Y is for Yill

Yill is a dark Scottish ale ...

Railbender Ale is a Scottish style beer made by the Erie Brewing Company in Pennsylvania!
McEwan's is actually made by Scottish & Newcastle in the UK!
I love them both ... to drink and to use in braising beef and making stews.  They add incredible flavor!

I'm linking to Alphabet Thursday, so make sure you visit Jenny to enjoy all the other posts!
Happy Alphabet Thursday!

Pigs for Tabletop Tuesday!

I'm participating in Marty's Tabletop Party, so make sure you click through to visit all the other posts!  Special thanks to our hostess ... for her many efforts to help us entertain ourselves!

I set little things around for Miss Phoebe to discover when she visits.  She loves Gwamma's pigs, so I decided to put a few out for her!  I'll decorate just about any empty spot ... and yes, these are sitting on a stack of baskets beside the dryer!  Why not?

...and look how pretty my quince bush is ... It is supposed to snow this week ... one more time!

Easter Inspiration for Friday

Make sure you visit http://www.atthepicketfence.com/ to see all the Inspiration Fridays posts. You'll be surprised what you find. I've posted a few pictures from last year's Easter table ... to help get us in the mood to get the bunnies out! Miss Phoebe has grown so much since that picture was taken. She had just found all the eggs I'd hidden in the front yard ... and that Easter rabbit left her a paper dollar in each one! Last year she saved all her money ... this year, she knows it spends! Happy Friday! I'm so glad this work week is over.
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X is for Xylograph!

X is for Xylograph – an artistic print made from an engraving on wood. Many of us learned how to do this in high school art class and we printed pictures that were simplistic. I remember that we weren’t actually using wood … soap I think … and I carved a very folksy looking flower. One of my friends managed to carve an eye and another friend carved the outline of a cat.  The carving is dipped into paint or ink, then stamped on canvas or paper. 

Those were easy to do, but can you imagine carving this into wood? I’ve know some incredible artists who did great carvings, but nothing this detailed.

Then others were printed and colored or painted … like this one.

These prints are both from the 19th century and were found in the online museum of the Habsburgs, the ruling dynasty of Austria. Visit english.habsburger.net to learn more about them. To read even more interesting things, like the fact that the House of Habsburg married into so many other royal families in Europe that they eventually ruled over a broad region … and they split the family between the Austrian Habsburgs and the Spanish Habsburgs. The Spanish side of the House liked itself so much that it eventually eliminated its bloodline through inbreeding! Check outhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habsburgs  for the whole story!

I'm linking with Alphabet Thursday, so make sure you go visit Jenny to see all the other posts!  Happy Alphabet Thursday!

Apricots Set the Mood for Spring!

 I knew it was spring, when our apricot tree bloomed Sunday!  How beautiful!

 It put me in the mood to change the looks of my little maple hutch!  I pulled out my  Mikasa Day Dreams ... that I bought a couple weeks ago from my friend, George ... at his antique shop!  George has everything imaginable in his shop ... and has owned shops from Southern Illinois to Kansas City!  I had looked at this dinnerware for a year ... and finally decided I had to have it! 

I'm happy to post with the Tabletop Tuesday linky party! 
Make  sure you visit Marty and enjoy the other posts! 

Federated Women's Club in 1911

I'm reposting this for Sunday Favorites!  I love this story ... and hope you'll drop by Happy to Design to visit the other posts:

Original Post from March 8th:

I'm posting this in celebration of National Women's History Month ... and to recognize International Women's Day on March 8th.  This year's celebration marks the 100th year of celebrating this special day.

I love to study anything pertaining to the history of our foodways and was  surprised to find something about "fireless cooking" that pointed right to the Federated Women's Club and something members did in 1911!

The story begins this way:  The General Federation of Women's Clubs was formed in the United States in 1890.  In Germany, a similar action resulted in the formation of clubs in 1906.  One of the first things the German club women did was launch an effort to teach women who had to work in the fields on farms all day ... how to use a method of fireless cooking, so they could return to their homes after working all day and have a meal that was ready. 

