Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bargain Day

$6 Candelabras. Tres chic. From a Local Thrift Store!
That's the kitchen table I grew up with; my mom traded her "new" formica table (it was 1954!) for it. I think she got the better deal, personally. I have a few other pieces from the same set, as well. I think it's quirky and fun. I have a "thing" for enamel-top tables. We have 4 of them, in various rooms throughout the house. I'll collect their pictures someday soon.
I have a certain rhythm with visiting the three local thrift stores, and I have been making my rounds. Yesterday's score was unexpected; I've been anticipating my annual post-Christmas un-decorating, and have decided to do a good cleaning in the process. If I can find another place for the artwork on the mantle, these two candelabras will go there with some lovely wax pears that Peter brought home this Christmas (update to follow, eventually). What I was actually shopping for was cheap zippers for my upcycled pouches. None were to be found at the thrift store, though I found a few on my travels today. I also found two sets of silicon heart molds today, for shaping fried or poached eggs. Sounds like a romantic breakfast; Valentine's day is our anniversary, so I'm all about hearts.
Fennel, Carrot and Onion Soup
That's my beeswax double-boiler in the back. You'll see the fruits of that exploration later!
We have a market in town called the Elias Farmers Market. I found out about them years ago through my friend John, who also had a small business in town. Elias has the best, least expensive vegetables in town, with the widest selection and many added extras. It's a family business, and while it's not local produce (which I prefer, and will pay the premium prices for when it's available), it's nice to have the fresh, unprocessed vegetables available when I need them. As I work toward my own sustainability, I'll take some winter help from this market. I bought some sale bags ($1 each!) of fennel, cucumbers, and citrus fruits. I also bought some broccoli raab (next year, I'll have my own homegrown). The fennel was a new experience for me, and since I scored 5 bulbs (!), I was able to experiment. I made a soup based upon this recipe, though I added one potato and a bit of shredded fresh turmeric root from the Asian market down the street. You see the soup above, before I pureed it. It had a nice, light, wholesome flavor. Next time, if I make it in the winter again, I'll add some buttermilk or cream (I was out). Elias also has an extensive stock of Middle-Eastern and Spanish food items, nuts, seeds and herbs, all at discount prices. Yum.
I have become such a local food snob. I actually feel guilty buying vegetables with high miles and commercial meat. I DON'T buy non local eggs or milk anymore. But my conscience is a good thing, if difficult to cater to with such a small garden of my own...and COME ON SPRING!!!!! I think I may be leaning toward a less carnivorous life, come summer.


  1. Your Neighbor, ShellyJanuary 28, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    Hmmm? Three local thrift stores? I only know of two, which one am I missing?

  2. I go to the Family Services on Sumner Street, the Family Services in Hellertown, and the VIA in South Bethlehem. There's the VIA in the Strip mall behind Arbys, and another one behind the Whitehall Mall, too, I think a Family Services. Those two are on my "sometimes" list. Then there's a Salvation Army in Quakertown...good for clothes.

  3. Your Neighbor, ShellyJanuary 28, 2010 at 10:22 PM

    Thanks for the info!

  4. Happy hunting, neighbor!