Of Foley Forks & Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars {Recipe}

Once upon a time, there was an odd looking vintage kitchen utensil in our top kitchen drawer. It had a weathered wooden handle and short, bent, scoop-shaped tines. This apparatus had been in this drawer as long as I could remember and always looked like it was about time for it to go; however, in an interesting twist of fate, this antique gadget outlived two 21st century KitchenAid whisks.

Towards the end of September, after one or two band competitions have taken place and pumpkins have marched into my office, I feel strongly compelled to begin making all my pumpkin recipes. This year I’ve added a new one to my repertoire thanks to…drumroll, please…Pinterest. (I know you’re shocked.)

So I got my can of pumpkin out and all my favorite fall spices, the bowl, the measuring cups…you know the whole nine yards (equivalent to 14.4 8-to-5 steps in case you were wondering), and was incredibly disappointed when my mom informed me that our whisk had moved on to glory. My initial Plan B was to stir the flour/sugar mixture for my Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars with a fork, but then my mom pulled the odd looking vintage kitchen utensil from our top kitchen drawer and said, “We have this thing if you want to use it instead.”
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With a look of “really? but what do I have to lose?“, I grabbed the odd looking vintage kitchen utensil and started to stir. It was amazing how well this little gadget helped integrate the sugars so quickly (just like a good colorguard pass-through in a closer). I was hooked! And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, it also allowed me to both scoop up the crumbly crust and press it into the bottom of the baking dish without getting my hands all messy.

I had to know more about this gadget. All I knew was it was my grandmother’s (or maybe even great-grandmother’s?!)and it had been around forever, but a closer look as I was stirring revealed that it was a FOLEY FORK MPLS, which was introduced by Foley Manufacturing in Minneapolis, Minnesota during the Great Depression. Apparently original Foley Forks are highly collectible items and after tonight, I could certainly see why.

I’m sorry to report that Foley Manufacturing no longer exists and it seems that no one has been able to reproduce the coveted Foley Fork to the caliber of the original. There are Granny Forks and replicas and even Fantastic Food Forks, but for now, I’m going to keep my eyes peeled at yard sales and antique stores for true Foley Forks to use as gifts and a backup.

Heaven help if our Foley Fork ever joins our whisks in glory. IMG_2216

P.S.–Those Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars? Delish. And I’ll also let you know that they leave the PERFECT amount of pumpkin to make a couple of my favorite pumpkin coffee drinks! {PSL + PS frapp}

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