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Mouthwatering Memories

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For many, the most important room in the home is the kitchen. And for some, it's also their hands-down favorite room. This week, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art opens an exhibition that's a gold mine for the latter group.

"Kitchen Memories: Kathleen Thompson Hill Culinary Collection" showcases over a thousand gizmos, gadgets, catalogues and cookbooks from the past century or so. Hill, a Sonoma-based culinary writer, is a collector of the estranged bits of cooking ephemera, and this impressive display represents merely a fraction of her collection. No less then 20 different egg beaters—hand-cranked, of course—are on display, and potato mashers of every style imaginable, including wooden mortar and pestle. Several species of graters, mandolin slicers, weird, unsafe-looking toasters and specialized tools are included. Don't get me started on rolling pins—who would have thought there are better ways of flattening dough than a floured-up wine bottle? But apparently there are dozens of better ways. Go figure.

"Kitchen Memories" is on display Sept. 7–Dec. 1 at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. Hill speaks in conversation with food reporter Elaine Corn Sept. 7 at 2pm. 551 Broadway, Sonoma. 707.939.7862.

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