I woulda killed for a glass – maybe a gallon – of Rosemary Blueberry Paleo Lemonade that afternoon.
Driving to an appointment with my physiotherapist, shirt crumpled in the seat next to me, sweat pouring down my face and back, windows and sunroof open (I'm not an A/C guy), my sunglasses steaming – it was over 100 degrees outside. I happened to notice multiple little signs on light posts for a garage sale.
The thing that caught my eye was that the signage was so well placed along the street for a garage sale happening on this blistering Thursday afternoon. Thursday. Who starts a garage sale on a Thursday? I made a mental note to check it out on my way back from my appointment.
I followed the signs to a driveway in a bright alley, and found a number of people hiding in the shade next to a number of tables heaping with medium-high quality items that looked like they were originally purchased within the last 2 decades. Whoa! When was the last time you came across a garage sale like that??
As I browsed I found a book that I'd been interested in for a while that looked like it had never been cracked (it hadn't), but unfortunately not much in the way of kitchen gear (which is what I'm typically looking for – cool glasses, interesting cutlery, extra cups for a Magic Bullet or NutriBullet, and stuff that would look cool in photos for the site). As I rounded the end of the horseshoe-arrangement of goods, I came to some old chests stacked up on the blacktop. Three classic metal chests (all in great shape; one lined with cedar) and – what is this?! An old weathered and sun-bleached chest with leather straps, big metal hinges, and made of… wicker? It's lined with canvas that is in good shape, with some stains. On the bottom are some wheels that still work, and make moving it around much easier.
I happen to know that Holley is really into containers. Cool glass containers in the kitchen. Cute tiny tins for gum, business cards, or band-aids. Large Tupperware bins for who-knows-what. I sent her a photo and called her (my phone felt like it was on fire in that sun). “Hey, I'm at this garage sale and found this super cool chest. Want it?” “Yeah man!”
From that 60 second phone call my melting phone was covered in sweat. “Ew. I need to squeegee that off later….”
I'd never seen anything like this chest, and had to learn more. The guy who came over to talk to me about it introduced himself as Jake. I don't remember where he said he found it, but he too had been really interested in the history of this thing. His online research dug up almost nothing, except for a flyer for the company that made it (but no details about the company).
He was asking $100, which I would've paid, except that I only had $75 in my pocket. “Sure,” he said with a smirk. “I can grab some change in the car for the book…” I offered. “No, that's fine.”
After we loaded it in the car we chatted for a bit. Good guy that Jake. I told him that I'd have to write about it here, hoping that someone out there knows someone who knows something about some things like this. These kinds of things, you just expect to be able to learn about them on the internet, and when you can't find anything, how fun is it to be able to share with the world.
So here it is, this beautiful piece of history with nothing but question marks. Holley and her mom did some digging and this is what they found:
– a listing on ebay which looks similar, but this one is obviously not French…
– after 45 min of searching was this catalog which mentions the company (T.Craven & Sons Basket Manufacturers)
I was pretty excited to photograph this beautiful antique. I keep picturing it on an old dock, waiting to be loaded onto a ship about to sale the seven seas with untold adventures in front of it and it's owner. Who knows what it was involved with, what it contained, or what thrilling experiences it was witness to! I knew I had to photograph it in the sun, near the water. People in the park watched me photograph it for a while before one woman came over and asked what I had inside it, thinking there was an animal in it. “Nothing, it's just this amazing old chest I bought today. -But tell your friends that it's full of snakes!” Haha!
So… She's a mystery. We'd love your assistance in learning more. Please help us if you can.
Meanwhile… This Rosemary Blueberry Paleo Lemonade is delicious and refreshing (and photographed on top of this beautiful chest). Oh, and it's really nice with some rum, gin or vodka while barbequing. #summerdesires
- 1.5-2 lemons (juiced)
- 1 lime (juiced)
- 3.5 Tbsp honey
- 2 3/4 cups water
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- Heat blueberries, 1 Tbsp honey, 3/4 cup water and rosemary in a saucepan over medium to medium-high heat.
- While the blueberry mixture cooks, combine lemon and lime juice with remaining 2.5 Tbsp honey and 2 cups of water. Set aside.
- Stir and cook until blueberries “pop” (gently help them by pressing down lightly with a spatula when they have softened) and the mixture reaches a syrupy consistency.
- Using a small sieve or strainer to strain into a pitcher, running the lemon juice mixture over this blueberry pulp a few times (use the spatula to press the juice out).
- Discard pulp, add ice to pitcher, and enjoy.