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Were people better off when they used to make their own stuff, instead of purchasing it from the store? Things like the grater, the swizzle stick, the washing board were made by the proverbial man. Not any more though! Electrical appliances have taken over, leaving the talented men standing way back behind the line, where he once put his skills to good use. Today, the grater isn't much in use in many homes. To grate a coconut, the cocoa, or the sweet potatoes to make a pototo pudding, a blender is the most efficient way around it.

The men of yesteryear were very skillful. They'd a solution for everything almost. They made the own graters from the lard or the butter pan covers. Even from a small piece of galvanize, after it was brought to a flat enough surface. With a nail and a regular hammer, small holes were punched into the metals that were used to make the grater. Then, before you knew it, they were grating the coconut or the cocoa, the ginger, the sweet pototo, and many other things on it.

Some men put the freshly made graters on four pieces of thin-stripped wood to give the metal shape. It was done to make it easier to grate coconuts, and many other thing on it. The time that the men spent on making the grater was priceless because they used to put their all into it. No competition was held in respects to who made the best graters. It was purely an important piece of tool made for the purpose of home use only.

Every ethnic group made the grater in their own way.

Like they said, 'different stokes for different folks'. The same is true for the people from different ethnic groups that lived in the cities and towns.For example, the Indian people had their own way of making the grater. BUt, his style was more ancient than the other ethnic groups that lived around him. His style was the only one of its kind.

The Indian men was very cleaver. They were one of the groups of people who counted their fingers twice, before they acted on something, like in the way they made their graters. They made their graters like no man from another ethnic group did!

The Indian man made his grater from an old cutlass that wasn't suitable for working in the fields, and not from the lard or the butter pan covers. I have never seen how that was done, but a few small teeth were make at the flat bottom end of the cutlass, with a metal file, I would like to think. Then, they bent end of the cutlass, where the teeth were made upward so that it can accommodate an half of a coconut when grating it. The nice thing about the Indian man's grater was that they didn't have to remove the flesh from the coconut shell to grate it on the cutlass grater. Nor, did they had their fingers cut on their graters, while grating the coconut.

The cutlass grater had to be sat down on, while the grater that was made from the lard or the butter pan covers were held by hand, to grate something on it. Either way, it was a daunting task when more than one coconut, for example, had to be grate on the homemade graters.

The swizzle stick was another thing that the common man made. Unlike the graters that was used to grate many different things, the swizzle stick was used mostly for mixing milk.

To make the swizzle srick, a twelve inches long piece of wood (rounded in shape) had to be used. The wood came mostly from a tree in the neighborhood. Then, a long piece of thin wire had to be rapped around the wood to give it a spiral looking shape. Another piece of wire, shorter in length was used to tie the spiral looking shaped wire unto the stick to hold it in place. That's how easy it was to make a swizzle stick.

Men took pride in their craft, and sold the handmade products to some people in their neighbrhoods, All these crafts were an integral part of the olden days. They bought joy to those who knew how to use their skills well, to make life in the kitchen better for them, and their families.

But, that was then; this is now!

With the use of electrical appliances in almost every home today, many talents were swept under the rug. Hardly can one find a handmade grater, a washing board, or the handmade swizzle stick in homes today. An osterizer, aka, 'blender', is in plain view on almost every kitchen counter, or kitchen table. And, as we all know, the blenders of today has many functions. Causing more and more people to.give up the fundamental ways of life, as it was known in times gone by.