Yesterday, I introduced you to Ms. Shopping Golightly (got to love the name) from The Thrifty Chicks website. She gave us some great advice about shopping in thrift stores for items you need in your kitchen. She’s got some more advice and some thoughts about “haunted cookware” for us today.
MNN: Any tips for hunting down a specific item that you're in need of?
Ms. Shopping Golightly: Patience. It took me two years to find a French Madeline baking mold that I knew a friend of mine would love (and bake my daughter Madelines). There was no rush for it and it cost me $2 as opposed to $40 at the high-end baking store.
It’s also important to be open to possibilities when thrifting. While in the thrift store, you can find things you needed but didn’t yet know or items you will soon need. It’s smart to buy a gently used dress coat for your daughter for $5 in April instead of waiting until October and spending $90. Having items in advance of need eases stress. I’ve been in pinches that have led me all over town for a complete day to find a need and I end up spending more than I wanted. That makes me irritable, and I do not like that feeling.
I read one of your posts about haunted cookware. I loved it. Explain what haunted cookware is and why it's special.
Many years ago I was on a roll of reading South American literature. The constant blending of reality and spiritual world was a state I longed to live. As I read, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, I became enchanted at the thought of having my ancestors in the kitchen. I felt so lonely when cooking, with my husband coming home from work and my children at swim practice or doing homework.
I began to collect recipes from my ancestors; recipes that they were known for, like my maternal great grandmother’s bread pudding. Upon asking my grandmother for her mother’s signature creation, I heard the child in her answer, “Oh! Mama would make mergueines on pies that looked like clouds.” That made me realize I touched on something very special and it was a joy to hear my grandmother’s voice as a child.
This notion spilled over into thrifted cookware the day I bought a very old Emile Henry rectangular baking dish for $0.99. The crazing on the inside of the dish was the most intricate I’d ever seen, and it made me realize that it’s former owner loved this dish and used it to create wonderful edibles for the people who mattered to her or him. It made me feel like this dish had an inherited knowledge of how to care for the items placed in it once it goes into the oven. Putting an item in the oven or letting something simmer on the back burner for hours is giving up control to the vessel. It just seems to me that a seasoned, experienced piece would know the right things to do over something cheaply massed produced in a third world country and sold at a national chain retailer. I know it sounds a bit kooky, but I can say that cooking is more fun and I believe my creations have a better taste.
Tell us a little bit about your website, The Thrifty Chicks. Why are you so dedicated to sharing your knowledge about thrift shopping with others?
Many people assume The Thrifty Chicks was born from the recession. Not so. It was an idea tossed about for about a year with a few of my friends who thrift. For many years, many people had told me to write, so I started the blog. We are never short on things to write about when it comes to thrift for it encompasses so many parts of life. It can be a metaphor, a meditation, or a means to endless possibilities. It is couture. And, I believe that once a person seriously experiences thrift for about three months, they shed the hypnotic hold of conventional retail and become converts of common-sense spending and develop a deeper awareness of need, waste and sustainable practices.
The infrastructure to thrift is there thanks to the charitable thrift stores. A great inventory awaits the thrift consumer thanks to about four decades of excessive spending. So, let’s get busy and use what we have instead of demanding the world give us more. We have enough already!
I want to thank Ms. Shopping Golightly for sharing her knowledge with us, and I’d like to point you to a couple of The Thrifty Chick’s posts that I found particularly helpful.
Don't Miss: Interview with a thrifty chick, part 1