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I’ve written before about the thrill of hunting around at the brocante in Pont-Audemer. There’s an upstairs section for mismatched crockery, 70s cheese plates, ancient paperbacks and souvenir cups: everything chipped and dusty. You have to climb some crooked stairs to get there.  It’s not for the faint hearted.  

But here’s what I found recently. Stacked into each other and on the floor, I almost missed them. They were dirty and heavily used. But they were heavy, professional French-made cooper pots.  And just a couple of euros. Would they shine up? 

All it took was salt, white wine vinegar, and a soft sponge. Thank you Huffington Post. Just a few minutes of polishing and the result: 

They’re not  like new, you can tell they’re recycled, and that’s ok. There’s a scruffy beauty in the whirls and scratches that matches the cottage, and the suggestion of a thousand shared meals whose secrets  we’ll never know.