This 1906 method was fairly simple.  A pot of food was brought to a boil in the morning.  Then, with the lid in place, the pot was dropped into a well made in a block of straw ... then it was covered with even more straw, so the pot continued to steam and simmer all day.  By the end of the day, the pot of food was done and ready to eat.  The straw provided the necessary insulation ... and sometimes the family actually had a box made of wood that was lined with straw.  Sound like a crock pot?  Well, a little bit!

According to this article ... in this 1911 cookbook ... in America, the Federated Women's Clubs launched a project similar to the project in Germany.  The big difference was the fact that they bought actual fireless cookers and distributed them to rural families, so women could start their evening meal ... early in the morning ... and go out into the fields to work.  Good nutrition for families was one of their primary goals, so distribution of this new tool ... and teaching women how to use it ... helped them improve the quality of life in America's farmlands.

This ad from a 1906 Saturday Evening Post promotes the Fireless Cookstove as a Christmas present!

Here's the guy who claims to have made the original fireless cooker ... and with his special discounted price ... every family could have one!

Fellow Federated Women's Club members ... be proud of the efforts that our sisters made 100 years ago to help feed our families!  We're still doing good work ... all around the world!

Dressed up Dogs!

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Hi, friends! I'm participating in the magazine cooking event at Kitchen Bouquet, but I have to admit that I'm going to cheat a little!  This recipe was either in Family Circle or Women's Day about 50 years ago ... when I was in grade school!  It had to be one of those two magazines, because they were the only ones my mother would buy!  (...because they were not expensive)   I begged her to make these hotdogs ... and she told me that she thought I should make them.  This was probably the first thing that I ever cooked!

So, I remember making them ... and I still make them the same way!  The recipe couldn't be simpler.  Each hotdog is wrapped in a piecee of bacon (I fry it until it is almost done, but still pliable), then placed in an open bun that has a piece of American cheese laying in it... topped with mustard, katchup, pickle relish (but we always used Mom's homemade pepper relish ... I still make it ... so I still use that) ... and then bundled up in aluminum foil and baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes!

They come out with a bun that is a little crispy ... a dog that is steamed perfectly ... and a combined flavor that takes me back to my childhood.   These became a big hit in our household for Saturday lunch, usually with soup or chili in the winter ....  and fresh tomatoes and cucumber/onion salad in the summer.

Enjoy ... and special thanks to our hostess for keeping our creative juices flowing!

W is for Wagon

I'm posting with the Alphabet party, so make sure you click through the favicon on the right to visit the other posts!

My dad was a carpenter and a builder of fine cabinets ... and wagons and carts and anything that a four-legged creature could pull.  He loved his horses ... ponies ... and at least a few goats ... and he loved his kids and grandkids!  In this slide show, you'll see my dad and my brother (who inherited his affection for animals and has been able to copy his expert skills) ... and a couple generations of kids ... riding in these wagons.  Everything you'll see, except an antique doctor's buggy, was built by my dad and/or my brother.

I love to say that we grew up in a great family ... we had everything "that money could NOT buy"!  My dad could build anything and he would cut down harness to fit goats ... and he could teach anything to pull a wagon. 

W is for wagon ... and we had lots of them!  Enjoy and make sure you click my home page to see my other posts!  Happy Alphabet Thursday!

Celebrate Ina Garten!

I'm joining  Lynn (and Earl) at Happier Than a Pig in Mud for the Celebrity Chef party!  Click through to visit the other party posts!

I love Ina Garten and when Earl told me that Lynn wanted to celebrate Ina ... I knew I had to join in all the fun.  I think Ina is "real people" ... and I love it when Jeffrey comes into her show to taste something! 

So, here's what I made from Ina's Food TV recipe collection.   If you'd like the recipe for her East Hampton Clam Chowder or Ina's Cape Cod Salad click thru to obtain the recipes from the network's site.

Leprechauns in the Bathroom!

Little green folks have found their way into the bathroom!
I'm participating in Tabletop Tuesday, so make sure you click through to visit Marty
 to see the other posts.  Make sure you visit my home page to see all the othe St. Patrick's Day posts on my site.

