Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A current thrifting obsession

After experiencing a little blog guilt, I thought I had best publish a post.
I have been working on something else but we will see if I get that done. Last week, I promised the Indian recipe which I include in this post. People have asked how I find what I do or comment that Ottawa has particularly good thrift stores/garage sales. I do not believe that this city is noticeably better or worse than other Canadian cities (I cannot comment on England, Australia or the USA yet) but how you go about looking can make a huge variation in what you find. Besides the obvious, visiting a location regularly, changing your search method can make the difference. I have shopped when I had a larger block of time and rather leisurely searched through the aisles and I have found rewards for my time but I have had more success with a much shorter chunk of time available to me where I have needed to improve my efficiency. Firstly, have a literal or mental checklist of the things that you are usually interested in eg. aprons, china, sewing notions. Next, be aware of other items that you might find that could be of value or interest through reading other blogs so that you can make a good choice if you happen to find such items. For instance, if you were to see a Pyrex dish that is not in a colour or pattern you would use, what is the condition and price and can you think of a friend who might want it. Walk in the opposite direction to your usual pattern. A newly identified household need often has previously unnoticed candidates practically jumping off the shelves.

Some of these strategies resulted in the purchase of this cache pot. My husband does not like the plastic pot covers in which house plants tend to be sold and for awhile I searched in the mark-downs of the floral department but usually did not find anything I really liked. I was already thrifting but had not looked much at ceramics. The first pots I found were often from Ikea or unmarked and their simple lines have served their purpose well. I have since found hand potted, prettily painted or ceramics of more interest. This one is marked Churchill, England and the glaze has some of the qualities seen in other English potteries. My amateur Internet sleuthing has yet to reveal any information. The basket weave texture works well on the hand embroidered tablecloth my Mum gave me that has a basket pattern in the same colour stitched on it. It is interesting to see what appears when you look for it.

The lamb vindaloo that I cooked last week can be found here and the tandoori chicken I made but did not post about can be found here. I do cook other food besides Indian but my children love the seasoning and it fits very well with the unpredictable weather we are having in Ottawa. For the taste, instruction and understanding of Westerners cooking Indian, I highly recommend any cookbook by Madhur Jaffrey.


The Queen of Fifty Cents said...

I would have bought that pot in a heartbeat, love it!

gardener-b said...

great advice on thrift shopping...I must be more methodical in my searches.