One of my favorite things to do is explore the Alameda flea market with a friend. We love to see what’s for sale as much as we like to watch the people and spend time together strolling and visiting.
A creative outlet of mine, as you know if you’ve kept up with these posts, is setting the table! I often look for antique dishes when I’m out and about and there are so many surprises to be had for the table at the flea market!
I had seen a beautiful black Wedgwood bowl at my friend’s and fell in love with it, longing for one myself. Well, guess what I should spy at the flea market one day? …. A beautiful Wedgwood bowl with saucer! It had to go home with me but it was more than I wanted to spend so I hemmed and hawed and left without it. It stayed in my mind for months. It would float by as I was trying to fall asleep at night. Then …. a few months later I was back at the flea market and what should be right where I had seen it months before but my Wedgwood bowl and plate! What a happy miracle!
Part of my family was from Sicily. It has always seemed like a romantic place and I was lucky enough to find out in person years ago with my friend, Alice Eichold. We traveled there to attend her friend’s wedding in a tiny, renaissance chapel. Very romantic. Then the elegant wedding supper in an old hotel. Not a sole spoke English but we had fun. The rest of the trip we went off exploring the ruins with our watercolors.
The Sicilians used to carve and paint the carts they used for special occasions. We grew-up with a piece of a Sicilian hand painted wagon that our great-aunt had brought back from Italy and it carried that romance of another place and time. One day I was lucky to find this little representation of a carved and painted Sicilian wagon at the flea market! I like to have it carting little vases of flowers. Here it’s carrying azaleas.
Here is the carving from the wagon that our great-aunt, Deedee, brought home from Europe many decades ago. It must have been carved a very long time ago.
Tea parties are something I love to have or attend. ‘never can have enough of “pretty” and “yummy” along with good company! Here are some tiered servers I found that are perfect for those lovely little tea cookies or tea sandwiches. I found them all at the flea market and added the plates and flowers. Next … the food and guests!
Here is a bright orange and black, glass compote dish from the flea market. It’s a striking piece for a very dramatic setting. I love it with the black radishes in it.
Here it is with carrots added. This makes me laugh as it looks rather silly!
A Victorian find – a lavender glass footed compote from the 1880’s. It looks very elegant overflowing with grapes on this very intricate and colorful, hand embroidered, antique cloth that was also a flea market find. The silver candle sticks with the lavender glass bobeches were my aunt Charlotte’s.
Here is a different look for my beautiful Wedgwood. Dried pomegranates on the copper counter with quatrefoils carved by Julian Hodges.
Back to the black radishes …. after purchasing them for these pictures I needed to be creative with what to do with them as I’d never cooked them before. Well, I found these recipes on this blog by Cathy Erway. Lots and lots of yummy ways to serve them! Surprise your friends and family! She speaks of mashing them – I think mashing them along with potatoes or turnips would be wonderful. Or roasting them with other vegetables, but they are certainly good on their own. If you click on her name you’ll find the recipes.
If you have recipe ideas or have found things you love at the flea markets, please leave a comment and let me know!
If you’re interested in going to the flea market in Alameda it’s open the first Sunday of every month, which means this Sunday! These days it’s called the Alameda Point Antiques Faire and if you click on the name it will take you to their website.
Thank you all, dear friends, and enjoy this month of May!