I have been a lucky girl lately - on the receiving end of a bunch of thoughtful, cool, and completely unexpected gifts:
The two vintage magazines - a House & Garden from February 1981 (complete with a feature on Baltimore that gushes about how new and great Harborplace is) and a House Beautiful from May 1984 (the month my sister was born!) - came from from my mother-in-law, Patsy, as did the garden club cookbook. She knows how much I love things like that and frequently passes on cool old books or magazines she finds in her house or in a shop. More on these to follow!
The little glass dishes were a surprise gift from Noreen (Patsy's sister and Sarah G's mom), who bought them thinking they were French salt cellars. They're heavy and gorgeous...and they're ashtrays. Which totally cracks me up. Even so, they're a great size for salt, discarded toothpicks or even nuts. I see a lot of uses for them - and it only makes it funnier that they're ashtrays. (And reminds me that my parents got a ton of ashtrays as wedding presents - how times change.)
The final gift came from Cail, who foist it upon me when we stopped by Richmond on our way home from Duck last week. Before our quick lunch at The Continental, she said to me, "Do you want a signed cookbook?"
"The answer is usually yes," I replied, expecting a book from a Richmond restaurant, or something like that. Instead, she handed me a copy of The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook signed by John T. Edge - who is pretty much my favorite food writer.
Cail got the book as a part of her work fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society earlier this year (someone ended up with two and gave her the extra, but she already had one). I haven't had a chance to even crack it yet, but I am crazy excited about it.
As I said, I'm a very lucky girl to be surrounded by family members who are thoughtful and generous - and who have incredible taste!