Sunday, October 10, 2010

Garage Saling Bust and More Sweet Potatoes

We are drowning in sweet potatoes!

Last week my nine-year-old niece, Sophie, had to write an essay for school about “an interesting person.” She chose to write about my sister Bunny. Sophie said to Kris (her mother), sighing, “I thought about choosing Lez, but she works at an insurance company—and that’s not very interesting.”

Kris said, “Uh, she doesn’t work at an insurance company.”

“Yes, she does,” Sophie replied.

For the record, I do not work at an insurance company now, nor have I ever. But I’m sure Sophie will remain unconvinced even if I pull out my résumé.

I would have loved to see her this weekend (so I could bore her to tears with shop talk about accidental death benefits and deductibles), but I didn’t have the opportunity, unfortunately. I did get to see Bunny’s chickens, however. I went over to Bun’s on Friday (it was such a warm, lovely evening), and we watched the girls take a dust bath. We were sitting in Bunny’s herb garden, surrounded by low-hanging clouds of purple-blue ageratum, and it was so funny to see them “splashing” in the warm dust, and rolling and reveling.

Beatrix and Millie are best friends. They kept cuddling and cooing in the wonderful dust, and whispering sweet nothings.

“See?” Bunny said. “They like to be right together all the time. They have to be touching.”

They’d gotten extra big and ruffle-y since the last time I saw them. “It’s because they’re piggy,” Bun said. “Here. We’ll feed them some bread and you’ll see what I mean.”

I was trying to crumble the bread before I gave it to them, but Beatrix kept grabbing whole slices and running away. “Come back here!” Bun would say. “Beatrix!” She looked at me: “See? They are pigs!”

Before I went home, Matt (Bun’s husband) gave me a little lesson in antique silver collecting. He told me what marks to look for, how much I should be willing to pay, etc. And he showed me some of the great pieces he has in his amazing collection—candlesticks, flatware, salt and pepper shakers, baby cups, a stamp dispenser, and a tea set. . . !

He and Bun have found most of their treasures at garage sales, so they gave me a few tips for successful hunting: “If you get to a house and you see a bunch of baby clothes, turn around,” Bun said. “Because you’re just wasting your time. You’ve got to know when to cut and run.”

Rob and I found just a few garage sales happening in Quincy on Saturday morning, and we didn’t find any silver. I did, however, buy a hilarious pair of pink zebra-striped flannel pajamas.

“I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot of these,” I said to Rob. “I predict you will soon grow to hate them.”

We dug 29 pounds of sweet potatoes on Sunday morning! We found some real monsters, too—bigger than footballs. It was so much fun digging them up. With each one, there was such a sense of surprise and delight. We kept marveling at their size and their beautiful, perfect coral color. There were so many! We made a huge pot of sweet potato-kale soup for lunch—and everyone we know will be receiving a gift of sweet potatoes this week.

We planted a bunch of seeds on Sunday too—Ruby Swiss chard, Lacinato kale, Purple and White Globe turnips, Gourmet Blend and Detroit Dark Red beets, and cilantro. After we finished, Rob kept coming out and staring at the fresh, bare hills and furrows: “Grow,” he’d say. “Come on. What’s taking you so long?”

Note: The pictures that follow are completely irrelevant.

On Wednesday I found these awesome vintage cookie cutters at Good Finds.

More gratuitous cuteness: Carl!

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