The Cottage Smallholder

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Charity shop bargains

old stoneware casseroleAlthough my mum gave me a superb giant Le Creuset casserole a few months ago we have no medium sized casseroles for the oven. So when I spotted this wonderful old stoneware crock pot gleaming out from the Cancer Research shop window this morning, I was drawn across the road. The diminutive price tag had me standing beside the till within seconds with the coins in my hand.

“Now what have we got here.” The lady counted out the change and glanced quickly up at me. “Is it only £3.50?”
“Well yes.”
She gave me a long look, perhaps assessing if I’d pulled off a sticker swapping heist.

The pot’s probably older than me but doesn’t have the chips and wear that one would expect from such an ancient vessel. Just a cosy roundness and the promise of lifting the lid to wafts of something delicious. I wouldn’t have been surprised if we had seen one of these in the Victorian kitchen at Audley end when Magic Cochin and I visited on our Interblog Garden Event. They had a lot of pots and pans that I remembered being used when I was a child.

As I drove slowly home, my new friend stowed carefully on the seat beside me, I marvelled at my good fortune. Perhaps next week they’ll have the longed for bastible for under a fiver.

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  1. Tanya @ Lovely Greens

    No joke but I found the EXACT pot at a charity shop here on the Isle of Man – for £1. Second hand things are cheaper here since they can’t really go far 😉

  2. kayerunrig

    lol…ive 2 down the garden somewhere they came in a joblot with some other stuff at a farm sale , i may investigate

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Scots Mary

    Great idea. I use ours a lot. Seems to make really flavoursome food.

  4. Scots Mary

    Hi everyone

    I have just dug our my old slow cooker from the pantry – going to use it cook meals overnights with the use of a timer – that way will be able to make use of the cheaper electricity ( save on my calor gas cooker)

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Sharon J

    I was delighted. I haven’t used it yet but is looks so cosy just sitting on the kitchen table.

    Hi Casalba

    I’ve never seen a charity shop in Italy. You do have those wonderful flea markets, though.

    I’m just getting into charity shops locally. There’s one near the bank so I combine a potter with the banking.

    Hi Kay

    Love your suggestion of rolled breast of lamb. It’s the perfect receptacle! Thanks for the nudge.

    Hello Magic Cochin

    I’ve fancied getting a bastible since I saw one in Darina Allen’s Traditional Irish Cooking. Love the idea of making soda bread in one, in the ashes of our inglenook fireplace but it would probably need years of experience to get it just right!

    Hello Kate(uk)

    That’s interesting. Our pot is quite small – casserole for two sized. Looking forward to trying something in it soon.

    Hi Sam

    I wonder what you found there!

    Hi Rosie

    Thanks for filling me in on the name of the beast! So finally I know what a Marmite is!

    Danny is amazed that there are no charity shops in Italy and France. We have quite a few in our local town (about 6!).

    You can’t beat a good car boot sale.

    Hi Amanda

    Yes it was a great price. I was delighted.

    Hi Pat

    I love visiting charity shops for a bit of a snoop. I’ve bought quite a few things this year for Christmas presents.

    Hello Margaret

    I think that it might be a sausage and bean casserole!

    Hope that you find a replacement stew pot soon.

    Hi Jennie

    Our house is full of old things too. I like they feel of them and the idea of them being passed through the generations.

    Hello Chris

    Hearty stew with dumplings – perfect. Like the idea of cassoulet too.

  6. I too have a marmite pot. It was my husband’s grandmother’s so also quite old. I think the perfect dish to cook in it is a cassoulet. Fantastic slow cooked heaven of a casserole.. Plus the good old English hearty stew of course, with dumplings….

  7. I have one like that and used to make casseroles in mine. It was my late m-in-law’s, and may have been her mother’s so it’s a good few years old. I have a house full of old things, so it fits in well! You had a lucky find anyway.

  8. Well done getting that pot for such a low price.
    I have to use an oven proof glass one as my lovely son broke my old stew pot while I was living abroad. I will now make a point of looking round the charity shops to see if I can find a similar one to yours.
    What did you cook in it first? lol Margaret

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