Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thrifty week and where it takes me

Not all of my thrifting is done at thrift stores. Garage sales are just starting up although I have yet to go to one this season and I have found some treasures at consignment stores. When I have shopped there I have be lucky to find that what I am planning to purchase is often at final mark down of fifty percent off. I have been looking for a small teapot for the sitting area of our bedroom; one that holds two china mugs worth. This one has a vintage, shabby chic look that works with the other china I have in the room and the painted white found furniture. The small bowl in the photo was also found at my favourite consignment store on the same day last week. I am loving the mid-century modern look to the colours and style of glazing and how it goes with the new cushions in my last post.
Here I have it with a vase that was my Grandmother's. My aunt said that she always remembered it in the house and after a little research I found out when and where it was made. Medalta
Potteries is part of Canadian history that reminds me of how our resource rich society used to use those resources for manufacture of domestic and exported goods. I am pretty sure that the vase dates from the forties. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to ask my Grandmother how she acquired it. The bowl is marked Mel-Bar, Canada and I have yet to figure out much about it. Any ideas?

Of course, like many others I am always on the lookout for Pyrex in appealing colours,patterns and good condition. Unfortunately, the consignment store only had one so-so piece of Fire-King. I was inspired to photograph two pieces found in the last year that make me think of Spring. The yellow piece is from the fifties and the aqua bowl is from the sixties. I belive the table cloth is from the early seventies as its fibre content is cotton and modal and the tag has a date. I use my vintage pieces daily as I do not want to create a museum, but to collect pieces that are both useful and pleasing.
Sometimes I am lucky enough to find vintage cookbooks. Ottawa has fewer used bookstores than in past so I now try to scan the shelves in the thrift stores. I am not just looking for vintage titles but anything that I find interesting and useful. There have been a few titles that I have wished to the thrift fairies and been blessed by a find. Most notable for me has been the Julia Child pictured here; an eighth printing(Dec. 1964) of the original 1962 edition. I have wanted it for a long time but ultimately was not interested in spending the money on a new version. There is something altogether singular about possessing a copy that was in existence as the contents of the book were changing how North Americans cooked or indeed how they thought of food. We certainly would not have the same Martha Stewart, who has so influenced our homes in the last 15+ years, if she had not worked her way through the book. Is any one else anticipating this film? Julia came to my rescue for Easter dinner. I had left the marketing a little late and was only able to buy a boneless leg of lamb. Now most of the recipes in my books suggest
butterflying and grilling such a beast but our barbeque had yet to be tried for the season and I prefer not to broil lamb as it is very smokey. Her book had a few options and I settled on using the Garlic and Herb Stuffing with very satisfying results. While I may not work my way through the whole book, I know that I will continue to consult Julia on a regular basis.
The first book on the right of the photo is the Good Housekeeping Cookbook in the 1949 printing of the 1942 original.
This book I have flipped through and found various helpful bits of information and I am now reading it from the beginning. I have yet to cook from it but there is an emphasis on basic technique and frugal planning and covers just about anything someone new to domestic cooking would need to know. The middle book is a 1958 revised version of the 1942 original called The Modern Family Cook Book. The author Meta Given seems to be well prepared for writing this cookbook which I found out by reading its still present dust jacket! (pretty rare for a 50+ years old cookbook)
I have used a scalloped potato recipe from the book which was very easy to prepare. It seemed simpler than the last time I made them which was a long time ago and I would say the results were not what I expected. I will have to try again but with a little more research. I think scalloped potatoes would look fabulous in this "Horizon Blue" covered casserole.

1 comment:

gardener-b said...

you certainly have a keen eye for great finds. the cookbooks look very interesting. How was cooking then different from now?