collecting bakelite napkin rings

September 25, 2013

Last week we met friends for dinner and afterwards they invited us to their house for dessert.  I knew she collected Bakelite napkin rings but had never seen them lined up like this before; staged, all ready for me to photograph!  Bakelite is an early plastic and a very popular collectable; I have another friend with a similar collection.  Avid collectors look not only for napkin rings, but bangle bracelets (she has a collection of those too) and earrings, poker chips, dice and billiard balls, purses, buckles, buttons and more.  Bakelite has a wonderful warm, dense feel.  They are most often opaque, but you can see she also has a few translucent and marbleized pieces. What I love about Bakelite is that it's very user friendly.  They aren't so delicate that they can't be enjoyed and used every day.

Her two year old grandson loves the scottie dogs.

The translucent rocking horse is my favorite as it reminds me of a gummy bear.

She had the table set for dessert buffet using her napkin rings.

The beautiful lemon almond cake is gluten free.  Recipe below.

After years of not feeling well, my girlfriend discovered she was gluten intolerant and banned all wheat from her kitchen.
She bought these Oxo glass food storage containers for her different flour mixes. 

I cannot end this post without showing you her vintage cookie jar from Brush Pottery.
originally part of McCoy Pottery, both are famous for their fanciful cookie jars.

Lemon, Ricotta & Almond Cake

1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/3 cup superfine sugar (whirl sugar in a blender to super fine it)
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup lemon zest (about 5 lemons)
4 eggs at room temperature, separated
2 1/2 cups almond meal
10 1/2 oz. ricotta
sliced almonds and powdered sugar to decorate top of cake

Heat oven to 325 F.  Line the base and side of a 9" round cake tin with baking paper and set aside.

Place the first 4 ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer several minutes until pale and creamy.  Scrap down side of bowl, then gradually add the egg yolks, one at a time, continuing to beat until fully combined.  Add the almond meal and beat to combine.  Fold in ricotta cheese.

In a clean bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gradually add the remaining sugar to the egg whites mixture and whisk until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold a third of the egg whites into the cake mixture.  Repeat with the rest of the egg whites.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smooth the top with a palette knife, decorate the cake with the almond slices and bake for 40-45 minutes or until cooked and firm to touch.  Allow to cool completely in the cake tin.  Dust with icing sugar to serve. 

Here are some fun links!

Bakelite Collectors Club
Images galore of napkin rings.
Two pages of napkin rings on Etsy.
Learn about Brush Pottery
Oxo Glass Food Storage Containers
The Knitionary Recipe Blog 


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  1. Love bakelite! and that collection is amazing. When I was in junior high, one quarter was spent in industrial arts, where we made stuff out of bakelite. Wish I had it now!

  2. Those napkins rings are so cool!

  3. Love this!

    Who is David Hussy? He is intruding in your space!


  4. Catching up reading my blogs and glad to see you are still busy! I also love bakelite but don't own any!


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