Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What Are These?

Hi Dear Folk,

I had never seen these and would certainly not have known what they were for if I had not seen one in a friends kitchen with teaspoons in.  I commented on it and she said it had belonged to a great aunt.  They are little glass cutlery holders and also come in different styles and sizes.

When you know what they are then you start to see them.  I have never seen one in the UK so have any of my readers there seen them?  Or maybe I just passed them by because I did not know what they were.

Above you see a divided one for knives and forks with the matching spoon holder and the one with the beautiful picture is Noritake.

Very lovely to put on your table for a buffet afternoon tea or high tea. 


Monday, September 21, 2015

Cheese and Wine Festival, NY

Hi Dear Folk,

Saturday Rob and I got an early start and were at the Cheese and Wine Festival by 10:00AM when it opened, you had to park in a field which was a little wet, but OK.  Getting there early made all the difference because we hardly had to queue up at all for tastings and to see things. 

I wandered all round and eventually went back and bought the skein of hand dyed alpaca that you see on the very end RHS, just peeking out.  I loved all the colours but I feel you should always go with your first gut choice, and not second guess yourself as I did with the Dragonfly necklace.

One day I'm going to have an alpaca, well I can dream, I'm sure they're a lot of work. but oh my such eyes and yarn of course.

Loved the country band.

Tucking into a locally produced sausage sandwich.

How about these giant baked carrots?

Hay ride.

And this sums up some, in fact I've never seen so many Confederate flags in a Yankee state.

The farm where the festival was held.

I do not seem to have taken any photos of the Cheese or Wine, but just let me say we sampled all these abundantly, with cider thrown in.  We took home a lovely cranberry goat cheese log and of course my alpaca yarn.

We left just after noon when the crowds were coming in and so was the rain, timed that one right.



Thursday, September 17, 2015

What's On Lake Seneca

Hi Dear Folk,

What is on Lake Seneca, well quite a lot of home spun craft places, but this was a whole collection under one roof of crafters and was inspiring.

Rob is standing on the little balcony upstairs in this shop, with a lovely view of Lake Seneca.

Wool socks.

For the kitchen.

Folded Pottery.

Kitchen Hoosiers.

Graphite Pen.

I bought myself a dragonfly necklace, no turtle necklace, no dragonfly necklace.  I second guessed myself, I liked the Dragonfly necklace, but because of the Hawaiian connection went for the Turtle necklace.  Once I thought about it for a while, well a couple of days and the way it hung I decided I liked the Dragonfly, so was able  to swing back on another day and return it.  It was fortunate that we were out that way because it would have been a long drive from Ithaca.

So many goodies in this shop and the shop itself was built around an old tree, lots of wood.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In Ithaca

Hi Dear Folk,

Catching up with you and sharing my Ithaca trip.  I took along a book not my usual Persephone reading.  I heard of Sara Paretsky via BBC Radio 4 Women's Hour, where she was being interviewed.  This is not her latest book but the one before.  She was speaking about the subject matter and I thought that I would enjoy it.

So here I am at one of the gorges in Ithaca, not far from the suspension bridge, reading my book. 

Critical Mass is a modern day women private detective V. I. Washawski mystery, set in Chicago.  I liked the idea of reading Critical Mass because the modern day mystery is based on a much older mystery which predates WWII and goes back to Nazi Germany.

This is the only book I have read by Paretsky and I did enjoy it, I like the going backwards and forwards in history.  Will have to read some of her other books to compare.

Wearing my jade jewelry from China Town, Honolulu.

I love this fabric shop in downtown Ithaca, just off The Commons.  I had stopped in when we were there earlier in the year and they had a number of nice older sewing machines, unfortunately they were all sold and no replacements, but still nice to wander around.  They have a lot of old haberdashery.

The park at the bottom of Lake Cayuga, Ithaca in the early evening.  I had met up with some friends at Chilli's but we were a bit rushed for time and they had to leave early, so I had the balance of my dinner wrapped to go and drove down to the Lake here to finish it off.  Afterwards I went to Purity Ice Cream and treated myself to an ice-cream.

All the bridges in the area have this type of safety mesh and also safety nets sticking out, so that it is really hard to jump off.  It has happened, with a town full of students well over 30,000, and some feeling great pressure to succeed it can lead to suicide, so thus all these precautions.

My bag reminds me of a Cath Kidston, but I actually bought it in the UK equivalent of TJ Maxx, I really do like it for the summer and a lot less expensive.

Beebe Lake, all of these grounds are owned by Cornell University, the Lake, the Suspension Bridge area and so much more.  Rob and I took an evening walk around here.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

House and Boundaries

Hi Dear Folk,

Ever since the rain came through the weather is much cooler in the fifties at night and in the seventies during the day.  Mr. B's grass seed is sprouting, so maybe success at last in reseeding the lawn. 

Yesterday I came home to a wonderful aroma of food, Mr. B. had made a chicken pie, it just hit the spot.  Nothing better than a good chicken pie, old time comfort food.  I'm rather looking forward to Autumn and Winter because that gives me a good excuse just to concentrate on the house and give up on the garden.  I love my garden and it is true therapy, I like to sit out there at night on one of our very warm summer nights, to be honest more the wee hours of the morning with a cup of tea and just listen, it is a cacophony of sound, all those summer insects, but it is a lot of work.

