..........a blog about food, travel, gardening, and living the good life in Arizona.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some favorite vintage photos

We have a pretty large collection of vintage photos... 'cause, well, we're old. There's Jack's mom and dad's family, my family and all the early photos of ourselves in the mix. Here are a few of my favorites, each priceless in their own way.

My Grandpa Harry... of German descent, a cheerful fun-loving guy who loved beer!

My Great Grandpa Lewellyn, German also, who loved cats and beer.

Jack's Aunts Bernice and Margarite in stylish 1920s bathing suits... heartbreakers in their day.

Me, 1966 junior prom with my date who had just gotten his driver's license that day. I made this dress... white dotted swiss with pale blue velvet ribbon around the empire waist and sleeves. Loved that dress, nice do too.

Jack's mother c. 1930... fabulous haircut.

Jack with a buddy in 1958 at Trader Vic's, San Francisco... quite a night for two boys from Nebraska... aka, the good old days.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ta Da!

My seafood vol au vent...



Got an A+ from the Mr.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A good day for cooking

Today I was feeling homecky so I donned one of my vintage aprons and took my own pic. I chose this particular apron for its full coverage... half aprons are for tidy women and I am not so much a tidy woman. When I cook, I get messy. And I fully intend to cook today... it's 17 degrees and even the cats don't want out ... a good day to try out a puff pastry cutter I scored at a recent auction (yea, it was at the bottom of the box).

A vol-au-vent cutter is a pretty cool gadget if you like prissy French food (which I do), but not very practical since it's useful for only one purpose... cutting puff pastry into a fish shape. After the pastry is baked, the bottom stays anchored, while the cut-out pulls off leaving a nice oval depression in the base that you can fill with creamed seafood, sweetbreads, or whatever savory mix you crave... then you put the little lid back on top and ta da! magnifique!
We'll see how that works out. I'll post a pic if it turns out share worthy.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Vintage at heart

In nearly every box I bring home from an auction, lies a hidden treasure. It's not the thing I bid on, it just happens to be in the same box... just waiting for its moment to shine. For this pretty heart label, that moment came yesterday.

I have four stacks that I sort auction things into. One is for stuff I will list on ebay, another for etsy, a third for Etcetera (our local thrift store) and the fourth one is for keeping. The hidden treasure almost landed on the Etcetera stack until I realized what I had... a 1964 copy of the Farm Journal's Freezing & Canning Cookbook -- Prized Recipes from the Farms of America. A treasure in itself... filled with canning recipes for every kind of pickle and preserve you can imagine. The owner used this book quite often judging from the number of recipes she handwrote and slipped between its pages, recipes clipped from newspapers and magazines and some even pasted onto the color photo pages in the book. Recipes for chokecherry jelly, no cook pickles, dilly beans, cranberry wine, and frozen sweet corn.

And then there was the heart... folded in half and tucked into this book long ago... the label from the heart-shaped baking pan that includes the recipe for Sweetheart Cake. That it emerged three days before Valentine's Day tells me this recipe deserves revisiting... so on Sunday I'll make a Sweetheart Cake for my sweetheart and celebrate V-day in a decidedly vintage way. (Both the label and the book are now on the keeper stack.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Snow Angel

So we're up with the sun this morning, nursing our coffee, and surveying the back yard from the warmth of our kitchen, when Jack notices an angel in the snow. Yea, a little angel just squatting there in our yard. It wasn't there yesterday nor anytime ever before that.... so how did it get there? did the wind blow it there? or was this a neighbor's practical joke? Thoughts of a divine messenger crossed our minds too. Jack took photos, I took photos.... then the duhhhhhhhh gobsmacked me. .. it's a bird feeder with an angel figure sitting on its rim. I'd placed it there in December to feed the birds and then forgot about it when the snow started falling around that same time. We've had so much snow, the thing has been buried for two months. In the last couple of days, the snow melted enough to expose the angel, but not the dish. Mystery solved, while Nature played with us.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Winter White Inspiration

Lately I've been thinking about color... I'm a bold color person, not a beige and white minimalist at all, so falling in love with winter white, kind of surprised me. Not the winter white of snow... there is plenty of it around here and more falling as I write, but the creamy, mellow, soft white of aged lace, pale linen, and bleached seashells. It all came together when I popped into Jill Ruth & Co.'s blog and saw her amazing banner made from bits and pieces of linen and lace and trim, all in winter whites... a thing of beauty, I say!

Looking around my space, I find "my" collection of winter whites and learn to love them all over again... thanks to Jill for the inspiration.

My dining room table display with a bleached deer antler. When the snow melts enough to see the ground, we'll often find one or two of these lying about the yard.

Arturo paper by Cartiere magnani = Squisito! Made in Italy, nothing finer.

My MIL's Bible, small, sweet, ivory, leather-bound, Eastern Star imprinted = heirloom.

A chippy, wood-carved kitty with a cheshire grin. His tails opens up to become a bird feeder = too weird to pass up.

SoCal seashell collection... reminds me of beach days gone by and beach days ahead.

Very special vintage lace collection... no two whites the same.

Vintage swan lamp I bought at auction for $1.00 with a very cool porcelain finial = mine, all mine. Still not sure about the shade I chose though...

A sweet little bone-carved box I bought in Sirmione last September... for trinkets and dreams.

The birch trees in front of our house. I love these trees... they are always winter white.

Miss PeachyDeva.. she stays winter white all year long too.