Thrift store browsing in the Mission is a funny way to relax. Funny because it may not be for everyone, but I've had a lifetime of thrift store visits, and usually find interesting things and people. Not only are there great finds to be had, it's an interesting chance to think about how to use items for cooking, food storage, and beyond. Grab your item as soon as you spot it, before someone else does. The added bonus of listening to live piano music at the Salvation Army, or seeing a man browse for women's clothing add to the adventure.
For a recent party, I got a crazy idea that we needed a punch bowl. The plan was to serve hibiscus punch, and a clear punch bowl would best show the punch's deep red color. I found one at my favorite Salvation Army outpost, but it had scratches and was full of dust and dirt. Ick. Didn't seem like it had been taken care of, or that it would look great. I eventually extended the punch bowl search to Ross and Marshalls, with zero success. An email query to a few girlfriends yielded a wonderful loaner option.
I still wanted to buy a gently used fun piece for the party, so I did just that, at the Salvation Army. I was ecstatic to get a gigantic martini glass in perfect shape. It was even on sale since it had been in the store for over a month. Oscar was completely befuddled when I brought it home, asking, "I thought you were going to get a punch bowl? What will we do with a martini glass?" The glass looked great filled with M&Ms during the party, and now serves as a catchall for Oscar's keys and notes.
The best part of thrifting is finding "must have" items. (As in: "I MUST HAVE that, now!") Take the beautiful buttery yellow platters I scored for two dollars, that look great piled high with cheese or desserts. Or the sturdy glass Pyrex stackers in red, yellow and blue-great for food storage. They bring some mystery and history (If only I could find out: Who owned you before? Where did you live? What foods were stored in you?)
I am debating buying forty champagne glasses if they are still in stock. They were spotted yesterday, along with a silver plate platter with wonderful detailing. Because you never know when you're going to have forty champagne drinkers over, right?