Saturday, September 4, 2010

Every Good Cook Needs a Good Hot Pad

Saturdays in the summertime almost always include a weekly trip to our local Farmer's Market.  You'll find the usual ingredients of any Farmer's Market there plus some added specialties.  This year I have been fascinated by a beautiful, seasoned little lady.  Every week in 90 degree weather she sits at a small card table under a shade tent dressed in her warmest winter sweater selling hot pads she made herself.   She has a simple sign printed on an 8x10 sheet of paper that says "Every Good Cook Needs a Good Hot Pad"!

iphone pic...left my Nikon at home

Her booth is not far from the busy lemonade stand where they squeeze nearly 300 glasses of lemonade every Saturday.  The first time I saw her she captured my attention sitting quietly, almost still... waiting for a customer.  I decided to "make her day" and buy a pair of her hot pads. For $6 I became the proud owner of paisley print hot pads.  I thought I'd probably never use them since they were so thin and most likely offer no protection from my tasty hot items coming from the oven.  As we completed our transaction she said "If you like them, tell your friends."   

Fast forward a few weeks and to my surprise, these have become my favorite hot pads in the kitchen.  I'm not sure what she uses for batting inside that paisley print.  I could easily unpick them and find out...but I'd rather leave it a mystery.   

Today while ordering our freshly squeezed strawberry lemonade I saw my hot pad friend selling her wares again.  She was still wearing her winter sweater safety pinned together to hold it on her frail tiny frame.  I decided I should buy a few pairs of hot pads to give away to friends.  To my surprise, her supply was almost gone!  It seems she might have a thriving business and never needed me to "make her day".   We chatted for a bit about this and that, and I purchased a set of brown calico hot pads.  I learned her name is Marion and I asked if I could snap a quick picture of her with my phone.  She asked "What for, I'm 98 years old.  I'm an old woman." 

I adore her...98 years old...gets around with her trusty walker...selling hot pads to good cooks.

If you would like to purchase a pair of her special hot pads, look for Marion when you go to the Farmers Market next week.  If she's not there, most likely she will be having eye surgery.

But not to worry, I have her business card...oh yes Marion has a business card!


  1. This may be one of the sweetest stories ever, I am in Idaho spending time with my 86 year old grandma. She is just a young thing! She used to go to the 'fancy' store in town and see what was in fashion and then go home make her a pattern from the newspaper and sew up her outfit. Who knew she was the original project runway star?

  2. Isn't that the sweetest story?!
    98 years old. wOw. My hats off to her!