Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Felt and Silk Broaches

Some broaches I have been working on.
My glory space, it got a little out of control.
Italian woven tapestry, with grey seed pearls and glass beads.
Silk from The Working Silk Museum in Braintree, Essex, UK
Heart broach with vintage crystal button.

Eastern bluebird button, felt and silk, from The Working Museum.
Silk broach with Imagine button.

I started off by making the heart broach; which is why I have a bit of a glory space.  I could not find my vintage buttons.  I went through every needlework box, bag, tin and so on until I thought maybe they could be with my beads; which is where I found them.  During this search I came across my silk pieces from The Working Museum in Braintree, Essex.  So the search was rewarding and broaches are ideal to use these little pieces of silk made at the museum.  I've had such fun thinking about what to use and put with what, seed pearls, silk, Italian tapestry and vintage buttons.


Monday, November 29, 2010

#5 California Quilt Square

If you are following along, this is State #5 California Quilt Square.


P.S.  If you would like a PDF of this one or any of the previous States in the Monday series just send me an Email to lilbitbrit_007@msn.com


As a child I had a wonderful watercolour in my bedroom painted by my grandmother.  It was little toadstool houses, with doors, windows and chimneys, picket fences and gardens of flowers.  Thus my imagination always ran riot when I saw a toadstool.

This is fungi on a tree near the creek, by our favourite local walk.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Apple Pie in a Jar

    Not quite your grandma's apple pie!
Apple Pie in a Jar
Apple Pie in a Jar

Serves 8
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes

8 short, half-pint glass canning jars*
4 pre-packaged pie crusts, uncooked
7 cups (15-20 whole) apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

*Find glass canning jars right in your grocery store. The short, half-pint versions work best for this recipe—and though they are pre-treated to resist heat, placing them in a cold oven will allow them to heat up gradually. That means no broken glass!

    1. Lay out pie crusts on a clean surface. Use the lid of your jar as a cookie cutter to create 8 circles. Insert a dough circle into the base of each jar, pressing into place with your fingertips.
    2. Cut the remaining pie crusts into long strips, approximately 4 inches wide. Press the dough into the inside of each jar, so the inside is completely covered.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the apple slices in lemon juice.
    4. In a separate medium-size bowl, combine the white sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour the dry ingredients over the apples, then toss to coat.
    5. Divide the apple filling equally among your jars, filling each about 2/3 full.
    6. Finish each jar with the topping of your choice (see our options below).
    7. Place your jars on a baking sheet and set inside a cold oven. Begin heating your oven to 375ºF and let bake for 45-60 minutes, until topping is golden brown and bubbling.
Tip: There are so many apples to choose from, namely in the cool fall months. We love sweet Golden Delicious apples for this recipe, but for more ideas, check out our complete 

3 Topping Options3 Topping Options
  • Lattice Crust: To achieve an old-fashioned look, purchase an extra pie crust or two at the supermarket, then cut the dough into very thin strips, slightly longer than the width of your jar’s mouth. Lay 3 strips vertically and 3 strips horizontally, then interweave them, pressing the edges into the inner rim of the jar. Brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Capped Crust: Repeat step 1 of the instructions, then use the dough circles to top each of your jars—but be sure to press the edges into the inner rim of the jar to prevent burning. Use the tongs of a fork to crimp the edges, or cut out a few small, festive shapes like leaves with a mini cookie cutter or stencil. Brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Crumble Topping: For something easy and extra sweet, simply follow the instructions below, then sprinkle generously on the top of each jar:

    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    2 tablespoons oats
    3 tablespoons cold butter

      1. In a small mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon.
      2. Add butter, blending with an electronic mixer until pieces are approximately the size of peas.
      3. Add oats, stirring with a spoon until well combined.

    Isn't this a great idea?  What fun this would be for an outside fall, fire pit party.


    Friday, November 26, 2010

    Hunter's Moon

    This is a November moon, a Hunter's Moon, is what they call it here in the States.  It is deer hunting season.  We do not hunt but I do like to eat venison.  Pennsylvania has a huge deer population as urban society has encroached more and more into the country they are a part of our everyday life.

    They can do a lot of damage to natural habitat if not kept under control.  As always nature is a balance, and man tends to upset that natural order and balance in nature.


    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Hubby made these great Peanut Butter biscuits/cookies using homemade organic peanut butter, nothing added to the peanut butter.  This was one of the items we got from the food bank this month.  For a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, it's not quite to our taste.  But we are totally addicted to making peanut butter cookies with this homemade style peanut butter.  Here's the recipe he used.

    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter
    • 1/4 cup shortening
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1 egg
    • 1 1/4 cups flour
    • 3/4 tea sp baking soda
    • 1/2 tea sp baking powder
    • 1/4 tea sp salt (optional)
    1. Cream all the wet ingredients
    2. Mix all the dry ingredients
    3. Add the wet and dry ingredients together
    4. Chill
    5. Bake at 375 f 
    6. 8  - 10 minutes
    These are most delicious cookies.  You could add a little more peanut butter: (hubby added a little more regular peanut butter to the organic) if you want to and you can use regular peanut butter or half organic and half regular.


