In lieu of a recipe this week (I’m in birthday-baking overload), I thought I would share a few of my favorite retro/vintage pieces I’ve collected. I’m pretty predictable in an antique store. While I like a good casual wander, chances are my eyes are scanning maniacally for the following things: kitchenware ranging from 50’s retro decals to Edwardian toasters, books ranging from literary classics to campy cookbooks, the occasional garment (I’m still reeling from passing up a pioneer house dress; I’m not exactly sure how I’m supposed to pretend to be Laura Ingalls Wilder without it), and, especially, pre-1960’s commemorative tins featuring the current line of the British royal family.
As with any thrifting, you always end up loving some things more than others. Some of the things you end up disliking (I’m now quite sure I did not need a cornet although you couldn’t have told me otherwise at the time). A classic case of Flea Market Fever, with symptoms ranging from mild regret to gut-punching nausea.
Here are some things I definitely do not regret…
I’m a sucker for a set of retro nesting tins. I’ve yet to find the perfect labelled set (Flour, Sugar, Coffee, Tea, etc.) but this one really caught my eye at a flea market this past spring. I love the combination of tulips and daffodils with the confetti and bright yellow tops–they are instantly cheering. While I’m not currently utilizing the whole set, you could absolutely not convince me that one could ever have too many tins. They’ll find their perfect purpose one day.
My absolute favorite thing to thrift is something vintage that still maintains complete functionality (bonus points if it’s even better than what the modern market has to offer). That’s how I feel about this cake carrier. It solves so many of my problems (and I have a lot of them). One, I can safely and stylishly transport a standard round cake with the ease of the removable handle. Two, I can then take said handle off and use it to keep the cake fresh on the counter. Three, there’s a SECRET COMPARTMENT. That last point counts for two, surely.
On the other hand, some of my favorite things are completely impractical. Like, will I ever use this San Ignacio enamelware pot to cook a lobster? No I will not. But I could also chalk that up to not having any solid plans to ever actually boil a lobster in general. That’s just mean. I don’t think I’ve ever had lobster, is it good? For now, this beautiful pot (a birthday gift from my best friend) will sit gloriously upon my shelf and bring me daily happiness (but never sustenance).
I have a (metaphorical) soft spot for vintage cookie cutters. And I have A LOT of them. I think using them improves the joy of eating cookies because when you use a special cutter, it adds a little history (personal or temporal) to each bite. For some reason, my dad seems to be my main patron for these little beauties. He’s bought me some of my favorites ones including the holly leaf and the chicken. Admittedly, vintage cutters are not the easiest to use (you need to be very well-floured), but I think they’re definitely worth a little extra fuss.
Lastly, I love a good vintage tablecloth. While they’re not the most practical of finds (try finding one without a stain that will fit the table you intend to use and you’ve hit the vintage lottery) but I think that there’s something really special about preserving something as fragile as fabric. Most of mine have come from my grandma, but I always keep an eye out for new additions to my collection.
If you’ve made it through this post, Congratulations! you are either a) a real vintage nerd (I love you) or b) a member of my close friends or family (I love you, too).
Stay tuned next week for a return to normal programming.