Brocante home it starts in the kitchen: Linens, jars, baskets, plates, silverware, cups, pots, lids, bowls, knives, cutting board...
Endless practical beauty that serves with grace and perfection over a hundred years later. A Creil jam pot, ironstone that has been stained with sweet harvest year after year.
Will we remember plastic in the same way? Or TV dinner trays? Flour sacks yes. Recipe card holders with droplets of this and that, handwriting that reminds you of your mom cooking...
Rolled rough linen with pale blue monograms, often in red, so blue caught my eye. Silver handle salad serving set. Art to serve art. Divine to feed the soul. Too nice to use everyday? They have been used many days and long to remain in service. Who wants to sit in a drawer when you can toss salad and slide with olive oil?
Bread basket begging for bread, cheering crumbs escape.
Who wove this basket?
Who was the artist?
A purpose for everything under heaven, especially in a French kitchen.
"Je me regalé."
Was one of the first expression I learned. That way after dinner with guests, I could tell the hostess, "Delicious!"
When you find a jam pot at the brocante, be it pottery, ironstone or in glass, the larger sizes were for plentiful fruit such as apricots, peaches, strawberries, grape...
Which means the smaller sizes were for delicate fruit that were harder to pick, or little juice from, or more expensive... berries come to mind.
What is your favorite jam?
A wine bottle stomper, cork bottom decorative top.
Nothing is forgotten or over looked. A brocante kitchen is creating a feast with things that are functional but not plain or boring. Items that make you take note: Texture, style, artistic shapes, ordinary things are dressed up for no other reason but to say,
"Yes, this is a daily feast, as it should be, breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner. Feeding the senses."
An wine bottle drying rack holds old jam jars. William Sonoma made these typical French jam jars into drinking glasses. When I first came to France and saw these at the brocante I bought them for drinking glasses. French Husband almost fainted, "We drink from these? Mais non Corey." Poor guy the shock of an American wife at the brocante bringing things home and re-creating how they were used..."
"A quilt for a tablecloth, mais non Corey."
"A washing paddle used as a cheese board, mais non Corey."
"A spritzer bottle to store olive oil, mais non Corey."
"A sugar shaker for talc, mais non Corey."
"A table cloth and napkins to cover a fainting couch, mais non Corey."
Now he doesn't blink an eye.
Linens with monograms. Doesn't matter if they are not your initials..
Make up a word, create a game around the dining room table with the various monograms.
Etched champagne glassware.
I tell you the French love details.
A cooper boiler turned into a bread basket.
You know what you know who said...
Glassware for a country that loves red, white and rosé.
The glasses I have collected do not match, pick a favorite and use it daily: tea, milk, parfait, soup...
Last weekend French Husband met a brocanteur (antique dealer) who sells silver by the kilo. The brocanteur gave him his address, he lives three hours away... and French Husband wants to go.
The seed I planted long ago is becoming a wild weed. Curious as I was I asked, "When?"
"As you want."
Brocante Home means cooking up sensory overload.