Sunday, July 24, 2011

Swedish Vase and Notions from Garage Sale!

I was driving along this weekend to my regular thrift stops when a Garage Sale sign called out to me. I screeched to a halt as I saw a little old lady just setting up shop.

The first thing I spotted was this beautiful little vase with crackled glass. The label read: Stockholms Glasbruk - Karin Hamar - Skansen. The ribbon around its neck is in the distinctive Swedish colours of blue and yellow.

When I came home, I did a little research with the info from the label, and it turns out that Stockholms Glassworks is an old Swedish company that specializes in handblown glass. This model is called the Lilia Skolvasen and was the first design manufactured by the company in 1933. Karin Hammar is the current designer at the company, and she is in fact the grand-daughter of the company's founder.

The seller also had a tin of notions and some wool yarn pieces that were in such beautiful colours I couldn't resist. I wish I were more crafty and able to do something interesting with these. More than likely I'll be giving them to my sister in law, who's great at crochet.

I love the variety and hidden surprises available at Garage Sales. The lady bagged my goodies into an old Woodward's Christmas-themed shopping bag. The Woodward's department store was known for their Christmas window displays, which ended when the company closed its doors for the last time in 1993.

I think my favourite find of the day has to be this delicate little glass vase. It is really a timeless look and I feel a bit bad that she only charged me 50¢ for it! I tried to make up for it by purchasing a couple knicknacks that were priced for more than they were worth...

Linking up with ATG's Thrift Share Monday and Her Library Adventures' Flea Market Finds!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Le Creuset Doufeu - Vintage Ebay Find!

I made a wonderful purchase off ebay last year of a vintage Le Creuset Doufeu. It has now become a workhorse in my kitchen, and is one of my favourite pieces.

The doufeu is a dutch oven with the unique feature of a concave lid for holding ice cubes. The term comes from the french words for gentle (doux) and fire (feu) and the principle of this pot is that it allows for slow cooking without letting the flavours escape.

As you can see from the detail, the handles are ears along the side of the pot, and there is a depression on the lid that allows you to hold ice cubes. The underside of the lid is is dotted to allow for gentle braising of meats. The difference in temperature between the top of the lid and bottom of the lid encourages condensation - similar to an ice cold glass of water getting foggy and wet. The droplets collect at the dots, and drip down on the meat, keeping it moist and not requiring you to open the lid and stir or add dilute liquids.

My favourite dish to cook in the doufeu is braised beef brisket. I start by browning the seasoned meat in some olive oil. Then I remove the meat from the pot, and sautee some vegetables with the seasoned bits in the pot.

What I love about this dish is that I can throw in veggies from the fridge in a somewhat carefree manner. If I have green onions, I'll throw them in. If not, I skip it and add some garlic instead. I try to base the veggie combo on the wonderful trifecta of onions, celery, and carrots, also known by the french as the mirepoix.

Soon I am able to place the meat back on the bed of sauteed vegetables. I add my braising liquid (I usually use a combination of dark soy sauce, some vinegar, ketchup, and/or any stock I have on hand), set it to low heat, and cook for 4-6 hours. Once I put the lid on, all I need to do is flip the meat at the halfway point. Otherwise, it takes care of itself and produces a beautiful succulent piece of meat!

I love all my Le Creuset items, but the intruiging science behind this pot makes it my favourite piece of all! It also never fails to deliver a flavourful braised beef brisket with minimal effort or risk of drying out.

I'm linking up with HLA's Flea Market Finds!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pyrex Butterfly Gold Oval Casserole

Ah the mystery that is Value Village. I was perusing the shelves the other day and saw a small Pyrex mixing bowl in the Shenedoah pattern priced at $3.99. Right beside it was this beauty - an oval casserole with lid in perfect condition for the same price!

I find it a bit odd that a tiny little Pyrex mixing bowl costs the same as a good sized casserole dish with patterned lid...

The other interesting thing is that this is the second Butterfly Gold piece to add to my collection - I previously bought a Store and Serve piece from the same VV that was two dollars more, even though it's smaller!

Sometimes I get a bit frustrated with Value Village. The inconsistency in pricing is hard to deal with because I  know that a certain piece can cost anywhere between $4 to $12 depending on who is reviewing the inventory.

On the other hand, I guess I should just shrug it off when something is expensive, and swoop in when it's cheap, like I did with this score.

Luckily I was also able to get out in the garden today with my new piece, harvesting some peas and a little baby carrot!

I'm participating in Colorado Lady's Vintage Thingie Thursday and Thrifty Things Friday at The Thrifty Groove!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dansk Wine Carafe with Teak Stopper

With the help of my friend Rebecca, I was able to score this awesome glass decanter made by Dansk in its original box for $4!

I often find that the cheap goodies go quick on Craigslist... unless they are located in a suburb. I figure since it's a long drive for most people to make, less buyers are willing or able to pounce on great items. This particular seller was located basically next door to my friend's place, and she was gracious enough to pick it up for me.

The best parts of this piece are the sweeping slopes of the delicate glass and the beautiful teak stopper. It's a real delight to hold the decanter at its slender neck.

The carafe was designed by Gunnar Cyren, a Swedish silversmith, and glass and industrial designer. Cyren began to work for Dansk International in 1970, designing this carafe for production in 1980.

Even though it is a wine carafe, I plan to use it to hold water at the dinner table. I think it'll look elegant and should get a lot of use.

Linking up to HLA's Flea Market Finds and ATG's Thrift Share Monday!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Foley Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons

Last week I posted about my Ball jars and had these cute little measuring spoons shown in the photo.

I picked up this stainless steel set at the church thrift sale for 50¢. I see measuring spoons all the time, but had to have these because of their clever and simple design. Those two vintage wooden rulers shown were 10¢ each at the same place.

The spoons are faintly marked with a script reading "Foley" on the largest spoon. I've seen a photo of an unopened old set that sold for 98¢, so I paid about half price a few decades later! I believe the company has now changed hands, but they originally sold their goods in regular supermarkets and were known for quality wares for low prices.

This set of nesting spoons has a genius way of being clasped together. The smallest pair of spoons has a hook, while the other two pairs have an opening. The hook clamps the set together, keeping them neat and tidy!

My modern Batali set works great too, as it's plastic with internal magnets to keep them together in a similar fashion, but you really can't beat stainless steel can you?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Vintage Pyrex Measuring Cup with Raised Lettering!

I found a Pyrex piece recently that I find myself using all the time - a vintage Pyrex glass measuring cup with raised lettering! In the one-cup size, I find that this is so practical for mixing sauces, measuring for wet ingredients, and even when I need to harvest a few peas. =)

Two characteristics of this beautiful cup give some indication of its age. First, the closed loop handle was phased out in the 90s and replaced by the hook style handle that we now see on modern pieces. Secondly, the also-distinctive red Pyrex lettering on measuring cups was introduced in the 1940s according to Pyrex Love.

I suppose this cup could be from the 1930s or even earlier!?

The bottom of the measuring cup is legible from the interior of the cup and reads: "Pyrex Made in Canada - Not for Legal Use - Liquid".

By the way, those are my beautiful Little Marvel Heirloom peas that I've been growing!

Linking up to HLA's Flea Market Finds!
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