Winter is nice to snuggle by the fire and I have my crochet car coat project to start.  I also have to figure a way to put together all my Japanese crochet flowers.  I did already sew them together, but I don't like it, so have to think of another way to crochet or sew the flowers together for a shawl, any suggestions welcome.  I was going to crochet a privacy fence, which I think would have looked beautiful, it would have been a topper running above my existing shorter fence, between the taller posts, but that is totally on hold until a find a cheaper source for the garden string.  I started and the rate I was using the string up it was going to cost me a fortune, it was most disappointing to come to this realization.

October will be great too, as I have two weeks off and my friend Jean is visiting from the UK.  We plan a trip to NYC.  It will be our first time trying Airbnb, we're actually going to stay over in Brooklyn at a Brownstone  This made sense as we had already planned one complete day in Brooklyn, the place looked great and it is just a tad cheaper than staying in Manhattan.  Hopefully a trip to the shore Cape May and more local trips, the Amish Country and Philly being a couple.

Have worked in my yard and garden quite a bit, but have hardly taken any photos.  Here are a few of my summer photos within my boundaries.  I planted cherry and grape tomatoes along with the usual large tomatoes such as Mortgage Lifter, Ox Heart and Big Boy, these smaller tomato plants are prodigious producers and do so for about two months.

Mr. B. at my request cut the Robin's nest out of the honeysuckle, the robins had vacated it.  Look at how perfectly smooth it is inside and then at the very bottom this very fine grass, just so special.

My Tahitian bridal veil made it through one winter by me taking it indoors, so I guess I will again.  Such delicate flowers.

The last of my gladioli,  I keep cutting them down and down to make a bouquet of flowers last as long as possible.

Yellow finch feasting on sunflower seeds, she's really tucking in.  The male is a much brighter yellow.

Just a few of my summer pics.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Two Goats Brewery, Lake Seneca

Hi Dear Folk,

Rob does not have a car while up at college, (puts mum's mind at ease) which makes him Ithaca bound, so he said it was great to get outside of Ithaca and spend time touring the countryside.  One place he wanted to visit was Two Goats Brewery on Lake Seneca

We had such a lovely day, stopping off at a farm shop picking up a literally fresh out of the oven blueberry pie which we shared, local maple syrup and honey to take home.  Then we ran across a bakery so off course stopped there, where the prices were so cheap.  I chose a cream horn, I have not had one of those since my last visit to England so was ecstatic to run across them in NY.  Rob had a slice of pizza brownie, so good.

Here we are sitting out on the patio at Two Goats Brewery, with a wonderful view of Lake Seneca, enjoying a beer each and a roast beef sandwich.

Coming from the UK I'm no wimp on beer, I like the darker stuff.

Just chilling with The Boy.


P.S.  Did I say this already I might have done, but Rob made the Dean's List a mum can brag a little, right?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Iron Skillet and My Dad, Plus a Great Way to Cook Pizza at Home

Hi Dear Folk,

When I see an iron skillet I think of my dad, funny how the brain connects things.  My dad did everything on a large scale when it came to food, well his nick name was Tubby.

Every year we would go camping at least once and if not twice, it was always in Britain, never the Continent.  This was the time when the only camping gear was ex army surplus, I'm talking fifties into the sixties.

One year my dad made his own tent, it was really a portable shed, made of wood, which bolted together, sat in layers on the A30 Austin Van roof rack, with a taupe over it all.  This was long before safety belts, and my sister and I used to lay on a feather quilt that was laid out on top off all the camping gear in the back of the van.

Driving through London a cabby said "What you got there mate, everything but the kitchen sink."  Yes that was us.  No light weight stuff.  along came the double large calor gas burner, on top of which would fit the one enormous iron skillet that my dad had.  A whole breakfast could be cooked at once in this.  Eggs, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes and fried bread.  I wish we still had that old skillet nobody remembers where it went, but it was probably three times the size of this one.

The inside of a used iron skillet can become like glass and is wonderful to cook on.  So it came as no surprise to me when I ran across what somebody said was the best way to cook pizza at home, beside making your own pizza oven and that is to cook it in an iron skillet.

Living where we do in the Philadelphia area we have access to some great pizzerias well of course with all those Italian immigrants who came over here, one of our local favorites is Francone's, they just make the best sauce.  When we decided to have a go at pizza cooked in an iron skillet we ran over there and bought the dough and the sauce and brought it home.

There was enough dough to make four pizzas and enough sauce for eight.  So this is what you do.  Make your dough large enough to fit the base of your skillet which is hot and has olive oil in it.  Put the dough in and very quickly add your toppings.  It needs to cook no longer than two minutes and tops three, or you will burn the bottom.  Take the pan off the burner and then put it under the broiler/grill for another three minutes and that's it.  It's better than any of those pizza stones, we now use our stone just to put the pizza on and cut it.

So quick, so easy and delicious.

My pizzas were topped with pizza sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, peppers and basil leaves.

Next time I will have to make up some of my own dough and sauce, toppings of course are what ever one desires.


P.S.  If I had that skillet now I could cook a full size pizza, does anyone know where I can find one?

P.P.S.  But I do have the old Judge Ware teapot that always came camping with us.  My brother in law raked it out of the back of the shed for me and said "Do you have room to take it back this time?"

See the judge on the bakelite lid handle.
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