Wayne’s brother and sister-in-law sent us beautiful, fragrant organic Meyer lemons from a tree at their home in California for a “Merry Citrus!” I’ve never experienced anything like them. Our kitchen smells like warm sunshine, if that’s possible! What a perfect balm for a frigid December. I selected a vintage scone (pronounced sconn) recipe from the book Traditional Dishes of Britain published in 1953 by Philip Harben, the “TV Cook.” Scottish scones are very different from the Americanized versions; in fact they usually contain little to no sugar and few or no eggs. Additionally, they were often cooked on a “hotplate” which produced a “flat shape that is so convenient for splitting and buttering, the natural destiny of the scone.”
Yesterday Wayne and I had a delightful dinner at Back Bay Grill in Portland to celebrate my 50th birthday. We both had the Filet Mignon which was possibly the best we’ve ever had, and we shared the Crème Brûlée for dessert which was compliments of the chef. Continue reading “I turned 50 yesterday!”
If you’re not from Maine, you might think the above photo is of a homemade Mounds candy bar. You’re close! But you’d probably be shocked to learn that they contain mashed potatoes in the coconut centers! They are a delicious traditional Maine candy called “Needhams” which have also historically been called “potato candy” or “potato fudge”. However, if you are from Maine and familiar with Needhams you may be surprised to discover that the modern version has gone far astray from yesterday’s healthier and more wholesome homemade versions dating as far back as 1924.
Wishy last visited with us four days ago; it’s evident that he has gone underground for the winter. It’s bittersweet because I’m relieved for his well-being and know it’s best for him but sad for me! Winter is arriving tomorrow with our first snowfall. I miss Chippie and Wishy but it’s encouraging knowing that under the inevitable deep blankets of snow my little friends are curled up sleeping, awakening to eat food from their larder before drifting in and out of torpor to pass the winter. I hope they will emerge well rested and healthy in the spring! God bless these little creatures that bring us joy.
This year I decided to brighten my sunroom with numerous Christmas light displays now that the sun is setting around 4:00 p.m.(!!!) I transformed Vintage Mason jars and milk bottles into lanterns by stringing a colorful retro Edison bulb into each; I hung mini fairy lights on the dried Eucalyptus; colorful lights were placed inside a large blue Mason jar; my 1950s Santa Claus blow mold stands on the wrought iron table top:
Some of you know that I have been selling vintage items online since the early 2000s. As I was photographing one of two identical copies of the 1950s book The Shiniest Star illustrated by Charlot Byj, Wayne stopped talking to me mid-sentence, came over and said: “Hey! I know that book! I remember reading that when I was little!” His face was completely lit up as he picked up the book and turned the pages. He remembered the gold foil star on the cover, too. I was charmed to see him transform from a man in his 60s to a wide-eyed six year old.
Here is a recipe for an obscure and worthwhile 1905 treat, “Mother Eve’s Pudding” from a British Women’s Cookery Book in my collection. This recipe was submitted by “Miss Orkney from Bervie.” (I found an earlier recipe in poetry form online.) I made this last year and cut the recipe in half, as follows, for a smaller pudding:
This has been such a creepy and shocking news day! Matt Lauer, Garrison Keillor…
Today was also an odd weather day, but semi-lovely. It was 59 degrees and sunny for a few hours before the clouds moved in quickly and it began to rain briefly. Once it cleared the winds picked up and the temperature dropped ten degrees in one hour.
Wishy was sitting on the deck around 11:00 a.m. as was the squirrel who keeps hoping I’ll feed him, too. I always welcome the opportunity to step away from my desk, out of my thoughts and into the present moment–outdoors.
Here is our seven foot, 121 branch aluminum Christmas tree decorated with vintage pink mercury glass ornaments. Also shown is the “light show” with our color wheel!
Last year Wayne and I had a real tree but I realized I prefer my seven foot 1950s aluminum tree since it coordinates better, in my opinion, with my mid-century mercury glass ornaments.