Friday, April 23, 2010

Antiques and Comfort Food


Ever wonder if that silver bowl handed down through your family for years is actually worth something? Or that antique chair you picked up at a yard sale and refinished? Living on the South Shore one is accustomed to a pervasive sense of American history. The house I grew up in was built in 1766, so naturally antiques are commonplace. Antique Appraisal Day, sponsored by the Friends of the Norwell Public Library and featuring the discerning eyes of Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers should help answer some of those lingering questions. 
“I have seen old tools and items from farms and from our shipbuilding days,’’ says Mary Cole of the Friends of Norwell Public Library, for which the event will serve as a fund-raiser. She plans on bringing one of six maple chairs that are over 150 years old. “The South Shore does have a lot of yard sales, so folks like me who enjoy that sort of thing are always on the lookout for hidden treasures,’’ she says. “It’s really the thrill of the hunt.’’

Antiques Appraisal Day, Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Norwell Middle School, 328 Main St., Norwell. $10 per item, $25 for three.
The early-19th-century farmhouse in which Strawberry Fair is housed is the kind of antiques trove that makes appraisal events work. “We have a little bit of everything,’’ says owner Patricia McKinley. “Most of our tables are sewing machine bottoms my father bought in an auction. I’m always going to auctions trying to buy things from that era.’’ Many of the antiques that decorate the restaurant are also for sale. “People come in and marvel, how do we end up with all this stuff? It’s gotten to the point now after 35 years that a lot of it is gifts. Someone will die in a family and people will come in and unload all the dishes and stuff that they think that we’d like.’’
McKinley says, “Most people say it’s like visiting their grandmother’s attic.’’ The walls, ceilings, and floors are all crooked. The ceilings are low. “Nothing really matches. We’ve just come to the realization that that’s part of our charm. We try our best to make it feel nostalgic. That’s what people seem to enjoy when they come in.’’

They also really seem to enjoy the New England comfort food standards like meatloaf and pot roast. The meatloaf is the original recipe her father used. The clam chowder, too. “It’s all homemade every day,’’ says McKinley. “All very New England.’’
Strawberry Fair Restaurant, 14 Pond St., Norwell. 781-878-7878.

1 comment:

euonymous said...

Hey, Luke, thank you so much for helping to publicize the Friends of the Norwell Public Library Antique Appraisal Day event. A number of people mentioned that they read about it in the Globe. Kinda gives you hope for the future, doesn't it?! And, by the way, Strawberry Fair is absolutely wonderful. Yummy.