Happy Anniversary Mrs. Roosevelt!

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born in 1884 and by the time she was ten years old, both her parents had died. Eleanor was raised by the extended Roosevelt family and she met her future husband, FDR, when she was two and he was four. They were married on March 17, 1905 in what an article in the New York Times described as a beautiful wedding.

Eleanor and Franklin while Dating - He is knitting!

Eleanor in Her Bridal Gown

Eleanor was the daughter of President Teddy Roosevelt’s only brother, Elliot. The President skipped the St. Patrick's Day parade he was supposed to be in ... because he gave the bride away in a drawing room wedding in the home of Eleanor’s cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Parish. The following is an excerpt from the New York Times, March 18, 1905.

"The bride, walking with the President, and preceded by her six bridesmaids, came down the wide flight of stairs leading from the third floor to the second and across the large foyer hall at the rear of the Parish drawing room, through wide doorways and on to a large mantel at the west side of the Ludlow drawing room, where the ceremony took place. First in the bridal procession came the Misses Alice Roosevelt and Corrine Douglas Robinson, followed by the Misses Ellen Delano and Muriel Delano Robbins, and last the Misses Cutting and Isabella Selmes. The attendants were in white faille silk frocks trimmed with lace and silver, and wore tulle veils attached to white Prince of Wales ostrich feathers, tipped with silver, and carried large bouquets of pink roses.

Following came the bride and the President. The bridal gown was a white satin princess robe, flounced and draped with old point lace, and with a white satin court train. The bride's point lace veil was caught with orange blossoms and a diamond crescent. She wore a pearl collar, the gift of the bridegroom's mother, and a diamond bowknot, the gift of Mrs. Warren Delano, Jr. Her bouquet was of lilies of the valley.

The bridal procession passed through an aisle formed by the ushers, who held white satin ribbons. The bridegroom, who came from the large foyer hall of the Ludlow house to the salon to meet the bride, was attended by Lathrop Brown as best man, J. Roosevelt Roosevelt, a half brother, not having arrived from the South in time to fill the place. The ushers were Edmund Rogers, Nicholas Biddle, Lyman Delano, Owen Winston, Charles B. Bradley, W. D. Robbins, and Thomas P. Beales of Boston. A small reception followed the ceremony.

The house was decorated throughout with ferns, palms, and pink roses. The bride's grandmother, Mrs. V. G. Hall, was in black velvet and point lace. The bridegroom's mother, Mrs. James Roosevelt, was in white silk, covered with black lace. Mrs. E. Livingston Ludlow was in mauve satin and point lace, and Mrs. Henry Parish wore a changeable pale blue and pink silk crepe, with lace sleeves and yoke."

Eleanor Roosevelt was the First lady from 1933 to 1945 and fulfilled her duties in enormous ways.  She had many pursuits, which are detailed in the official First Ladies website.  I encourage you to read more about her in your celebration of National Women's History Month ... at Eleanor Roosevelt's biography.  You'll be amazed at her global accomplishments in a world that was dominated by men.  She was remarkable.

How Irish is Corned Beef?

I'm posting a picture from Valentine's Day again ... because it's corned beef hash!  I'm linking to Sunday Favorities so make sure you visit Happy to Design to check out all the other posts!  Thanks to our hostess!

So ... how Irish is Corned Beef?

The best thing about corned beef, in my opinion, is the corned beef hash that I make with the leftovers! Yes, this mostly German-Scottish girl … with just a trace of Ireland in her veins … is not a fan of corned beef. I cook it, though, because my family loves it … and I love what is left!

What about the origin of corned beef? Corning meat dates to the earliest times when one of the only methods of preserving meat was to rub it and surround it with large particles of salt … the ‘corn’ refers to the nuggets of salt. By the days of Napoleon, the Irish city of Cork had become the center of beef production in Europe and the curing industry was their largest ... so corned beef does have a strong connection to Ireland.

