I think that this post will appeal to the food bloggers amongst you. The rest of you will think it’s all a bit nutty. When I’m not in the kitchen, slaving over a hot camera, I get a great deal of fun finding the occasional prop or gadget that will help make this blog that bit more my own and original. I do this partly through using old crockery and cutlery. It is getting increasingly difficult to source quality at a rock bottom price.
I can tell you Dublin’s Camden Street has seven charity shops and I’m known in them all. Though they think me very strange when I ask to buy one plate from a set of six, often refusing to take the price of the six for the one. I once paid for six and donated the other five in the next shop up the street.
On a recent trip to the Dordogne, we met up with my friend and fellow blogger, Stéphane Gerbard. There is not a lot that Stéphane doesn’t know about the Dordogne lifestyle. Over a very long dinner, he regaled us with tales of the wine trade and family life in France. He also gave me directions to a hidden Dordogne treasure – the brocante. The next day, slightly the worse for wear, we drove 70 kilometres into the rolling French countryside on a quest.
Side note on salesmanship: I was on a trip into a charity shop in Camden Street, delivering a very large sports bag full of DVDs, and computer games. The manager took the bag from me with a benevolent smile before saying “You have brought us stock, you must take some stock.” I left €5 lighter, carrying two rusty tin plates, having been relieved of my 150 DVDs and games into the bargain. Now that is a salesman.
This brocante is no ordinary junk shop. It’s a food photographer’s dream. Thousands of old plates, countless knives, forks, spoons, dishes, glasses, pots, pans, carvers, servers, bowls, jars, ice tongs, tea pots, coffee pots, cups, saucers, cake stands – you get the idea.
I dropped an entire €20 on six different dinner plates, three silver napkin rings, a carving knife, three forks and three odd knives. She threw in four wine glasses (all different) and a set of silver thimbles for the Wife.
I could have spent a lot more time and a little more money but it’s the Wife’s holiday too and I limited myself to three hours rummaging. The bits and pieces will feature on the blog over the next few months. I can store them where we used to keep the DVDs…..
Footnote on chairs: They don’t feature often here on the blog. However, if you are looking for a few, I know just the place…..