It took everything in me not to pull over and stop. Instead …I kept driving, my eyes focused on the road … trying my best not to be distracted. Sitting in the passenger seat, my daughter was telling me a story, but her sweet delicate voice was being muffled out by the persistent voices in my head and the persuasive shouting coming from the street corners. One by one they tempted me with their bright colors and hand written cryptic notes. They called out to me. They begged me to turn. The voices in my head took turns … one reminded me that if I stopped, this would be a sure sign I had a serious problem. Then the other voice whispered in a calm and gentle voice: “What’s the big deal, you aren’t hurting anybody, you never know what you might find.” Okay I thought, maybe just this one time. The lure of the unknown, the excitement of “what if” turned out to be too much for me to resist. My will power failed me and I decided it would be alright to just drive by and peek in. This would only take a minute after all..
The first thing I saw out of the corner of my eye sitting in the driveway was a 1940’s school desk. I quickly realized there were actually two vintage school desks. Hmm … I thought to myself as my eyebrows raised in anticipation and my smile widened. I hurriedly parked the car and flung open the door like I was racing to save a child in a fire … leaving my own child in the passenger seat to fend for herself. “Lock the door”, I yelled over my shoulder as I rushed down the street. Two vintage desks meant that there was somebody living at this house that might be … well, just like me, a
hoarder “collector”. You do remember that I have two vintage stoves sitting in my garage, just because … well, I like to look at them. My heart was racing just a little and with my eyes dilated and on target, I was now focused on the folding table set up in the driveway. There, shimmering in the warm sun were all of the sparkling treasures, carefully laid out for my viewing. It didn’t take me but a hot second to start scooping up dainty floral dishes, retro greeting cards, and milk glass drinking glasses. I was so thrilled to find milk glass (that is a milk glass bowl pictured above) that I almost didn’t notice the box, but when I did … I gasped. It was almost as if what was in the box had called out to me from the street as I was driving by, ” Louise you have to take me home!”. I took a deep breath and paused, taken back by what was in the box, I had to ask the kind lady running the garage sale. “Where did this all come from , did you inherit all of this stuff ?” She smiled, and nodded, “Yes it all belonged to my mother, Virginia”.
I believe Virginia and I would have been friends, for more reasons than one. You see, my purse (pictured above) is a one of a kind “Midas of Miami” bird basket purse … and there, waiting for me in the box was Virginia’ s bird-cage hat that matches my purse EXACTLY. I doubt if Virginia ever wore the hat since the tags were still on it. It sat there, tucked away in its original box, carefully cradled by some faded blue tissue. I imagine Virginia and I as best of friends, having chocolate and strawberries for dessert in the middle of the day … just because. She would compliment me on my beautiful milk glass bowl, remind me we both had the same enamel pot and then she would worry that we were dripping chocolate on my adorable strawberry napkin. I would tell her not to worry and then splash a little more rum in our chocolate, we would laugh with chocolate dripping down our chins. She would be the kind of friend that would gush over my purse and then insist that I take her hat as a gift since she never wears it.
It was such a rare treat to meet Ruth, Virginia’s daughter, and to have her be able to tell me a little about her mom. Most of the time I’m left daydreaming about whose dress or dish I’m treasuring. You will often hear me saying, with the utmost sincerity, “Thank you little old lady who left me your beautiful things.”
After just a few minutes of conversation with Ruth, she asked me if I would like to go inside and look through closets of Virginia’s vintage dresses…
Story to be continued …
With a fresh fruit stand just across the street, strawberries are a staple in my home March – August. More likely than not you can open my fridge from March through August and always find the strawberries partner in crime, a bowl of chocolate. The simplicity of a quick chocolate fondue make it an irresistible chocolatey treat any night of the week. You can whisk this together in minutes and it also makes a simple no fuss dessert to take to a potluck. The warm summer air keeps the fondue silky with no need to have a flame underneath. It’s basically a ganache, that I made with luxurious rich coconut cream instead of just heavy cream, a little coconut extract for even more coco-nutty flavor, and a splash of rum for kicks, because it’s summer. Roll your chocolate dipped strawberries in toasted coconut or chopped nuts, it get’s messy but it’s OH SO GOOD!
Feel free to leave the rum out, since you stir it in at the end, it does NOT cook out.
|Dark chocolate coconut rum fondue|| |
- 7 ounces good quality dark chocolate 72% or higher
- 8 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate
- 1- 14 ounce can coconut cream (not coconut milk) about 2 cups
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons coconut extract
- 2 Tablespoons spiced dark rum
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 cups toasted coconut
- 3 pints strawberries, rinsed
- wooden skewers
- Roughly chop the chocolate and place into a medium bowl.
- Heat the coconut cream along with the heavy cream in a small sauce pot over low heat until it just begins to simmer, about 2 minutes.
- Pour the hot cream into the bowl, over the chocolate and allow the chocolate to sit in the cream untouched for 10 minutes.
- Whisk the chocolate and cream together until smooth then add in the vanilla, coconut extract, rum, and salt. Whisk to combine and then pour into a serving bowl.
- Serve with toasted coconut, fresh fruit, pound cake or any fun dippers of your choice with a side of wooden skewers for dipping.
- Fondue can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to a week and then reheated over very low heat or in the microwave in 15 second intervals. Be careful chocolate can burn every easily.