Sunday, July 25, 2010

Guilford, CT ~ July 24, 2010

Guilford was hot yesterday, hot and humid. One of the show organizers admitted that when prospective dealers ask her what the show is like, she always says it's hot. It was, and with a date near the end of July, it usually will be, even though Guilford sits right there on the Connecticut coast.

It's not usually this humid, though, and it seemed to me that the crowd, understandably, was down some... Most of them certainly came before noon, though I admit I was surprised that there were still some new faces even as late as half past three in the afternoon, by which time a thermometer that I had for sale was reading 97° in the shade. However, no one really wanted to know just exactly how hot it was, least of all me.

I plan to take most of August off, just relax with the family at the Vermont house. Maybe I'll run over to Manchester, NH, to see friends at the shows there, but I'm determined not to join them this year. For once I want simply to sit around in August.

That said, I'll make a liar out of myself, because I do plan to show in Madison, CT, at the end of August, Saturday the 28th, from 9 to 4 on the Madison Town Green. Rain or shine, we'll hope for shine, but with a little less heat than we've had in the July outings. If forecast is a good one, I'll bring some tiger maple furniture that I don't normally bring to outdoor shows, and a 10' diameter braided rug. Rain or shine, I'll bring some cast iron cookware, not the Griswold or Wagner stuff that you can find every day, but early and mid-19th century examples like this griddle, called a "spider" because of
its legs. These spider pots, pans, and griddles were made at a time when most of the cooking was done on an open hearth; the legs held the pans above hot coals piled beneath. Spider frying pans, hard enough to find, are much more common than a griddle like this one above, or the pot seen below, used to heat water.

Pieces from the period of this pot, just a little bit later, still have the spider legs (as well as the handle which allows the pot to be suspended on a trammel) for use on the hearth, but the base of the pot was sized to fit on the stove top (inside the holes found on all kitchen stoves) in order to gain maximum heat.

I'll also bring a couple of unusually large pieces that I bought from the estate of a man who worked as lumber camp cook.

A 14 inch pancake or stew for 24 anyone?

See you at the show!