Sunday, September 28, 2008

the Mad Hatter

Friday, on my way home through Paxton I noticed an "Estate Sale" sign along the road.
I hit the brakes.
I love estate sales, yard sales, garage sales, fleamarkets, you never know what you might find.

The sale was everything an old lady had kept. The lady of the house had moved into assisted living and her heirs (to be) were selling the furnuture, garden tools, kitchen pots and pans, dishes, knick-knacks, the whole deal.

On the dining room table I couldn't help but notice a tall hatbox with the name" Stetson" on it. I already have a collection of Stetson cowboy hats but no boxes..... yet.
When I asked how much he wanted for the box the man said "they all go together" and pointed at four more hat boxes. One of them had the name of Denholms and McKay company and the others also had local names. I, as a matter of fact, worked in the millinery department there in 1964-65.
In the Denholms box was a pretty pink straw hat, probably from the fifties.... we'll call that one "vintage".
I took them all.

When I unpacked my boxes at home I was surprised that the hat boxes had many "vintage" hats piled into them. I am now the proud owner of at least 15 hats.... fur ones, pink ones, a flowered one, a white one... to many to describe or picture here.
Anyway, here is a sample below. We had a lot of fun trying them out.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

From Tradition to Prehistory

While in The Netherlands, just about a week ago now, we sometimes had a evening treat called “Advocaat”. Dutch tradition is to eat this alcoholic beverage with a spoon from a small glass. Today I made a batch….. Here’s the recipe:

  • 12 eggs
  • 400 gr sugar
  • Two tablespoons of vanilla
  • 1/2 quart of Brandewijn ( as this is hard to find here in the USA brandy or rum will be a good option, spiced rum even better.)
Break the eggs one by one into a bowl and beat them until smooth. Pour through a sieve and mix once more…. You want this really fine and creamy. Add the sugar while mixing the egg mass and then pour in the alcohol.

Warm the mixture in a double boiler (au bain marie) and keep stirring. Your “product” will start to thicken at about 140 degrees. When the foam is all gone the Advocaat is ready.
Allow it to cool, stirring occasionally.

Advocaat is traditionally served in little glasses, a little larger than a shot glass, topped with whipped cream and eaten with a little spoon (like one of those souvenir spoons).
That is the way it was done when I was growing up.
You might try using it as a pastry filling...
Whatever you do with it, it is delicious.

Paintings this week areTraci from the Nursery and John my neighbour in Native headdress, he collects these artefacts.

Last but not least a photo Coert sent me of a pot he made. He has been interested in prehistoric European “Linear Pottery” for so long he has started making replicas, firing them in an outdoor pit.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Back from Vacation.... Zucchini Soup Recipie

Back from vacation and the garden is overgrown.
What to do with zucchini that is as thick as your fore-arm?
I don't know what I did with my camera so the date is not correct.

Anyway, I was in luck because Dorri had a recipe and had writtren it down for me.
I will translate it from Dutch:
For eight people, (invite friends because it is really very tasty)
Courgette soup (courgette is the French word for zucchini)

  • Three pounds of courgettes (zucchini), seeded.
  • One pound of potatoes
  • One onion
  • Two pounds of chicken breast
  • One stick of butter
  • One little jar of green olives with pimento
  • Half cup of cream
  • One quart of chicken bouillon
Cube the zucchini, potatoes and onion. Put them into the melted butter in a great big pan. Add the bouillon, put the chicken breast on top and bring everything slowly to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, until meat is cooked. Take out the chicken and puree the soup with a mixer. I do not own one so I mashed it with the tool I make mashed potatoes worked fine.
Cut the chicken in small pieces and return it to the soup.
Slice the olives and add them with the cream to the soup.
Bring to a boil and add salt and pepper to taste.
This soup is really delicious! Enjoy.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Second Week of My Field Trip Abroad

Well, I've been up to quite a bit this last week. Here's a photo-impression of a few of my activities:

1. I attended my granddaughter Dana's riding lesson:
2. I visited with my sister in-law, Joan Herweijer, a sculptor:

3. I attended a country fair where lost and dying arts were demonstrated, this is a wooden shoe maker making a pair of miniatures:
4. I went with Dorri to the Saturday market in Harderwijk and arrived home laden with flowers: