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Travel Tip: Seagrove, NC

You know when you own too much of something and you make a promise you won't buy any more of it? Some women do this with shoes or scarves or pretty sparkly jewelry. My problem purchases: pottery.

So it's no real surprise that when I traveled to Seagrove, NC on my day off on Monday with my lovely mother -- who's no shopping slouch herself -- that I would return with goodies. It had to happen. Conditions were perfect.

Seagrove, located in the Middle of Nowhere, NC, or south of Asheboro (yup, out in B.F.E.), is a pottery mecca.  Only 228 people live there (according to the 2010 Census) yet it's home to over 100 potteries, many of whom date back eight or nine generations. It's really beautiful stuff for the most part -- maybe the exception is the popular face jug.

Below is a practical pottery item I just had to have: a bowl handy for soup, large cups of coffee, etc. It's made with Yuengling Beer bottles by Lantern Hill Pottery.

Check out this adorable tiny bud vase, which I filled with a few camellias from my great-uncle Arlie's home in Ramseur, NC. (We stopped by to visit with him briefly after pottery shopping.) The crystalline glazed vase  is from a small shop within walking distance to Lantern Hill off of Main St. but unfortunately I didn't keep their business card and the inscription is too small to read on the vase's bottom.

The next purchase just leapt off the shelf at me while browsing at Lantern Hill. My "signature color" in the kitchen is red, but for some reason I was drawn to the cobalt and orange combination, and the small band of brown in between. The orange is vivid and I don't know why I love it, but I do. This piece will hold flowers, a chilled bottle of wine, or some kitchen utensils quite nicely.

I didn't buy this piece, but it was gifted to us from our so so so awesome Aunt Sharon (thank you, thank you, thank you!) last weekend. She found this Seagrove piece made by the aptly-named Potts family of potters in the gift shop at the Mint Museum here in Charlotte. Can you tell what this dude is? He's functional.

Give up? He's an egg separator! Crack the egg, pour out the white from his "mouth". Pretty terrific, right?

I probably should stop with the kitchenware and the pottery purchases, but it IS all useful in some way. And we're supporting the local economy, right? I think it's OK.

One tip if you visit Seagrove: I rarely bash a place, but avoid, avoid, AVOID the Seagrove Family Restaurant. The food was serviceable at best, our server bused tables like a bull in a china shop, and the restrooms were neither heated nor clean. Take a picnic instead!

Off to make Hueveos Rancheros for dinner -- I might just try out my new egg separator! What new fun kitchen tool or technique have you discovered? Let us know in the comments section!


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