Village Festival provides a very fascinating find, indeed

May 11, 2011 

  • 1 can Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup

    1 can Campbell's Condensed Pea Soup

    1 can Campbell's Chicken Broth

    1 cup Sherry

    2 cups half and half

    1 cup crabmeat

    Heat everything except the crabmeat in a heavy pot. Stir well. Just before serving, gently stir in the crabmeat and heat through. Makes 6. Garnish with chopped chives.

May is one of my favorite months. Flowers are just getting started in their blooming cycle, and the weather is wonderful.

May is also the anniversary month of the Bluffton Village Festival, a fabulous event that I care deeply about. I await the dawning of festival day with great anticipation because I know I am going to find at least one treasure to take home. This year was certainly no exception. I found the most splendiferous chapeau you can imagine at the booth of Lulu.

Lulu is a friend of Lynn King of Sidedoor Antiques, which is in my store. Lulu has a booth at Scott's Antique Market in Atlanta, selling vintage clothing and vintage jewelry that she has fashioned into gorgeous necklaces and bracelets.

Well, Rita Chietera and I decided to take a short stroll through the booths on Calhoun Street before the festival opened in earnest Saturday morning. Lo and behold, I spied a yellow confection beckoning me from the back of Lulu's booth. It was, as the British fashionistas call it, a "fascinator."

The term "fascinator" goes back to around 1750 when ladies wore a lightweight head scarf made of lace. Milliners have since reinvented them, as you might have seen at the royal wedding, in grand style. Fascinators are marvelous for people who are very demonstrative and who like to kiss and hug each other. They are usually small and sit on the side of your head -- and do not get in the way of cheeks and arms.

Anyway, I love hats and there it was right in front of me, a brilliant little "bon-bon'" that looked as though it walked straight out of a 1950s film noir. It has yellow roses and lots of buds tucked around the crown, and it fits perfectly on my head.

Oh, how I wish I had this fascinator (and been on the guest list) for the royal nuptials. You would have been so proud of me -- and Princess Beatrice of York and her fascinator would have been toast.

Pip, pip and tally ho to y'all -- and, just for fun, go look at "Princess Beatrice's ridiculous Royal Wedding Hat" on Facebook.

  • Did you know there has been a global walnut shortage? Nuts are the world's most favorite snack -- they don't have to be kept in the icebox and they are easy to carry. The shortage of walnuts has made pecans much more desirable to snackers. According to recent story in the Savannah Morning News, China buys almost a quarter of the U.S. pecan crop, so pecan prices have doubled, naturally. The Chinese buy more than 85 million pounds of pecans each year. Growers in Georgia and surrounding states are now being courted by Chinese nut buyers who want to buy their entire crop. This means American candymakers and cooks have to look for new markets.

    One could go into the pecan-growing business, but it takes at least 10 years or so to harvest a crop. Here we have another project for an entrepreneur: Find an inexpensive substitute for pecans and walnuts. Heaven only knows what the Chinese may set their hearts on, because otherwise we might all starve!

  • If you have a smattering of interest in gardening or think perhaps you might like to get your hands really dirty then head off to the All Saints Episcopal Church Garden Tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday. There will be a lovely lunch served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church at 3001 Meeting St. on Hilton Head Island, as well as a bake sale, boutique and lots of artwork. The tour includes one garden on Hilton Head and five others in Bluffton. This tour is always a treat and really one you should not miss. Tickets are $30 each and includes a tour map and lunch. Details: www.allsaints-hhi.org

  • Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.

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