Pam’s Pictorama Post: I recently wrote a post about how I was cooking a lot here in New Jersey during this long spring of my mom’s illness. (That post can be found here.) My mom never cooked in this kitchen and basic cooking implements needed to be purchased once I wanted to do more than make coffee. (I purchased a good coffee pot, a stovetop percolating coffee pot first thing.) So, a slow process of knives here, a colander there, a skillet. I cook for as many as four or five people at a time so there has also been food buying – with food buying I have needed to purchase basic spices and herbs. This New Jersey enclave is robustly supplied with a variety of discount stores – Dollar Tree, Home Goods, Job Lots, Marshalls. (There is a Shop Rite the size of several city blocks. Land of wonders.)
The blue ceramic pots first caught my eye at a local farmer’s market turned gourmet store called Sickles. In a number of shapes and sizes the glowing blue glaze caught my eye, but endless expenses helping my mom out discouraged me from high end planters. Still, I started seeing them appear on front porches on my runs in the morning. There was no doubt, beautiful blue pots were following me.
One day, while hunting down a cookie sheet in Home Goods for roasted vegetables, I was greeted by a pile of these wonderful blue pots and for a tiny fraction of the price. No two were alike so I chose two and brought them home only to realize that one is too small for that job. On my next trip I bought another larger one and placed it with the other, on each side of the front steps.
Later I added a yellow one to contrast with the blues. The smaller blue pot and another yellow one (with bees on it) will go on the back porch. The woman at the register during the first purchase spontaneously offered, “Great deal! You’ll never get them for that price at Sickles!” Which made me laugh – small town indeed.
It is too early to plant in them, but I am already thinking red flowers like geraniums would be cheerful and a nice contrast. The ones for the back deck will likely be planted with herbs to further aide in cooking – although I am looking forward to a container or two of tomatoes too. All will have to be hardy to survive the times when I am not here during the hot summer and the nibbling bunnies, groundhogs, deer and the like.
Under the watchful eye of my mom from the house, the yard has gone from neglected and bereft to beautiful with the help of a long time gardener, a fellow named Mike. With his help I gave my mother a weeping cherry tree and a magnolia tree a few years ago as I saw so many lovely ones here in the spring. This is the first year they look like more than brave little sticks. Mom’s enjoyment of the yard is limited to photos and videos of it but not at all less for that and hopefully my few additions will make her happy too.