratching my head is a set of buttons on the shoulder straps which I swear are made of pressed paper and embossed with a pattern.

Should I risk throwing these into my washing machine or will they turn into pulp?

Frau B. took the time to initial her work


Welcome to the Hausfrau Journal!

Herzlich Willkommen!

I am just an ordinary young Hausfrau with a passion for old things and ideas, an endless curiosity about the past, and bright hope for our future. Come with me as I share my everyday delights (often with a "German accent") in the hope that they will enlighten you and fill your heart with happiness.

While I am inspired by the many talented writers working on similar blogs, my main motivation comes from my mother's teaching that each person has something interesting to share. Since I have always loved the stories told to me by my elders, perusing antique stores, and learning about life from past eras, it is natural to want to share my enthusiasm for all things vintage with like-minded individuals.

Each of you will come away with something different from my entries, be it inspiration, nostalgia, or curiosity, so I welcome you to share your thoughts with me and all the other readers.

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