This is a story of our latest great find...and I think you may find it difficult to believe.
We were escorting a visiting friend for a small portion of her journey home. She wanted to visit Williamsburg and after spending several days of intense conversation and demonstration sharing with her, (an eager 'student'), about the concepts and truths of traditional food preparation and eating, I was ready for a break away from the kitchen. My husband is a Williamsburg lover as well, so rather than merely escort our friend to the front door, we escorted her to Williamsburg...noble deed-doers that we are and all.
While in the Colonial shopping district, we ventured daringly into Williams-Sonoma. If you know of this place, you also know Frugality Queens basically do window-shopping and little else there. And that's exactly what we did. "Ooohs!" and "Aaahs!" were accompanied by low whistles, grimaces and raised eyebrows as prices were peeked upon on the bottoms of dishes and cookware. Nearly crumbling at a three-tiered devilled egg tray which we deemed, 'comparatively-reasonably-priced', I managed to resist. This was difficult to do as it was actually priced within our range, but we reminded each other, (my husband and I, that is), that we weren't there for impulse buying, but only to show our friend around.
As we continued our browsing, we came upon the Bamix mixer. What a beaut! I had recently been experimenting with making homemade mayonnaise, and my traditional cooking research had taken me to a website where this tool was used for that purpose. Of course, there are a hundred and one, at least, purposes for something as sweet as this...and I was seeing many of them flash through my head as I gazed upon this remarkable kitchen tool. But it was not too terribly difficult to resist because when one sees immersion blenders in Wal-Mart for $20.-$25, one can't help but wonder how this immersion blender could be enough better as to cost $179.00. Yes, it does have extra blades...oh, and this wonderful little domed container that attaches to the mixer and you can chop up your onions, etc. in it. Very little mess, very little time, very little effort. But, still...
We did not buy the Bamix immersion blender. Well, yes we did. But we didn't buy it there. Half an hour later, after showing our friend off to the interstate, we were driving back along route 60, and there was a little roadside flea market. We need to have one of those bumper stickers that says "We brake for Flea Markets", because usually, to the dismay of those driving too closely behind us, we do. We do because these are the places where Divine Treasures hide in wait for us. We know this it true...that some things really do wait just for us, because of things like what happened moments later.
It was an extremely windy day, the kind that makes you feel bothered because it's flapping your hair into your eyes if it's down and pulling it right out of whatever hair appliances you're using if it's up. A lose-lose sort of hair day. Plus it's chilly, so in reality, it's outright cold. Still, we decided to give the flea market a really quick 'go-over'.
It was sad. Not only the poor selection of anything worth seeing, but the fact that much of what anyone had was being knocked about by the gusts. Most customers were so busy trying to hold their coats on that they didn't even try to pick things up for a closer look. I felt sorry for the vendors, but as much of a thrift nut as I am, I felt exactly the same way. I was, in fact, rather regretting that I'd stepped foot out of our vehicle in the first place.
But we (quickly) persevered, my hubby and I. At last, we rounded the bend to the last table. There stood a poor, cold woman and her husband, both in high spirits in spite of the nasty weather. We joked with them a bit while perusing their stash. And there is was. An immersion blender. My husband saw it and asked me what I thought. It had a price tag of $5.00, ($5.00!), but no way or where to check it out. Remembering our tour of Williams-Sonoma, however, we rapidly decided it was worth a five dollar risk. This nifty little mixer was not the Wal-Mart variety. This was the immersion blender we'd just seen in Williams-Sonoma. The seller was from Switzerland, home of the Bamix, and we didn't even ask why she didn't want it anymore, only if it worked. Of course, she said it did and even though we wondered just a bit if she might not be telling the truth, we couldn't pay her fast enough.
When we got home, we practically ran to the nearest electrical outlet, "Will it work? Will it work?" pulsed silently through our thoughts. Well, it just worked like a draft horse and purred like a kitten. And although it was already clean, I cleaned it with loving, tender care. Then I made mayonnaise. I made meringue. I chopped onions, blended coconut milk, well, you know, even a week later just every chance I get, I use it. It may be the best five dollars we've ever spent.
Don't ever, ever try to tell me this whole episode was merely coincidence. I do not believe in coincidences. I believe it waited for us because Someone Bigger than all of us put together made it all happen just the way it did. He has mercy on whomever He pleases, whenever He pleases. That mercy part is such a great thing, because He and I both know it wasn't a matter of deserving.
I am grateful for our friend wanting to go home via Williamsburg. I am grateful that we did venture through the doors of Williams-Sonoma. I am grateful that the lady from Switzerland decided she didn't want her immersion blender anymore. I am even more grateful that she decided to venture out into the windy chill of a day to sell her wares. I am even grateful for the wind and the cold because it kept other potential buyers away from 'our' gift until we could discover it.
And I am most especially grateful that it 'just happened' to be our merciful day. Who knows? Maybe today will be yours.