Heritage Brand: Pillyvuit

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When I was fresh out of school in my late twenties, after having to watch every dime throughout ten years of higher education, I was finally making a pretty good living. I went shopping downtown one day and found a sugar bowl that was a thing of beauty- white, with a petite little knob on the lid, that made a soft little “ding!” When the lid was put on the pot. It didn’t fit with anything in my hand-me-down kitchen in my dingy apartment, but I loved it. Over ten years later I turned the little bowl over and saw the Pillyvuit marking on it. I hadn’t known what Pillyvuit was when I bought the sugar bowl, but it was love at first sight.
Years after I bought that sugar bowl I learned about white French porcelain, of which Pillyvuit is king. It’s durable, timeless, and beautiful.
In Seattle there is a small French restaurant that makes a dish called “oefs plats”. It’s a relatively simple dish, with two eggs cracked onto ham and cheese over the top. The whole thing is baked in a small dish. One day, when my husband and I were browsing the Pillyvuit dishes at our favorite kitchen store, I picked up a dish and told him, “these are the dishes that oefs plats are made in”. “Let’s get them,” he said without hesitation. Since then we have had many delicious breakfasts made in those dishes. The beauty of them is that they are oven-to-table (and apparently even fireproof, although I haven’t tried this). They clean up easily and after many uses they are as beautiful and as white as the day we bought them.
We have added to our collection since then- beautiful teacups that we drink out of on weekends, and a few serving dishes. They all mix and match beautifully and are as elegant as they are practical.
Pillyvuit dishes are made in France.

Heritage Brand: Longaberger

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My first Longaberger basket was gifted to me by my mother when I was a teenager. It was a small lidded basket with a handle, and it made me feel important. Over the years it has moved with me many times and housed various things, finally establishing itself as my sewing basket (really, more of a mending basket since I don’t know how to sew). 25+ years later, it is still as beautiful as the day I got it, maybe even more so.
One of my more recent Longaberger purchases was a picnic basket. I wanted a picnic basket that was always packed with the essentials for trips big and small. Someone on Craigslist was selling a whole room full of Longaberger baskets (I kick myself now for not getting more!), and she had three large picnic baskets. I chose the one in the best condition and have filled it with all of the essentials. With this basket my husband and I (and now our daughter) can have civilized meals pretty much anywhere.
Our next basket will be an Easter basket for our daughter.
Because people tend to collect them, used Longaberger baskets can be found in very good condition. If you’re looking for used baskets, the larger ones are best bought locally since shipping can be quite expensive.
These baskets can come with a wide range of plastic protectors, cloth liners, risers, and tags. I tend to prefer a plain, stained wood basket with few add-ons, although in some cases these can be nice. For my sewing basket I use the plastic protector that came with it, and for my picnic basket I use a cloth liner with brightly-colored stripes (the Sunny Day liner).
Longaberger baskets are hand made in the USA.

American Heritage Brands

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Love this article on American Heritage Brands.  I’m especially interested in those brands that are still making their products in the USA with high quality materials.  For example, I’ve found that these days when I look for jeans, it’s hard to find 100% cotton jeans.  Once upon a time most jeans were 100% cotton.  I’m not sure if it’s because of the American appetite for leisure wear or what, but these newfangled jeans with their stretch just don’t wear like the old cotton ones.

Also, according to this article, the signature product of L.L. Bean is the Maine Hunting Shoe.  For me their signature product will always be the Boat and Tote Bag, pictured above.  Monogrammable, still 100% cotton (although they also make synthetic versions), and a great gift.

When I was in high school, my best friend worked at an old-timey soda fountain downtown.  She scooped a lot of ice cream during the summers.  The owner was this classy guy who bought all of his employees a Boat and Tote bag (I believe they were the large size with the short handles) and they were embroidered with the employee’s initials.  I have loved them ever since.

Today on Food 52: 10 of the Most Iconic Scandinavian Designs & Their Stories

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Unikko (Poppy), by Maija Isola

Lately I’ve been interested in all things Scandinavian, especially cookbooks and design.  So I really enjoyed this post that came up on Food 52 (my very favorite food-and-so-much-more blog) today.  It’s amazing how modern these designs seem, even though most of them are over 50 years old.

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I especially liked the Kobenstyle cookware (above) that is produced by Dansk.  I hadn’t heard much about this brand before, but will definitely be taking a closer look, especially at vintage pieces on Ebay.  It appears as though their pieces used to be made in Denmark, but are now made in Asia.  A quick Ebay search on “Dansk made in Denmark” turns up quite a few interesting pieces.

The Cutest Baby Mobiles

With the baby coming soon we’ve been looking for a mobile for her crib.  The cutest ones are those on Etsy- there are some incredibly creative people out there.  The mobiles are like little works of art.  Here are a couple of my favorites.

il_570xN.464147464_syl8This one (above) by SweetDreamsBabyShop is probably what we will end up getting.  I love the simple design, and you can even choose the colors of the raindrops (I think I would go with lighter, more pastel colors).  I also like that the hanger is covered in fabric.  I think this one would be cute from any angle- since the whole point of the mobile is to give baby something to look at.

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This one (above) by CutenSoft is so adorable.  I love the little Waldorf doll on the moon, the velvety material, and all of the soft shapes.

I could spend all day looking at the crib mobiles on Etsy.  One of my favorite searches is, “mobile Waldorf”, as you get to see a lot of mobiles with Waldorf-inspired characters on them– babies, animals, etc.  There really are so many great options for crib mobiles out there.

 

 

 

Blendtec Creamy Potato-Leek Soup

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My husband made this soup tonight for dinner and it was absolutely delicious!

Speaking of the Blendtec…we recently tested out our warranty when the Blendtec started making a terrible grinding noise.  We determined that it was the fault of the jar, and Blendtec sent us a new Four Side Jar at no charge.  It was so easy since their website is set up to make warranty claims easy.  I love this blender, and I love this company!

Great Moments in Tupperware

Oh how I adore vintage Tupperware.  I realized recently when looking through an Ebay search on “Vintage Tupperware” just how much of this stuff we had in our kitchen when I was a kid, so I thought I’d do a couple posts on my favorite pieces of Tupperware.  I’ll start with the things I still have and use today.

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The Tupperware Shelf Saver, #1243.  Most of these that you find on Ebay are yellow like the ones above, but there are a few in other colors.

First up is the Shelf Saver, item #1243.  These containers seem to fit perfectly in kitchen cabinets, are stackable, and the rectangular shape means they waste less space than round containers.  I use these for salt, baking soda, cocoa, brown sugar, and powdered sugar, and I have yet to find anything for these items that works as well as the Shelf Saver.  I had a few leftover from the old homestead where I grew up, and recently bought a couple more off of Ebay.

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The Tupperware Serving Center, #1665.  Great for potlucks.

Next up is the Serving Center, item #1665.  I come from a big family, and most of our holidays are done potluck style.  There is always a vegetable tray and the Serving Center is perfect for cut up vegetables, with a container for dip in the center.  You could also use this for cut up cheese, chips, etc.

Next up:  Tupperware for children!  I loved my Tupperware when I was a kid.