One of my annual Thanksgiving weekend traditions in Sebastian always involves making a visit to the local Grant Antique Mall. It is just up the road from where we live in Sebastian and it is generally the place I hear the first Christmas music of the season. Today I found the Antique Mall all tidied up for the holidays and in keeping with tradition, I heard my first Christmas music. As I drove home I actually caught myself whistling a Christmas tune.
There is just something about Antique stores that I love, yet something that makes me incredibly sad while I am walking through them. I am and have always been a fan of antique furniture. I did not grow up with antiques in my home so I am not sure where I developed this love. I think it comes from an enjoyment of the classic styling from the past, designs that are timeless so to speak.
I have such fond memories of Geoffrey and I shopping for antique furniture when we were furnishing our Pompano home. We were just starting out our life together after buying our first house. Neither of us had a whole house full of furniture that we were inspired by, so we started shopping for those special pieces to fill our nest and to make it our own.
Among our most precious finds was a painted French buffet that fits into a cut out nook in our sun room. It is painted a wonderful green and has gold highlights on its raised patterns. I am sure my definitions of the design would make any true antique dealer cringe so you can clearly see that I know just enough to be dangerous when it comes to antiques. Our French buffet is said to be according to the dealer, from the early 1900’s and I chose to leave it just as is, green and gold. I am sure the coat of paint lowered its value but in my eyes it is quite spectacular.
We also found a lovely English hutch that was purchased in an estate sale in England by a Dania antique dealer. It is small with thin beveled glass lined doors and it opens with a key. It is in perfect condition, and like the French hutch, it came home, got dusted and remains exactly as it was when we discovered it in a local antique shop in Dania Florida. I was told that it too is early 1900’s.
Walking through antique stores I always wonder what the stories are behind the items that are sitting on the shelves. I wish there were stories written by the original owners that could accompany them. Did they belong to people who were happy and who had homes full of children and did they grace dinner tables filled with family members who told stories about their lives while sitting around the dinner table and passing the items that now align the shelves of the antique store? Was there a generation that actually used the heavy crystal bowls and ornate glassware or did it remain tucked away in the china hutch? How did the beautiful blue and pink and yellow thin depression glass items actually make it through hand washings, before dishwashers were invented?
Today I was totally taken in by beautiful table linens from the 50’s. One bright yellow table cloth was covered with large black and red roosters and I can just imagine how beautiful it would have been in my Mother’s kitchen when I was a child. I seem to remember in the 60’s that kitchens were brightly decorated and the patterns were large and full of color and life and fun.
I had a strong desire to buy a glass milk bottle. I wondered if I purchased one and poured the milk from the plastic jug into it, if it would taste like the wonderful bottles of milk that used to mysteriously appear in the big metal box on our front porch when I was a kid. The only draw back is having no stopper for the bottle. I remember the little foil caps that peeled off – I have yet to think of what I would put on the top now. So the remarkable glass milk bottles remained on the shelf of the antique store today.
I have a sincere fondness for the antique pottery too. Over the years I have developed a liking for Roseville and Hull and McCoy in particular. I am not a huge collector, I am far too practical to drop the kind of money that it takes to be a serious collector. And maybe more important, I am not a collector of any items that just sit around and collect dust. The things I buy get used – even if they are antiques. But I love the fact that I now recoginize the patterns of these American pottery makers before ever seeing the stamp on the bottom.
I have a couple of Roseville pieces that I picked up on my road trip with my friend Cyndi a couple of years ago as we traveled across the southern region of the country for a couple of weeks. And I have a couple of McCoy’s that I have found over the years. Today, I found a lovely small pink McCoy mixing bowl that almost came home with me. It is an exact duplicate of a slightly larger green McCoy bowl that I have sitting in my Pompano kitchen filled with limes. I came close to bringing it home today, but decided I would hold out to see if it is still there after the holiday. That is when most of the booths go on sale and there is nothing better than finding a wonderful McCoy when it is on sale! I mentioned the pink McCoy to Geoff and told him I was waiting for an after Christmas sale, he actually commented that it might be gone if I wait! Got to love that – but I am holding out for the sale!
All in all, I get a little sad seeing the items sitting on the shelves of the antique store. I wonder where my precious things will end up on day when I am gone. Did the previous generations have an abundent life that allowed them to buy too many things to pass on to their family members? I guess Geoff has the best attitude. When you bring in something new, you have to get rid of something to make room for the new. Yeah, I think that is a pretty good habit.
In keeping with Thanksgiving weekend traditions, I decided to make a Sunday Turkey Pot Pie like my mother has done over the years to finish up the leftover turkey. After my visit to the antique market I stopped by the grocery to pick up all of the ingrediants for a nice turkey pot pie.
In between Geoffrey’s round of golf and a late afternoon tennis match, I designed my version of a classic turkey pot pie. I used frozen mixed vegetables that included corn, green beans and peas. I added fresh onion, and red skinned potatoes sauteed in olive oil with sage and thyme. I added chicken broth and a little flour to thicken the mixture and decided that I had just made a pretty tasty pie. I used store bought pie crust that are pretty good and lined a deep dish pie pan with my crust. After filling the piecrust with the vegetable mixture I topped it with another piecrust and put it into the oven to bake. Has anyone realized the missing ingrediant yet? Can you say dah?
I was pretty satisfied with my pot pie as I watched it start to brown in the oven. I decided to make a ceasar salad and to finish off the homemade cranberry that I made for Thanksgiving. When I opened the refrigerator door there sat my leftover turkey – dah! I realized that I got so excited over my vegetable mixture that I forgot to add the turkey. Geoff laughed when I told him what I had done – nothing surprises him when it comes to my abilities in the kitchen. The great thing is, he always eats whatever I come up with. I love that about him!
So we have a new tradition at the Parker house. We now have a new recipe for a vegetable pot pie with a side order of leftover turkey. My long three day weekend continues and I really hate for it to end. Tomorrow, I make up for the lack of exercise today by adding a few extra miles on the bicycle. It was nice taking the day off today to walk the antique store. Tomorrow we will see what my sporting husband has in mind. After a round of golf, a tennis match and my vegetable pot pie he is now dozing happily on the end of the sofa.
Loving this long weekend! Happy Sunday!