Most food historians believe that eating corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day is an American invention … and that the earliest Irish families … who had recently relocated to the United States … ate corned beef only because they couldn’t afford anything better. They borrowed this celebratory product from their Jewish neighbors and bought it from Jewish markets! The other interesting note is that the early recipes for New England Boiled Dinner call for salt cured (corned) beef, predating the Irish migration to our country by over a century!

So, how Irish is corned beef? Irish enough for me!   Visit my original post to get the recipe!

Don't forget to visit the linky ... and check out my home page to see all my other neat posts!  You'll find something that you like!

Hear Comes Peter Cottontail Cloche!

Oh ... It's Easter in our cloche world at our house!  Getting ready for the big day is so much fun when you have a 4 year-old grandbaby!  Miss Phoebe enjoyed Easter last year ... In fact, she continued to "think" Easter all through the summer and fall.  A friend gave her a bag of tiny apples last September and when my daughter went to get her one to eat, they were all gone!  She'd hidden them all over the house!

I'm joining the Cloche Party at A Stroll Thru Life, so make sure you click through to visit the other posts. 

Here comes Peter Cottontail!

I love working in miniature and these six inch cloches are perfect to top my tiny bunnies.

Look at the little fuzzy brown bunny.  He is just two inches tall ... I bought him at my favorite community museum shop.   Tiny baskets, tiny eggs, tiny flowers, buttons and a little ribbon and rickrack ... make cute little vignettes.

...and look at his adorable tail!

Little critters under glass ... little critters on the outside!

A couple other clusters of decorations ... Love the rattan eggs from HL ... and the pastel rabbits came from Big Lots!  They remind me of ceramic planters that my mother lined her kitchen window sill with ... cute little animal planters that had held plants when each of her five babies were born!

This next cage cloche doesn't have a permanent home, yet.  Miss Phoebe and I created it and it was a lesson in "valuables"!

Phoebe knows that not everything valuable costs lots of money.  She knows there are things in Gwamma's stash of sewing and scrapbooking supplies that are more valuable than the things that she gets to play with!  She also considers this little tin sewing box to be hers ... and she fills it with her own valuables ... so it became a part of the picture.  You'll notice the spools of lace ... and the bundles of lace inside the cage???  Those are some of the valuable sewing supplies that she isn't allowed to play with, so they went in the cage.  The figurines came from GW, but they are Lefton and I wouldn't let Miss P play with them ... so they went in the cage!  Then you'll notice a couple strands of my pearls ... and a cute little stuffed bunny that is one of Phoebe's valuables! 
So, this VALUABLE cloche cage will probably go
in her room at our house!

Now ... to the kitchen!

...and finally, before they come down, just a glimpse at my kitchen shelves and the jars I keep out ... filled with the things we tend to eat more of during the winter months ... rice, beans, wild rice blends and blends of other grains.   They look pretty and inviting ... but more than anything ... they remind me to eat right!

Happy Cloche Party!  Make sure you click my home page to look at all my other posts from this week.  I have a great post of the Federated Women's Club
... and something special they did 100 years ago.

V is for Vrouw

V is for Vrouw, a word that means woman. I think it is fitting that during this Women’s History Month … that we celebrate one of history’s greatest women!

The Vrouw Maria (Lady Maria) was a Dutch wooden merchant ship that was carrying valuable works of art … some of which belonged to Catherine the Great. The ship launched from Amsterdam in September 1771 headed for St. Petersburg, but sank a month later. The crew was saved, but not the cargo. Catherine had bought several paintings and collectibles in Amsterdam, so there was a record of what was on board, but no efforts were made to retrieve the contents.

Many people have looked for the ship over the centuries and finally, in 1991, it was found. However, Finland proclaims that the cargo is theirs … and still … little has been done to salvage the contents of the ship.

In a nutshell, Catherine the Great was brave and strong willed ... and she built an incredible Russian Empire. She may have been a little bit naughty but at the same time, she built schools and churches and great works of architecture. She had wealth beyond most of our imaginations and taking one look at the photo collages I’ve included in this post … might give us some idea of the kinds of valuables that sit at the bottom of the Baltic Sea!

