Richardson Wright, editor-in-chief of House & Garden from 1914 to 1946, wrote this:
"Here is a nice word that collectors will enjoy--Serendipity. It was coined by Horace Walpole out of the fairy tale, 'The Three Princes of Serendip,' the heroes of which were always making discoveries by accident. And that is its meaning--the faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries by accident. When you wander into an antique shop in search of a pewter candlestick and find a unique piece of Irish glass for next to nothing, you are blessed with Serendipity."
I felt blessed with Serendipity one day last spring when R.H. and I had an hour to spare before going to a birthday party in a town near us and dropped into the local Goodwill. On the bottom shelf in the dish section, pushed to the back, were two stacks of luncheon plates taped together.
I loved the hand painted look of them and put them in our basket after turning one stack over to look at the back. It read "Martres" and "France" and were 50 cents apiece!
Once home I searched online and found only two like them, in Belgium for about $14 each. Not exactly diamonds and rubies but nevertheless, it was Serendipity.
I almost felt like Serendipity had blessed me again when I went outside to look for something to make a centerpiece for the table and found these few blossoms on one side of the hydrangea bush, the other side turned brown.
And old-fashioned bouquet for an old square blue Mason jar.
These plates were just right for chicken salad. The well loved and much missed novelist, Laurie Colwin, wrote: "Chicken salad has a certain glamour about it. Like the little black dress it is chic and adaptable and can be taken anywhere. You can dress it down and feed it to a child, or dress it up and serve it at a dinner party. You can accessorize it in an interesting way and astonish your friends at lunch."
Everyone has a favorite recipe for chicken salad. I started with the Barefoot Contessa's recipe and then changed it to include green apple slivers after tasting the delicious chicken salad at the Storie Street Grille in Blowing Rock, North Carolina [here].
I also made one of my favorite soups from Lee Bailey's Soup Meals with leeks, celery, onions and shallots. If you love soups you won't go wrong looking for Mr. Bailey's soup cookbook on used book sites. The recipe for Carrot-Dill Soup I made last winter [here] is also in this book.
Since I can't go to Serendipity in New York for this (at $25,000.00)....
I will go to Goodwill and hope for Serendipity. Where have you found Serendipity?