Monday, November 24, 2008

Lil Bit Brit's China

This is my Welsh Dresser, but in the USA it is called a hutch Now the only thing in England we called a hutch, was a rabbit hutch. It may be an old English word that is not used in Britain anymore but is still used here. In any case this piece of furniture comes from Romania.

This is my china cabinet, with different pieces. Some wedding gifts and china I've collected over the years. Some Royal Winton that was my mum's.

The top shelf below holds a teaset I bought before I was married I still remember going to Sparrow's in Bishop's Stortford and buying it. The lower level of the shop was a hardware store and the upper level was for kitchen goods, china etc. It still seemed very old world when I bought my teaset. With the creaky wooden floors and staircase. The old shelves and sets of drawers to keep things in.

This set is an old red willow pattern teaset that was a great aunts. It's most unusual and I've always loved it. I would say it's late Victorian or Edwardian.

Sharing, Good Food, Good China and a Good Friend

Lunch set for two. My friend calls our visits together, Therapy. It's true friendship and sharing with a good friend, is one of the happiness's of life.

There was an incomplete set of this china at the thrift, so I chose two place settings with the thought of sharing them for lunch with a friend. I just love the dogwood pattern, it is very Pennsylvanian. Every spring you will see wild dogwoods interspersed among the woods.

These are Mexican Cocoa cookies, which we had with pomegranate tea.

Viewer Discretion Is Advised

The boy had a mishap, with a knife and an onion. Three and a half hours later, a visit to the emergency room and three stiches. The doctor said the skin at the top of his finger wil probably fall off and then grow back underneath. But it seems that part of it is already knitting back together, so we will wait and see.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Petrol or as we say in the States Gas $1.99 per US Gallon

This summer petrol was up to $5.00 per gallon. I cannot believe it is down to this figure. In New Jersey it's a dollar seventy something. Now if you only have a job you'll be all right.
Dunkin Donuts, so quintessentially American. My mum loves them and I always take or send a dozen home for her.

Elsbeth ended her journey and is on time.

Elsbeth was ready on time. C's due date is next week, so Elsbeth has reached the end of her long journey.

Actually I'm glad I set a date as to when I wanted Elsbeth finished by, because, she was a lot of work and a lot of long hours into the wee hours of the morning were spent on her. I think she is worth it though and I love the finished result, and I think C will to and little K.

The fabric I used is vintage from the seventies, I know that because I bought it then and never used it. The lace apron is from my friend J's graduation dress circa 1970 also the pink bow on the back, which is such a soft, soft ribbon. The button is vintage, don't know where that came from but it's lovely. Her boots are an old Harris Tweed skirt. Unfortunately you can't quite see her darling pantaloons, which I edged with lace and then ran a narrow pink ribbon through and tied the ends into a bow, which you can just see peeking below on each leg.

So bye Elsbeth, who will make a little girl happy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Broach by Emily Ringelman

This is a little felt broach that my friend C. gave me, it's made by Emily Ringelman at Etsy

I wanted to wear it on my duffle coat which is a pumpkin colour, so decided to add the copper thread sewing to hopefully tone it in. My husband says it works, so I hope so.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ragdoll Elsbeth. A little lady I'm working on.

This is a little lady I'm working on. She's for a little lady who will be arriving soon.

I still have cap, petticoat, pantaloons, apron and boots to make.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hospital Yard Sale

My friend M. said you must come with me to the State Hospital Yard Sale, they have two a year, so of course why would I say no.

Well it is a must go to yard sale. This is my list of items for:- $25.00

Musical Box
4 pairs of earings
2 broaches
Cosmetic case, brand new from the Metropolitan Museum, NY
Little cake plate with handle
8 green glasses which match a set of desert glasses I already have
8 large tubes of oil paints
10 some new and almost new oil painting brushes
Packet of assorted elastics, pins, needles, snaps, hooks and eyes, buttons
Assorted crochet cotton thread
Crepe pan
Tin basket holder for kindling and small logs
Embroidered runner
Vintage fabric
Kitten note cards from London
Wooden ladle
Wooden hem measuring ruler
I think that was it.
I'm looking for a wrought iron log holder ring or ends, so I asked and the older gentleman there, and he said, "Oh! we had one here for two years, but we just sold it in the last Yard Sale."
Oh well!
Plus they serve coffee, soda, hot dogs, muffins and cakes, what more do you want?

Alfred & Emily by Doris Lessing

This is an interesting book. It's about Doris Lessing's parents, who both went through WWI. Her father loosing a leg and almost dying and her mother a nurse, where she met her father, in hospital.

