Each week I wait for an inspiration for my Sunday post. Typically I don’t actively look but instead I trust, with my antenna up and ready, that I’ll receive this cosmic message. It’s kinda magical – waiting for something you don’t know when, where or how it will appear – but it can also be a little nerve-racking if nothing has shown up by week’s end. But, knock on wood, that didn’t happen this week and my inspiration was truly delightful.
Here it is – these darling, vintage tea napkins with embroidered roosters. I found them at one of my favorite haunts and instantly loved them. As I studied their delicate stitches, so many questions came up. Who did these once belong to … who would stitch small roosters in the corner of her tea napkins … was tea time a daily part of her life … did she love roosters…? As I stood there, admiring these dainty, charming napkins, I knew my inspiration message had arrived. Chickens and roosters!
I went through our inventory at Southern Vintage Table and starting pulling together vintage items that featured chickens and roosters. I knew they were there but I hadn’t thought of them as a group onto themselves. Not surprisingly, I came up with some dishes, baskets, a tub and salt & pepper sets.
First, let’s look at the dishes and start with, of course, deviled egg trays! My aunt Aline always prepared deviled eggs for our family reunions and she also loved to collect deviled egg trays. I am so pleased that two from her vast collection are now available at Southern Vintage Table. Thank you, Aline!
These vintage patterns and dishes all feature chickens and roosters. I especially love the Provincial pattern by Scio and Weathervane by Taylor, Smith & Taylor. There’s something wholesome and good about having a chicken on your plate or in your bowl!
Here are more vintage chicken treasures in our collection – two chicken baskets, a pair of roosters and even an enameled pan with a painted rooster on the side. Aren’t they all charming?
As I am taking these photos, I remembered the first time I met a chicken. One summer our family, with eight children aboard, loaded up the station wagon and made a road trip from Maryland to Dunn, NC for a long visit with mom’s parents, Susie and Wiley. With chickens, pigs, a mule and a huge vegetable garden, we learned how to gather eggs, pick peas and feed the pigs.
In the cool evening air, we often sat under their big tree and, with an enameled pan in our laps, we shelled peas while Grandma’s chickens roamed freely in the yard. I remember how much Susie loved those chickens, calling out to them by name and throwing corn at their feet, but I also remember that she made the most delicious chicken and dumplings. Sigh. Some tough lessons were learned that summer and I am so grateful for that time we spent on the farm with my hardworking, loving grandparents.
My sisters, brothers and cousins all have these sweet childhood memories about our summers on our grandparents’ farm. Today when I see a chicken, real or on a vintage napkin, I oftentimes think about Susie. Add a little vintage chicken to your next family gathering. Chances are someone will have a cherished memory to share as well.
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