These things are part of a museum collection of
Catherine's vast collection of jewels.

These portraits of Catherine clearly reflect her style.


I'm partying with Alphabet Thursday, so make sure you visit Jenny to see all the other posts!  V is for vrouw and Catherine the Great was certainly a memorable vrouw!

Tabletop Tuesday - New Glass Rack

I'm linking to Tabletop Tuesday, so make sure you click through to visit Marty and check out the other posts!

Well ... during that week I took off to move furniture around the house ... to create a fresh look ... I moved our portable bar from the dining room to the sunroom.  We entertain so much on the back deck ... it just seemed logical to move the little bar to a more accessible place.

Then, I attended a Lifesavers fundraiser and bought some neat things on the silent auction ... and they just found their way to the top of the bar.  When we use this cute little piece of furniture ... everything comes off the top ... it opens up and the doors open ... all to reveal a completely stocked bar ... glasses and all.  This was one of the first pieces of furniture we bought ... 35 years ago!  I installed the cute overhead stemmed glass rack and topped it with a little grapevine garland.

Here's a little explanation of the display.  The pottery bowl was made by a local artist ... I bought it on the silent auction ... couldn't resist.  The framed watercolors were also on the auction!  The trivets under the bowl are ceramic tiles sitting in a cork foundation.  An old friend brought them to me from Portugal years ago.  The wooden candle holder came from my favorite museum "General Store".  Just wanted to spruce up a little for Spring!

You might want to visit my home page and take a look at my other posts.  I have a pretty cool post about fireless cooking and the National Federation of Women's Clubs ... way back in 1911!

Follow Me - I'll Follow You!

I'm participating in the Follow party at Homemaker on a Dime!  Make sure you click through to visit with SJ to visit all the other posts!  Her site is pretty cool ... she's come up with a great idea and sure did a good job last month in enccouraging us to make new friends!  I've learned a lot from her, too!  Her site is filled with ideas for doing big appeal things ... on little amounts of money!  My kind of girl!

In the last month, I've started following lots of new blogs!  This cute cherry lovin' site is one of them, and just tonight,  I added Fabulessly Crafty with the emphasis on LESS!  Both are great sites.  Hope you'll follow me ... and hope you'll visit these sites, too!

St. Pat's Irish Coffee!

We love to entertain around St. Patrick's Day.  Each year, I think we do something different ... and some years we do several things!  I love my little Irish Coffee mugs ... they are really espresso size and that makes the coffee even better!

 I make my Irish Coffee using good Irish whiskey and real cream ... with a grind of fresh nutmeg and sweetened with raw sugar.  Sometimes we use whiskey and Irish Cream both ... just depends on our mood!

And folks who don't want coffee ... can always have tea!

I'm posting with the St. Patrick's party at A Holiday Haven so make sure you click through to visit all the other posts.  This is a party that goes through March 17th ... so go back often to see the new posts!

Sunday Favorites - Goat Wagon & Wine

I'm participating in Sunday Favorites at Happy to Design.  Make sure you visit the party posts!  I'm happy to share an old post that shows my goat wagon ... My daddy built it for me ... and he built many of them!  When we were kids, we really had a goat that pulled one ... and my brother has had several since!  His grandbabies love the wagon rides.  Mine has never been pulled by a goat ... just used for lots of other things!

Original Post from October 2009:
I'm posting early because "Gwamma" and Papa get the baby for a few days! Her mom and daddy are off on a little business trip and we can't wait to spoil her! I've posted two collages ... one of our goat wagon that we use for lots of things, but we love to serve wine from it! The other is a cute little sports tablescape to entertain little ... or big boys! One more outdoor function before it gets too cold. As always, thanks to Susan for hosting our Tablescape Thursday event! Click the icon below to jump to her site and link to other posts!

February's Family Sunday Dinner

Christmas 2020

Mary Queen of Scots Dinner Menu Booklet

Grandma Debbie's Christmas 2018

Grandma's Blue & Green Pupkins!

Autumn at Grandma Debbie's