The first half of the book she has imagined how her parents would have been if WWI had never been and the second half of the book is how her parents actually were. Interesting, but I found the second half a little fragmented, but still worth reading.

She quoted from D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover.

This I think so applies to ones who have been through war.

And dimly she realised one of the great laws of the human soul: that when the emotional soul receives a wounding shock, which does not kill the body, the soul seems to recover as the body recovers. But this is only appearance. It is, really, only the mechanism of re assumed habit. Slowly, slowly the wound to the soul begins to make itself felt, like a bruise which only slowly deepens it's terrible ache, till it fills all the psyche. And when we think we have recovered and forgotten, it is then that the terrible after-effects have to be encountered at their worst.

So with Doris Lessing's parents.

My neighbour G., went through WWII, he actually was stationed near, and went to the Pub in Earles Colne, the village where my mum lived as a girl, funny to think of them being so close and moving in different circles.

In any case his eldest son was in the Vietnam War. He came home, married, he had a thriving business, then after 40 years all of a sudden he starts getting flash backs. He can't concentrate, he lost his business, his wife, after all that time. Not that the signs weren't there before.

So when I read the above quote from D. H. Lawrence, it made me think about my neighbour's son and so many others.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wood Fires, Wood Baskets

A quiet evening at home.

Tink has found the newspaper basket, which I just added to keep newspapers in for the fire.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pennsylvania Apple Dumplings and Cooking for the Family

These are some of the apples that we picked at the orchard.
Making apple dumplings. I picked the recipe up at the orchard shop.

Rolling pins. The plastic looking one is I think Tupperware and you can open the end and put ice in it to keep the pastry cool. The other one was Bo's mum's. His step mum saved a lot of things that were his mother's. Bo's mum died when he was four. When we got married we were given a lot of things. I kept the wooden rolling pin, but never used it. The other day I thought let me get it out and use it. I don't know why I never used it before, but I love it. I think it rolls out pastry far better, I love the way the pin turns, while you just hold the handles, so much easier, than the other rolling pin. So will be using the old wooden rolling pin in the future.

Here is the dumpling recipe. I must say they tasted very good. But the liquid that was poured over them before you bake them could be halved I think. Also The Boy and I agreed that to keep it simple and less calories we like Baked Apples, with raisins, walnuts and honey. But I will give you the Pennsylvania Apple Dumpling Recipe because it is good.

Pennsylvania Apple Dumplings

6 medium apples
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups water
1/4 tsp cup butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1. Pare and core apples, leaving whole
2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening until particles are about the size of small peas.
3. Sprinkle milk over mixture and press together lightly, working dough only enough to hold together. Roll dough on floured surface as for pastry and cut into 6 squares (I cut mine into rounds, using a saucer to cut around, I think a circle folds up better around the apple) place an apple in each.
4. Fill cavity in apple with sugar and cinnamon. Pat dough around apples, covering completely. Fasten edges securely on top of apple. Place dumplings 1" apart in grease baking pan. (make sure the sides are high enough to contain the sugar syrup)
5. Combine brown sugar, water and spice. Cook 5 minutes; remove from heat and add butter. Pour over dumplings. Bake at 375 F for 35 to 40 minutes, basting occasionally.
Serve hot with whole milk, cream or ice cream.

American recipes use cups and I find this an easy way of measuring. Not requiring any scales. We still think in Fahrenheit over here. For the weather temperature and baking.

I love this old Pyrex sauce boat and saucer, I'm keeping my eye out to pick up other pieces in this pattern, but just this one set alone reminds me of my childhood. The extra syrup I poured off the cooked dumplings and put in the boat.

I also made a Jewish Apple Cake, which is an old time favourite recipe and we all love it.

The jugs on my kitchen window sill, come from different places and have been collected over a period of time. Starting from the left, that jug is from Italy, then England, Cape Cod, the next smaller jug, is from Italy and is for scalded milk, to pour in with ones coffee, I love coffee served that way, and the last one is an old American jug.

Chicken, corn and rice soup.

The soup served in an old soup bowl of which I found a set of seven at the Thrift shop. I love them.

Salmon with rosemary and thyme on it, from my garden.

P.S. A couple of years ago we put in new kitchen windows in the old frame, that my husband sanded, ready to paint. When he sanded them it showed the old blue paint and then the old green paint, which was a very popular colour to paint woodwork in the twenties in the States. So I decided to leave the old paint showing, I like it, it shows the history of the house in this one window. All our other woodwork is stained.


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