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Sunday, 15 April 2012

Teddy Bear Love or How My Good Intentions Were Overcome

My last post, "Spring Fever" mentioned that I was on a mission to declutter and become more organized.  With great embarrassment, I have to admit that I fell off the proverbial wagon this weekend.  Let me explain.  I went to a church rummage sale which will give you a hint of how my good intentions began to unravel.  Now I have very fond memories of church rummage sales.  There was a time growing up when money was tight and my mother started shopping at church rummage sales.  I still remember the delight I felt at being able to buy a toy or trinket for only 25 cents.  Fast forward many years and here I was going to a church rummage sale again.  Due to a few wrong turns, I ended up at the sale a little late.  There wasn't much of interest left and on a whim, before leaving, I stopped at the toy table.  My hands seemed to reach out of their own volition and picked up a golden, honey coloured teddy bear.  And then I was lost.


I could tell right away that he was a "quality" bear.  He was made of real wool with jointed arms and legs.  I think he's stuffed with straw or wool as he feels surprisingly firm and is quite weighty.


He hadn't been played with very much as he was really clean with hardly any wear.  Usually I avoid looking at used toys as I can't help thinking of the years of childish spit and vomit that might have accumulated on them.  But, even though the ad for the church sale said that it was on until 2pm, at 12.30 the charity vans were already outside waiting to take away the leftovers and the volunteers were packing up.  I couldn't bear (yes, pun intended) the thought of Honey Bear going off to landfill.


Even worse was the thought that he had been loved and very carefully looked after for many a long year and now was about to be dumped unceremoniously into a garbage bag and thrown into the back of a truck.  So I asked, "How much?"  And I can report that inflation hasn't any meaning on hallowed ground because, even after so many years, the price was still 25 cents!  So you see, I didn't have any choice.



I think he makes a very good model, don't you?  With the recent demise of Kodak, I thought Honey Bear looked especially poignant with a few old Kodak film canisters, another relic of a bygone era.



 Besides, there isn't any doubt that, despite his age, Honey Bear is still extremely photogenic.  I think he's found his forever home with me.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Spring Fever

Do you find that as Spring begins to unfurl, that an irresistible urge to sweep, clean and organize likewise begins to unfurl within you?  I do and, lately, I have been on a mission.  Now, one thing that has long bothered me was the state of my kitchen drawers.  Cooking, a task that requires a great deal of fortitude on my part, meant a mad scramble for a spoon or a spatula.  Now, it came to me that I would very much like a vintage crock to hold my kitchen utensils.  But I have never seen one whilst out thrifting and the ones in Williams-Sonoma just looked too shiny, too bright, too...new.  Then what do I see in a junk shop?  A vintage crock!  And not just any crock but one that actually says, "Kitchen Utensils" on it!



Then, shortly thereafter, in a completely different thrift shop, in a faraway town, what do I come across but a matching tiny little crock for pork drippings.  The little crock has a more recent birthday than it's larger sibling but I don't mind.  I had heard of grease jars but had never come across a crock for pork drippings until now.   Of course, to get the pork drippings or bacon grease there has to be some cooking with said pork or bacon.  Not only was a kitchen utensil crock on my wish list but a cast iron fry pan.  And what do I spot on a shelf?  A cast iron fry pan all nicely seasoned.


I admit that this cast iron fry pan has been a revelation to me.  It has amazing heat retention and its non-stick qualities means I can avoid the dangerous siren call of Teflon.  Here it is with a pork roast surrounded by parsnips courtesy of Monsieur's culinary prowess.  It was all prepared in the one pan.


I admit that whenever I use this fry pan I want to sing "Home On The Range."  Life slows down, quiets down until all I hear is the soothing sizzle of food cooking and the beating of my heart.


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