Monday, August 13, 2012

Elkhorn Flea Market August Report

Dear Husbola and I have just finished selling at Elkhorn Antiques Market.  A terrific temperature day for selling--and the crowd was strong.  We observed less buying this month--and feel buyers'  hands are staying in their pockets a bit more as the end of the summer rolls around.  The great weather was a real blessing! 

With the good comes the start of a bad trend that we don't like--and we heard this complaint from several dealers we spoke with over the weekend.  Good natured haggling has turned into insulting offers from a small percentage of buyers.  Big time.  And we know the reason why.

Reality shows have hit the television now for several years.  I don't want to be libelous--but you know the shows we mean.  TV shows that try to make instant personalities out of mediocre dealers or designers--they hit shops, shows and private homes and offer ridiculous prices--RIDICULOUS low prices for items.   We got that yesterday.

Courtesy in dealing and buying means everything to this Lady Antique Dealer.  Of course we deal with people. Of course we have a better price.  Ask me for my best price and I will give it to you.  Please do not offer me $10 for an item marked $50.  Please do not stand in my booth and pick at me--several times even--for a lower price.  I smiled at you and told you my best.  Take it or leave it. Do not point out a flaw in a 100 year old item and think by insulting the piece I will sell it to you cheaper.  But they do this--just like the "televison stars" do.  I even had a woman lowball me with the phrase "come on--take $80 CASH".  Really Girlfriend?  Did you think I was going to take kettle corn as payment?  Do you think that by offering CASH that I don't have to report my earnings?  Think again.

Blah! What is it about the five losers I encountered makes me forget the scores of buyers that were courteous?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Nellie Parkinson and Her Fabulous Sauce

A break from antiques today as I mine through a towering pile of recipe cards.  Yeah right--"someday" I'm going to organize them in a book.  But not today.  And not tomorrow.  I did promise a few recipes on this blog--and this is a vintage recipe after all.

I found an old card--quite stained--and titled "Nellie Parkinson's Chili Sauce."  A flood of memories came over me--as this was a favorite recipe of my Grandma Lenore.

As a child--many summer months were spent in sand country in central Wisconsin at my grandparents' Christmas tree farm.  A small cottage built by my grandfather, nestled in 30 acres of pines of all types that were planted and groomed and harvested for Xmas trees.  Surrounding neighbors--not even close to earshot-- lived on farms--mostly planted for Green Giant and Birdsye crops.  There were many year round residents--this was working farm area--not a resort community.  One of the neighbors was Nellie Parkinson.

Nellie was old when we knew her.  I have no clue how Grandma Lenore got to know her--but since Lenore could get the body to talk back to her at a wake--she must have struck up a conversation with Nellie in the grocery store or laundromat.  Lenore was a superb cook--and she probably would discuss recipes and "what to do with all these tomatoes" with Nellie.

Hence--the chili sauce.  Of coures it is a recipe card with no amounts and the scantest of directions (so I have added some proportions.)   But boy it's tasty. It should cook down to a dark rusty brown and the consistency of a thick salsa.  As a companion to red meats of all kinds-on chicken--YUM-ME!!
Nellie Parkinson Chili Sauce
12 ripe tomatoes (if you are lazy-leave the skins on)
6 apples (same thing about the peel)
3 medium onions
2 cups vinegar
4 cups brown sugar
3 red peppers
1 heaping T. salt
1 heaping T cinnamon
1 heaping T ginger
1/4 t cloves

cook it till thick.  a couple of hours maybe.  on a slow flame.  Then I freeze it in small containers.

No More Concrete or Cast Iron Please

Dear One  and I spend many good hours wandering around looking for quirky things to sell.  There is nothing that makes a dealer smile more t...