    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Tousled Tinkerbell

    Tinkerbell my flame point Himalaya, was overly scratching, but a visit to the vet would cost over $50.00 for flea medication, it's just too much to put out when you're unemployed.  So we decided to just give her a nice shampoo bath.

    She keeps her fur in good order, but the water was quite dirty.  She took the bath quite well and I think she enjoyed it.  Although I don't think she was too happy with the three hours of grooming afterwards, that she had to do and she certainly did not like walking on wet paws. Now she's a little snowball and smells pretty good too.

    If anyone had a remedy that works. let me know.


    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    500th Post Give Away and a T.G.I. Tea Snafu

    Look out for my 500th Post Give Away, coming up soon.

    Also had a little snafu on my T.G.I. Tea.  It seems I set the link up for the first Friday in December and forgot so decided to leave it there.  So look for T.G.I. Tea on December 3rd



    Milady Tinkerbell soaking up a little Indian summer sun. 

    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    Mock Clotted Cream

    I've found a different recipe for making mock clotted cream.  Clotted cream is not made in the States, it's imported, quite expensive and you can only get it from certain stores, so I'm always looking for a good mock clotted cream recipe.  This one is different to any I've come across so far.

    Clotted cream is a thick yellow cream made by heating unpasteurized cow's milk and then leaving it in shallow pans for several hours. During this time, the cream content rises to the surface and forms 'clots'. Clotted cream purists prefer the milk to come from cows in the English counties of Devon and Cornwall.

    Clotted cream is generally served as part of a cream tea (also known as a Devonshire Tea) on (warm) scones with strawberry or raspberry jam.

    Legends vary, assigning the origins of Clotted Cream to both Devonshire and Cornwall, but regardless of it's beginnings, it had become a popular dish in it's own right by the late 1600's. Numerous recipes abounded, some for creating a plain cream dish, others used citrus flavourings to make a sweet dessert. Common period instructions suggested that you:

    "Take the night's milk and put into a broad earthenware pan. In the morning, set over a slow fire and allow it to stand there from morn to night, making certain not to boil the liquid, only heat it. Take off the fire and set overnight in a cool place. Next morning, dish off your cream and it will be quite thick."

    Clotted Cream can often be purchased for an authentic tea-time treat. When clotted cream is not commercially available, a reasonable facsimile may be made by combining two parts whole milk with one part whipping (heavy) cream, heating at the very lowest possible heat for a couple of hours until a skin forms, leaving it undisturbed overnight, and then harvesting the skin and its underclots. The remaining milk may be consumed or used in any number of recipes. 


    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Pumkin Eggnog

    Nana's Pumpkin Eggnog

    (Serves 10)
    • 4 cups milk (for slim eggnog, use nonfat milk)
    • 1 cup pumpkin puree
    • 7 eggs
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • Spiced rum
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Optional topping: whipped cream
    Bring milk and pumpkin puree to boil in a heavy saucepan. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Slowly pour milk mixture into eggs stirring constantly to avoid cooking the eggs. Pour mixture back into the saucepan, add cinnamon and ground nutmeg; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it coats the back of your spoon. Pour custard through a sieve (strainer) into a clean bowl, stir in cream, vanilla, and spiced rum.
    Cool and chill for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg if desired.

    Nessa Knit asked if I thought you could make a Pumpkin Eggnog, this is one of the recipes I came up with.  I must say I like latte's but the boys are into eggnog.


    Pumpkin Latte

    It's time again to think about making Latte's.  I love Chai Latte, this Susan Branch recipe looks good too.  


    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Martha Washington Sewing Cabinet

    This was the special little item I found at one of the antique shops we looked around. after a Tea lunch with my friend C.

    Martha Washington Sewing Cabinet

    Probably from the depression era.  The bins have seven sides and the legs are turned, so nicer than some cabinets.

    I don't think the draw pulls are original, I think they would have been wood, but I like the glass.

    I like the deep bin type storage either side.  The cabinet is finished on all sides to be free standing and for ladies to sit around and sew.

    The sewing or “lady’s work” table is a splendid example of one of the most elegant and functional forms of furniture to be introduced in America during the Federal period. Small, delicate, and portable, it was designed to provide a convenient surface and storage space for needlework and other leisure activities of gentlewomen. It performed its tasks so well that by the era’s end it had become a focal object of refined feminine society.

    In the Federal period—roughly 1785 to 1810—it was customary for the women of the household, and sometimes visitors as well, to gather in a sitting room or parlor and arrange themselves around the sewing table. Some would take up their embroidery or crewelwork, while another might compose a letter or read aloud to the group. One such scene comes to life in the August 20, 1824, journal entry of Margaret Quincy, daughter of the president of Harvard University: “Mama and I were ready dressed, so descended to the parlour, opened windows, dropped blinds, placed the little table in the middle of the room with work, books, etc., etc., and seating ourselves on the sopha, Mama held some work and I read aloud Red Gauntlet.”

