Vintage kitchenware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton has been estranged from her high school best friend Kathy Cooper since they were teenagers, but she never knew what turned Kathy against her. After fireworks at a Fourth of July picnic, Jaymie discovers the body of her former friend in the park. On the ground nearby is Jaymie’s own Depression-era glass bowl, broken in two.
With her fingerprints all over the bowl and a troubled history with the victim, Jaymie suddenly finds herself at the top of the list of suspects. Did the killer intend to frame her for the murder? If so, she is ready to mix it up, because solving crimes is vintage Jaymie Leighton…
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… And Buy Old Stuff!
I am obsessive about reusing and recycling. I make soup from anything that is left over… no chicken carcass goes into the garbage until it has been used up. One of my favorite vintage cookbooks is 50 Ways to Use Leftovers.
I am equally obsessive about not buying new, especially new kitchenware, if I can find a vintage piece to use. And why not? It saves money, and you usually end up with a better quality item than you could afford new. Things were made to last back then. One of my biggest concerns about our modern society is that too much stuff is made to have a short life span so you will be forced to buy the same thing many times over.
Sometimes, though, finding the suitable item vintage or used requires a lot more ‘looking’ than just going out to a kitchenware store. Such a hardship… and I’m laughing as I type that because for me, hunting in vintage stores, thrift shops and garage sales is the ultimate good time. In fact for my upcoming birthday that is what I asked for… a good long trip to the antique mall!
Half of the joy is in the hunt. A true obsessive – like me – will brag relentlessly when they find an especially good deal. Some people like to talk about how much they paid for something, but I prefer to talk about how cheap I got it!
So here are my top nine buys, in reverse order, with their approximate cost:
9 – Corning Ware platter: I traded two newer Corelle platters!
8 – Wedgwood creamer in perfect condition: two dollars at an antique market.
7 – Friendly Village Tea Set: Small teapot, cream, open sugar, and four mugs for $35 dollars delivered from a very nice woman via a Kijiji ad!
6 – Complete set of Christmas pattern china: place settings for eight, plus platter, cream and covered sugar, salt and pepper, and gravy boat with tray attached – $18.00 at a charity garage sale. And the money went to a school in Africa.
5 – Corning Ware Teapot: free from a friend.
4 – Small Green Depression Glass bowl: $3.50 at a thrift store.
3 – Vintage Depression Glass bowl: free from a friend, and it inspired my vintage Kitchen Mystery novel ‘Bowled Over’… good value, right?
2 – Assorted vintage kitchen tools and utensils: never more than five bucks, usually two or three.
1 – Pyrex Primary colors bowl set: purchased one piece at a time over a couple of years, total cost – about twenty dollars! The set is now worth about $80.
I have also bought/been given/found various items over the years that are still in use or on display in my kitchen today. But of everything, I find the Pyrex bowls the absolute best value for utility and looks.
So… what are your thoughts? Of all the things I talk about online I find most interesting hearing stories about the kitchen stuff readers have inherited/bought/found and use every day. Do you have a favorite old kitchen utensil or bowl? Do you prefer to buy new? I do when it comes to small kitchen appliances, though my toaster oven was a freebie that has long outlasted the one I bought and that died on me within a year! Tell me about your best deal.
Victoria Hamilton writes the bestselling Vintage Kitchen Mystery series (Book 1 – A Deadly Grind – May 2012) and the upcoming Merry Muffin Mysteries, also from Berkley (Book 1 – Bran New Death – September 3rd, 2013) Victoria loves cooking and collecting vintage kitchen utensils, as well as reading and writing mysteries. Check out her webpage for all the latest: http://www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com and find her on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaHamilton
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