Wednesday, January 13, 2010

the hidden pleasures of the corner pantry

As a fresh sophomore at Arcadia University years ago (in 2004, to be exact), I was assigned to interview and shadow a business owner going through the motions of what made them a success. Now thinking about it, I immediately chose a small-town, newly-established eatery, in comparison to any other business. Such a decision, may have then been telling of what would become of me and my sole efforts in writing, yet then, I was just ready to immerse myself within the world of one-on-one storytelling.

Either way, my first interview in the world of food was with Kim Nein of the Corner Pantry of Limekiln, Pennsylvania. Spunky and eccentric, Nein is a creative chef and energetic entrepreneur who reflects her rural setting and home styled tastes perfectly in her fancy foods and darling decor.

While managing the breakfast and lunch hot spot for a handful of locals, in addition to an active catering business, Nein swirls her styles through heartily stewed soups, chunks of savory meat loafs, delicious bowls of chicken pot pie and daily changing concoctions of quiche.

Recently, I revisited the Corner Pantry, which is attached to the Limekiln Post Office, and delved deep into a heaping plate of chicken salad atop some gorgeous greens (seen below). The hyped salad, pumped with cranberries and walnuts, was savory and sweet, and a bit more interesting than the typical poultry salad you find at many lunching locations.
Although she previously reported to me that she adores cooking in comparison to baking, she sure as hell does not show it, boasting a handful of traditional treats throughout her petite shop, including classically crafted apple pies (seen below), lemon bars and the ever-changing selection of fresh cookies.
However, she is openly fond of antique collecting, and has an impressive knack for locating the must-haves from area thrift shops, estate closings and yard sales. My favorites of any antique collection are always those that are kitchen-inspired, and Nein not only fittingly displays those that she loves the most, but she also graciously offers them up for sale.

Below, I close with a series of the items I found, most adoringly. There are a ton of aprons up for grabs. I personally liked this garden-inspired design, even though I haven't a clue how to garden.
The salt-and-pepper shakers enclosed in a retro television was probably the coolest grain set I've seen. The ladle set with a embroidery pouch was rustic, yet adorable.
Nein swears these are not for sale, but how cool are they? They're a stack of olden half pint paper containers used once at a dairy for ice cream.