The Charleston Silver Lady
The brooches pictured here were made of silver covered in colorful champleve enamel. Both are made to be worn on a lady’s lapel or collar.
They were crafted in Siam in the 1930s. You will notice a white pearl is the central focus on the one on the left.
Brooches were decorations worn in pleasure gardens of polite society in America and abroad at the time.
An elegant peacock indicated refined taste, wealth and great social standing.
The habits of these birds were worth watching when they opened their magnificent tail feathers to their full potential. It was a fascinating display of rare beauty.
These birds would hold the attention of guests, further enhancing the pleasure of the garden and providing pleasant memories and an urge to return.
A small zoo was close to the Citadel in Charleston. We would often go to the park there just so we could see the animals. I remember as a child the monkeys, the peacock and other exotic animals.
The zoo keeper would often let the peacocks out on Sunday to walk around on the fresh grass. I was fascinated by these gorgeous birds and wanted to go to that park instead of others much closer to home.
My grandmother would make a picnic for us so I could sit and watch them to my heart’s content. She would gather “real” plates, silver, linens and glassware and off we would go. This is the sort of picnic I prefer, eating outdoors with fine things.
She often made the recipe I am going to share with you now. It was something she learned to make when she was young.
I suspect the recipe came with her mother from France at the turn of the century.
Dried Fruit Picnic Mini Muffins
This will make 12 muffins.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dukes mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup of your favorite dried fruit
Drop the batter into the well-greased and floured wells of a miniature muffin pan.
Bake for about 10 minutes at 350°
After cooling, dust with powdered sugar.
A dollop of homemade lemon curd is perfect to go alongside them.
The next time you are in the mood to make a memory with a special friend or relative, maybe you would enjoy packing up a picnic basket and finding a special park or zoo with animals to delight and inspire both you and your companions.