Life Before Blenders – The Keystone Food Chopper

Written by: Andy Adamson- Connect with Andy through the Museum contact form

Hand cranked chopper
Pamphlet and direction page

Look around your kitchen at all the modern kitchen gadgets and tools that save you time. How much of a novelty are they? Cooks have been using shortcuts for a long time.

Case in point, this Keystone Food Chopper found in the South Frontenac Museum as part of our current kitchen display.

It was manufactured by the Colebrookdale Iron Co. in Pottstown, P.A., U.S.A. It was very popular in the kitchens of North America from 1920 to almost 1960. It was advertised as being able to chop raw or cooked meats, and all kinds of vegetables and fruits into a coarse, medium or fine consistency. “It does not mash or squeeze out the juices but delivers clean cut uniform pieces.” The cutters are steel, reversible and self- sharpening.

There were four different models to choose from:

  • small families
  • popular family size
  • hotels and restaurants
  • butchers, marketmen and farmers

The Chopper came with four different blades, each with a different function, from cutting chicken and lobster for salads to pulverizing peanuts for peanut butter.

Included with the manual were recipes for making soups, meat loaves, salad dressings and much more.

Here are a couple that might interest you:

Canned Corn Fritters

Chop 1 can of corn in the Keystone Food Chopper, using the No. 3 Cutter. Add ½ cup milk, the same quantity of flour and 3 eggs well beaten. Season with pepper and salt.. Fry in smoking hot lard. Brown one side then turn and brown on the other. Serve very hot.

And for those looking to do something with all the spring blooms that will soon adorn our lawns:

Dandelion Wine

Put 1 quart of dandelion blossoms in 2 quarts boiling water. Let stand three days and three nights, then add 2 lemons sliced and 2 pounds white sugar. Boil fifteen minutes, strain and set aside to work as you would in making other wines.