Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Finnegan's Saturday

The weather last Saturday was delightful - blue, blue, skies and white puffy clouds as far as the eye could see.  Nice warm temps with a westerly breeze blowing.  Nary a skeeter in sight.  A perfect day for working in the garden, but hang on a minute here!  It wasn't a day for work -  no - it was a day to visit Finnegan's with a pit-stop at the endive factory, as I like to call it.

I've had a craving for endives all spring long.  (Did you know they grow in the dark?)  I've been meaning to make a stop at Connaisseur Endives for months now.  I jumped in the car and headed down highway 201.  With my 5 pound box of endives happily bouncing around on the back seat, and memories of endives au gratin in the south of France bouncing around in my head, I drove dreamily north along the 201.

If you turn right where the 201 reaches the water and drive a mile or so, you'll reach Finnegan's.  Finnegan's is a flea-market located in the picturesque town of Hudson, Quebec.  Marvel at the beautiful homes along Main Road, and turn right into the parking lot when you hit the traffic jam.  The traffic is a sign you've arrived.

I make a point of visiting Finnegan's once each summer.  Since it's an open-air market, you want to pick a nice day.  Wear closed shoes, because the walks are gravel and you can thank me later when you don't have grit between your toes.
It's hard to explain what Finnegan's is - it's more of an institution than a flea market.  It's the perfect mix of old and new, of kids and dogs, and tons of the neatest stuff you've ever seen thrown in for good measure.  If you're into collecting, this is your Olympics.  Even if you're not, stop moping, grab a hamburger and a soda and go sit at the picnic table under the willow tree.  I'll be with you when I'm done.

You know the adage that you spend the first half of your life accumulating stuff - and the next half of your life trying to give it away?  Well, when I was in the first half of my life, Finnegan's was my mecca.  I owed a station wagon before it was cool to own a station wagon, just to get my loot back home again.  Finnegan's represented Saturday mornings, sunny days, and some of the coolest things I've ever bought.

And then, at some point in your life, as you look over wicker and decoys and teapots and silverware and vintage linens, you give your head a shake and become a minimalist.   Enough with the dusting - I've kept only what I really, really adore, and the rest has been passed on to others who hopefully cherish it as much as I did.

Welcome to the land that is Finnegan's:
 Quilts, armor, wooden shoes AND a crystal chandelier.  As eclectic as it gets!
 A blue marlin and a birdhouse?  Somehow, it just works!
 There's a still-life waiting around each corner.
Ohhhh...silverware.  More silverware than I'd ever know what to do with.  I think every pattern under the skies was on this table.
 Ohhh...a decoy.  Must resist!
 I love little Holstein dogs.  This dude was waiting for a burger.
Finnegan's is a mix of people offering refinishing services, chair caning, wood working, and reproduction furniture, nestled among antique and collectible dealers.   If you're looking for home-made soap, dog cookies, kale fresh from the garden, heirloom perennials, maple syrup, fresh baked bread or fine Quebec honey, Finnegan's has something for you. And then some.  You won't be disappointed, I promise.
 And even if you're not into collecting, there's enough eye-candy to keep most everyone happy.
These lovely mohair scarves were hand-knit in Russia.  I love the colours and the fact they were hung from a tree branch.
 Vintage table-linens, oh be still my beating heart!
Do like this little guy - wear your sunhat.  Don't forget your SPF, and bring along some bottled water, to boot.
 There's something about an old barn...
 ...and old license plates.  Seems it was 1978 that we went from being "la belle province" to "je me souviens".  I'll stop my discourse on political rhetoric right here.
 Nothing like vintage rhinestones in a full spectrum of colour. 
If you're into the "shabby chic" look, this vendor has your name written all over it.  There's something to be said for giving old furniture new oomph with a coat or three of white paint.  That reminds me of a floor I keep meaning to let's just move along rapidly now.
Everything is so groomed and immaculate, with whimsical little touches thrown in for good measure.  You can spend all day wandering, and miss half.  Easily.
Even their barn has flower boxes.  I hope our barn will have flower boxes one day.  Hang on - our barn doesn't have windows!  We must remedy that.  Soon.
This is my favorite booth - you can click the photo for a close-up, and then click again for even more detail.  This guy's been making wind-chimes and jewelry from old silver cutlery, and has been coming to Finnegan's for over 18 years, as I overheard him say.  He's a real ingenious craftsman, and one day, I will buy a wind-chime, instead of just obsessing over them.
 I'm still on the look-out for an old knitting machine box.  I did find one, but it wasn't for sale. C'est la vie!
 Really.  Cast iron implements that do what?  Sometimes, it's best not to ask too many questions...
This is my other favorite booth.  If you're getting married and we know you, chances are pretty good you're going to get a wooden chopping board from this guy.  Again, it's functional art at its finest.  This craftsman's chopping boards are so glorious, words can't describe their beauty.  It's the sort of thing you'll pass on to future generations.

For more information on these beautiful boards, visit Planet Creations.

And that, dear friends, was my most excellent adventure at Finnegan's.

Next weekend, it's back to yard work...


Robin said...

Wow! That place looks really cool. Lee would be drooling over those chopping blocks. Your really making me want to come for a visit. :)

I had no idea that endives could grow in the dark. I've also never heard of endives au gratin. It sounds super tasty.

Shim Farm said...

Oh it is so much fun to visit Finnegan's. It takes a day to do it properly. I just went for a quick burn around the place. Brings back nice memories.

It's really pretty in these parts; there is so much to see and do. Visitors rarely leave disappointed. Anytime you are up for a visit, let me know! We're hospitable like that!

Those endives were so amazing, we ate nearly the entire case in salads. I gave some away too. I'll be back soon, though, because that endive au gratin is still on my to-bake list. They also sell a red endive that is a cross between a regular (Witloof) endive and a radicchio. They call them carmine endives. They look so pretty! I saw it posted on their price list when I went in to buy them, but only discovered what they were when I went on-line to check out their website. Next time, next time...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...