Flea Market Finds

Remember last week when I went to the flea market to pick up the cherry stoner Vince had found?  I found several treasures of my own!

Crocks are hard to find around here.  I hear that the Amish snatch them up at estate sales and auctions.  Not sure what they use them for (not sure I want to know since they don’t have indoor plumbing) but I want to try my hand at making sauerkraut, which we actually like.  Also, I can use the crocks to make pickles.  The real truth is . . when someone tells me something is hard to find, then I’m on a mission to find it, whether I need it or not.  Anyone else do that?  Anyway, they had these two 5 gallon crocks in good shape so I got them.

And, my mom has my grandma’s old strainer, which is actually called a chinois, and I’ve always loved that thing.  Here’s a new one but I was so happy to find an old one at the flea market.

Stick a bowl under it and mash juice from fruit or strain the juice to make jelly . . doesn’t take much to make me happy.

But my best find of all . . you’re going to have to wait.  Vince is going to clean it up.  It has nothing to do with sewing.  It’s been sitting in my garage for over a week and I can hardly stand it!  This weekend I’m going to beg and bargain with Vince to get it cleaned up so I can show you!


  1. 1


    Great finds!! As soon as I saw the crocks, I thought of my Granny making sauerkraut! I remember her slicing the cabbage on the big mandolin (I think that’s what she called it) and wanting to help so much but she wouldn’t let me. Is that what’s out in the garage???

    And I completely understand about the search…..I’m on the search for that old Singer! And someday I’ll find it.

  2. 2


    Thanks for telling me the strainer actually has a name. I use mine all the time. I never knew it was a chinois.
    If you planted turnips, you should try making turnip kraut. It is soooo much better than sauerkraut.

  3. 3


    My Dad used to make sauerkraut and we loved it. I wonder what happened to his old crock???? Last I knew it was in the basement of their house – oh well, someone has it and doesn’t know the history, I just checked and my crock is a 3 or 4 gallon crock – I just have a plant in a pot setting in it. I’ve never seen a strainer like that – but wish I would have had one when I was making jelly. It would work for applesauce??

  4. 4


    Your crocks looks wonderful….now the kraut cutter and you will be all set for making saurkraut….it tastes so much bettter when you make it yourself.


  5. 5


    Before my in-laws had electricity, way back when, my MIL said she used to store eggs packed in wheat in a crock in the cellar, to keep them longer.

  6. 6

    Jane says

    LOVE flea markets, etc and I too like to hunt when someone says something is hard to find!!! :o) Can’t wait to see your “best find of all”!!!! Tell Vince we all say PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ!!!!!

  7. 9


    We still have my mom’s chinois, but down in FL at my dad’s place. We used to use it to make applesauce for the freezer. Makes me sweaty just thinking about all that hot steam. *S*

  8. 10


    Judy, Your crocks look to be in wonderful condition. Make sure when you have them filled with pickles or saurkraut , and have to move them that you have Vince or Chad around to lift them. They are sooo heavy to lift when filled. Lee

  9. 13


    Sauerkraut – you’re the man, hrmph woman! Yep, I am German… if you ever need a tried & tested family recipe for Sauerkraut Soup, let me know.

  10. 14

    pdudgeon says

    good for you for getting those crocks. they’re wonderful for pickles and saurkraut!

  11. 15

    Roseann says

    Judy, love your blog. I lived in a house in Minnesota growing up that did not have indoor facilities either. I remember my parents making saurkraut in crocks and lettting it ferment in the root cellar. My grandmother had one of the strainers. used it for a lot of things but I especially remember her using it when she made homemade butter and cottage cheese.


  12. 16


    Judy, I never thought to use my chinois to make jelly! I use it only for when I make tomato juice. I will have to try that!

    I have quite a collection of crocks. For several of them I had a woodcrafter make wood lids for them and I store the boys’ athletic gear in them. I will tell you another use my grandma used crocks for, storing meat. When they would butcher hogs, she would brown pork steaks and layer them in the crocks, sealing it with hot lard on each layer. She would keep the crock in her pantry, covered, until she wanted to fry some steak for dinner. She would scrape off the lard, save it for gravy, then pan fry the pork. She said it was wonderful!

    I don’t know if I could ever do that, but there’s another use for you!

  13. 17

    Marilyn Smith says

    Crocks are also great for sourdough starter. Yummy pancakes and bread. We also used a large one to cure olives…a long process but the olives are so good. We can’t buy lye in CA anymore but can still buy it in Nevada. We always pick some up to use in the curing process. Tell Vince we just finished making and bottling Limoncello. It is yummy. Over 80 days to process. We have a lemon tree……

  14. 18

    Carol says

    Looking at these crocks reminds me of a childhood vacation in Pennsylvania back in the days when cars didn’t have A/C. My parents drove down many a country roads visiting antique stores looking for crocks.

  15. 19

    Vera says

    Love those crocks! I have a recipe for Indian Pickles that I know you would love. Contact me if interested.
    Yours is the first blog I read every day. Thank you for all the interesting stuff you share.

  16. 20


    I’m also one of those people who will pounce on hard to find items, even if I don’t need them! I love sauerkraut also — can’t wait to hear how yours comes out. When I lived in NY, I had a friend who lived in Phelps — Home of the Sauerkraut Festival. I can’t say the air smell wonderful in that town, but it was a cute little place.

  17. 21

    Anita says

    The Amish probably use the crocks for sauerkraut, just like you! I never liked sauerkraut until I had it at a friends house as a teenager. Her mom and step dad had made it in a crock like the ones you bought. What a difference between it and store bought!