    During the harsher colonial period most women took up their needles only when they had to. Clothing was entirely homemade, darning and mending perpetual chores. But by the end of the eighteenth century, needlework had become a recreational activity as well.

    One of its most zealous practitioners was the nation’s first First Lady. Hardly a description of Martha Washington survives without mention of her hyperactive hands. A contemporary visitor to Mount Vernon, for instance, described her as “incessantly knitting,” and an early biographer wrote that “even when she sat down to visit or rest the knitting needles danced under her chubby fingers.” During the Revolution Mrs. Washington organized a sewing and knitting circle in her Cambridge parlor to do mending for bachelors and to make bandages for a nearby hospital. Her interest endured until late in life; at the age of sixty-nine she was busy at work on a dozen needlepoint chair cushions. To this day there is a variety of lady’s worktable, distinguished by its oval top over two or three small drawers—a type used at Mount Vernon—that is still referred to as a Martha Washington sewing table.

    It performed its tasks so well that by the era’s end it had become a focal object of refined feminine society.
    The lady’s worktable originated in England around 1770, but the Revolutionary War and the economic depression that followed it kept Americans from adapting new furniture forms and design precepts until the late 1780s. Then there began to emerge a new class of merchants affluent enough to build substantial houses and fill them with stylish furnishings.

    Although some American sewing tables were made in the Hepplewhite style, the majority were in the Sheraton and Empire modes. Lightweight and delicate, they were most often constructed of mahogany, sometimes partially veneered with maple or satinwood. Fitted with shallow drawers in which to store such sewing accessories as thread and bobbins, the tables often came outfitted with other accoutrements as well: as a writing drawer or perhaps a backgammon or chess board. The pouch variety was especially popular; its silk bag, designed to hold fancywork, might be gathered or pleated or draped flush with the table.


    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Our Sunday Evening Walk

    Sunday last was a beautiful day, so just before the sun set we decided to go for a walk. The harvester was out, and the deer must have been boxed in by the ever decreasing circle of corn. The smells in the air were great.

    We took some coffee and danish biscuits with us and sat on a bench looking down to the creek.  Walking back after the sun had set.


    P.S. As you can see I was inspired to change my Blog Banner for the season.

    #3 Arizona Quilt Square


    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Pumpkins Scones

    Pumpkin Scones:
    • 2 cups self-raising flour (I use plain flour and add one tea sp of baking powder for every cup of flour.  It's cheaper in the States to buy plain flour and add the baking powder)
    • 1 1/2 tea sp pumpkin pie spice
    • 2 table sps of butter
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
    • 1 beaten egg
    • 1/8 cup milk
    1.  Preheat the oven to 425 f.  Place flour and spice in a large bowl.  Cut in chopped butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Stir in sugar.  Make well in the center.  
    2. Combine pumpkin, egg, and 1/8 cup of milk. Add all at once to flour mixture.  Stir with spoon until a soft dough forms.
    3. Turn dough out onto a floured service.  Need gently 10 to 12 times.  Place on greased baking sheet and pat dough into an 8" circle about 3/4 " thick.
    4. Cut dough into 16 rounds with 2" round biscuit cutter or cut into sixteen wedges.  Place on greased baking sheet.  Brush with milk.
    5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown.
    6. Serve warm with butter.


    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    The Book of Chowder

    My other cook book from the Hospital.  The Book of Chowder.

    Chowder came to North America about two and a half centuries ago.  The beginings of what may have become American chowders may have appeared first in smalll French fishing villages, possibly in Brittany.  By the early eighteenth century it had reached New Foundland, Nova Scotia, New England, and, in time, other English settlements to the south.

    That chowder was born in France was first argued in the nineteenth century.  One writer traced its origin to the French chaudier, or cauldron.  Another added that in "the cabarets and guinsguette of little fishing villages along the coast of Brittany ici on fait la chaudiere is a frequent sign."

    As early as the sixteenth century the words chowder and chowter, dialect variations of jowder, meaning a fish-seller, were known in Cornwall and Devonshire.  By the mid-eighteenth century, and probably well before then, the English ate chowder.  In 1762 Tobias Smollett had a character in one of his novels say, "My head sings and simmers like a pot of chowder,"

    All sea dishes had to accommodate themselves as to what was at hand.  When the crew of the whaler Pacific, out of New Bedford went ashore in a quiet cove in New Zealand in 1857 they took with them potatoes, biscuits, and a piece of salt pork.  a fire was started, friendly Maoris collected mutton-fish, warreners, and limpets - all shellfish new to the crew - one man volunteered to act as cook, and all soon enjoyed an 'Excellent dinner' of chowder.

    There's a lot more history on chowders, but I thought these were some interesting facts.

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