I love thrifting (definition: hunting through piles of junk at a thrift store and finding amazing deals and steals and treasures other people have discarded) and antiquing (definition: doing the same thing as thrifting but at stores containing stuff that’s extra old, extra junky, and often extra special). My mom and sisters love it too. Must be in our blood.
This week I found something at our local (and totally awesome) thrift store that was truly a “God thing” in my life. To anyone else shopping through this particular thrift store, my prize item probably looked like the rest of the stuff piled around my treasure piece: somebody’s discarded housewares junk. It was waiting there just for me. I’m sure of it.
But let me back up and tell you the whole story.
My husband’s mother passed away when he was twelve years old. So I never had the honor of meeting the woman who raised my man. I think of her often – she is so very present in the four children she raised, and through stories and special items I see pieces of her life all around me.
My sister in-laws inherited most of Sharon’s “girly things” after she passed away. Which makes sense; teenage boys don’t often ask for their mother’s household items to keep for posterity. It’s just not on their minds when they are ages 12 and 14. But girls do. So when I visit the homes of my in-laws, I often admire things they treasure from their mother.
The piece that always catches my attention above all the rest is a very old-fashioned and very unique spice rack that hangs in my sister in law’s kitchen. It hung in their mother’s kitchen when they were growing up. When Christy, the eldest sibling, got married, her husband refinished this special spice rack as a gift for her. It’s now a family treasure in her home. And of all the things I admire from my mother in law’s possessions, this is the piece I covet. Both because it’s unique, and because it contains such enormous sentimental value to my husband.
Two days ago, as I was “thrifting” through my favorite store in NOVA, I saw the exact same spice rack that my mother in law owned right there on the floor in front of me. At first I couldn’t believe my eyes. I’d never seen anything even remotely like Sharon’s spice rack anywhere. Ever.
I picked the spice rack off the floor and stared at it for a full five minutes. It was a God-moment, right there in the middle of a thrift store. I felt like I had found a piece of my mother in law.
Last night the Hubs hung our new spice rack in our kitchen. This morning I began transferring my spice jars into it.
I can’t tell you how much I love this piece hanging in my kitchen. Yes, I know it’s not my mother in law’s spice rack. I know hers is hanging in another kitchen in Pennsylvania. But I don’t care. Every time I cook, or even look at it, it reminds me of her.
And in the end, that’s what really matters.
Check it out – the spice rack is actually a spice cabinet. The outside lists all the major spices used in cooking, and then tells you ways to use each spice in meats, fish, veggies, appetizers, side dishes, desserts, etc. The outside of this spice cabinet is really a cooking class on a piece of wood.
The picture above shows the inside of the spice cabinet. And yes, my OCD side wants to replace all my spice containers with spices in uniform glass jars so everything is matching. Someday!
The inside door of the spice cabinet is a “herb and spice compatibility chart.” It tells you which herbs and spices can be used together in great tasting foods. Also tells you how to combine spices to make specialty spice mixes, such as “apple pie filling spice” or “chicken soup base.” Seriously, anyone who knows this chart should have a Ph.D. in herbs and spices. =)