Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Doll, a Girl and a Grandmother

I have often spoken of my Gram Potter in the almost 2 years I have been blogging. She was my dad's mother. She lived in Sussex, NJ. She was a wonderful cook, an immaculate housekeeper, a prolific crocheter and she made all her own clothes. And sometimes she made doll clothes for my favorite dolls. I only have one doll left from my childhood and she was always my favorite.

 In the depths of my sewing closet in a box was Wendy Ann. Poor thing has probably been in  that box for over 50 years. Luckily she had a mattress and a pillow and she was in her pajamas. Wendy Ann has moved many times and only been shown or patted a few times during these years.

My friends and I would play dolls after school. We would save our allowance and go downtown to a dry goods store which sold Madame Alexander dolls and the clothes that were designed for them. I only have a few of the outfits. I have been washing them very gently in Orvus soap as was recommended by many who deal with vintage fabrics.

 The clothes above were made for the dolls and are tagged with the Alexander-kins label. But my Wendy Ann had even more things. A mattress covered in vintage pillow ticking, a satin pillow with a lace rosette and a pillow case with crocheted rickrack trim. Gram liked Wendy Ann too.

Gram made a felt dress trimmed with tiny rickrack, a petticoat with tiny red roses and a crocheted cape with a hood. The ribbon has faded on the cape but I shall not replace it.

I can see the treadle sewing machine that sat in front of the bedroom window. The window looked over the street and she could watch all the goings on in the neighborhood. The bedroom set was Cushman maple and she was very proud of it. Fresh linens with crochet trimmed pillow cases adorned the bed. It was a comforting room. Most likely the pillow ticking for Wendy Ann came from pillow covers she made for her pillows.
So Wendy Ann will stay out for a while and then be packed away when we go back to Maine for the summer. I think she may make another appearance at Christmas - perhaps in a red dress and cape.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Saturday Pinks

I am making a major change in blogging. I will be using my MacBook Pro instead of my Dell which is a little workhorse but getting very tired. I have been so spoiled by LiveWriter,  a Windows program, so I am hesitant to get into the Mac world. But here we go....

Yarn from my stash
I love playing with my photographs. I like to turn them into paintings - many types of paintings and I like to collage them. I am thrilled that Picasa now allows you to take your photos into Picnik for further embellishment. This Picasa feature helped me make the switch. Now if Photoscape would be Mac friendly, I would have all the photography toys I like to play with!
Sunrise on the lake
 Linens from Gram's Trunk

Today is just an experiment to see how we do....
I am joining Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for her famous Pink Saturday. Be sure to stop in and say Hi!
 I will continue to transfer my gazillion pictures to the Mac.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring has sprung….


There is a noticeable difference in the weather even here in Florida. This weather is perfect for opening up the windows and letting in the fresh air. I have been cleaning and organizing since the first of the year and my efforts have really paid off. Now we are enjoying the beautiful weather.


We went out for lunch on Saturday to Station 400 in Sarasota. If you are ever in the area, I would highly recommend it. You can read more about this restaurant and its history here


I had the Croque Madame.




It was perfection.

Jack had a Cuban Sandwich with parmesan fries.


We did a little antiquing and then back to make pasta for a lovely dinner.












Dinnerware by Vietri, Flatware, chargers and glasses from Pottery Barn, Candlesticks from Provence, placemats and tablecloth from Williams-Sonoma. Candles by Root.

Joining this week…

Kathy from a Delightsome Life for Celebrating Spring.

Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday.

Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Michael Lee West at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. I didn’t share a recipe but I took pictures of scrumptious food!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Party time…


A St. Patrick’s Day Bloghop with Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen and a Celebrity Cook Along hosted by Lynn at Happier Than a Pig in Mud are happening this week. These are only two of the events this week. There are more but if I tried to combine them, it would take too long to read much less write. I am also joining REDnesday which is one of my new favorites hosted by Sue at It’s A Very Cherry World.

My mother loved Irish Belleek. You can read about it here. I did buy a shamrock plant but could not get a good picture of it.


The vignette for the St. Patrick’s Blog hop is done.

I found these vintage St. Patrick’s Day postcards on the internet at Vintage Holiday Crafts and printed them on white cardstock.

L1060565 L1060563 

L1060569Happy St. Patrick’s Day

And dinner is almost on the table.

Corned Beef and Cabbage is an absolute favorite at our house.  I buy a corned beef with the seasoning packet in it but if you cannot find that pickling spice is a good substitute. I like the one made by Mosey but I have good luck with other brands as well. We are going out for dinner on St. Patrick’s Day but I am making the whole dinner anyway because I want the leftovers. I am also making Ina Garten’s Soda Bread to accompany the meal. Print recipe here.


Ina Garten’s Soda Bread

4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 tablespoon all purpose flour for dusting currants
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, ½ inch dice
1 3/4 cup buttermilk, shaken
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup dried currants

Preheat oven to 375°. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the butter and mix on low speed until butter is mixed into the flour mixture. Mix the buttermilk, egg and orange zest together with a fork and slowly add to flour mixture on low speed. Toss the currants with the 1 tablespoon of flour and add to the dough. This will be a wet mixture. Dump the dough on a well floured board and knead it a few time to make into a round loaf. Cut an X into the top and for for 45 to 55 minutes. The loaf should sound hollow when tapped and a cake tester should come out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes nice toast.

I am going to join Sue for REDnesday again this week. I have used this mixer quite a bit lately.





Mine wasn’t as pretty as Ina’s but I think I could have used a little more flour and few more turns with the kneading. However, it was absolutely delicious.



Thank you Ina for all your wonderful recipes.

Be sure to join the Bloghop and see what the other bloggers are doing with Ina’s recipes. REDnesday is a fun event too.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Where do you keep yours?


Recipes, that is. I have spent a great deal of time this year sorting and organizing and I have discovered many wonderful things that I had forgotten all about. I became the “keeper” of things my parents no longer had room for as they downsized. “Let Carol have it” was their way of  holding on to what needed to stay in the family. Now I am trying to decide what I need and what I need to pass on.



These notebooks belonged to my grandmothers and contain recipes given to them by family and friends. The recipe below came from my great-grandmother Hanley and was typed onto an index card by my Gram Lane. There are lots of typed cards in the book and I remember the typewriter that was always on the end of the dining room table.


The book is well worn and there are spills on the pages.



Above are pictures of a cookbook sponsored by the bank, the pharmacy and other businesses – an early community cookbook. Below is a mosaic of recipes from the notebooks of both grandmothers.



On the left is my mother’s recipe box. Mine is on the right. At one point we both had the same recipe box and there was a spoon rest to match as I recall.



We collected recipe cards along with the recipes. I had started canning and found labels. I must not have used them because most of them were in the drawer!



Now where are my recipes? Most of them are in my Documents in a folder called My Recipes. Many have appeared on this blog.


Where do you keep yours?

I am joining Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday. Be sure to stop by and see what everyone has done.


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