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Yardsaling, A Favorite New England Pastime

I used to frequent a lot of yard sales, rummage and church sales, garage and barn sales. As you are probably already well aware;”Yardsaling” is an honored old New England tradition. Tips and tricks are handed down from one generation to the next.

In fact, much of my kitchen ware and many other household items as well, have hailed from these sources. In my mind, ‘yard sale’ is synonymous with ‘treasure hunt’!

There’s something about the mystery of what may or may not be available at each opportunity. A bit of the hunter/gatherer comes out on these ferreting adventures.

Potential Ahead !

These days, after many years of forays, there’s really not much I actually need anymore and I’m running out of room for ‘stuff’ I don’t need, so I have narrowed my ‘to look for’ list down to a few items. Now I only stop when I actually see something on my list as I drive by or have reason to believe one or more of my sought for items will be at a particular site. For instance, a local church sale always has at least one blue and white picture plate when they hold their annual event. Last year, I found a set of 3 metal enameled modified Blue Willow print platters there.Blue and White Enameled Metal Platters

In fact, it was at that event a couple of weekends ago, where I found 2 Currier and Ives blue and white picture plates, in perfect condition.Currier and Ives Plates

I also found a very heavy glass decanter, possibly lead crystal. It says, “Made in Romania” on the bottom in French. It is perfect for the Cream Whiskies I make during the holiday season. Now I don’t have to put those into milk bottles any more!Heavy Glass Decanter

Besides the blue and white plates, I still keep an eye out for old crocks that I can store bulk food items in; pastas, flours, pet food…

I don’t mind a few chips so I can often get them very reasonably. Two years ago, I bought one for $2 at a barn sale; it had a chunk out of the bottom. After a bit more rummaging, I found the missing pottery piece, quite by accident, in another area of the barn. When I got home I glued it back together. Now it works just fine as a waste bin.Old Crock, Mended and Re-purposed

Old galvanized watering cans are practical and I think a few dents just enhances their appeal. They are becoming tougher to find these days but I am always on the lookout just in case one is waiting for me.

Metal Watering Cans

And I am always keeping an eagle eye out for interesting cookbooks, including the New England Community-type. In fact any New England-based or inspired Cookbooks capture my interest.

Old New England Cookbooks and Newspaper Snippet

Occasionally, I am very lucky and find handwritten recipes written inside the covers, or recipes cut from old newspapers and used like placeholders. Treasures inside treasures! When I see those hand-written recipes, I try to imagine the cooks who lovingly took the time to write those words in there, passing on their kitchen wisdom and magic.

Handwritten Recipes Inside Old Cookbook Cover

I love to picnic and I can’t ever pass by a picnic basket without at least opening the lid to see if it’s lined or has a pie shelf in it. Sometimes I find a surprise within, like a set of tin picnic dishes or tableware or checked cloth napkins!

Vintage Picnic Baskets

Yard sale season, like garden season, is short and sweet. I hope you have a chance to savor this year’s harvest!

Happy yardsaling!