Vintage View: Parent’s Wells Beach, Maine Market Postcard

Presently it’s pouring rain and almost fifty degrees. By tonight it will only be five! Here’s a scene from sometime in the early 1970s to help bring forth some sunny summer warmth into today. Can anyone date and name those cars? On the backside of the postcard:

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Fake Quote Patrol: Emerson Never Said This

According to sartorial experts writing for Esquire and Country Life, famed New England author, poet and essayist Emerson once declared: “The sense of being perfectly well dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquillity which religion is powerless to bestow.”

No, he did not say that! That statement is the antithesis of that for all he stood! Here is the quote and context that appeared in Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1883 and Letters and Social Aims, 1885: Continue reading “Fake Quote Patrol: Emerson Never Said This”

Wayne: Remembering Carburs Restaurant in Burlington, VT & Portland, ME

I started working at Carburs kitchen in Burlington Vermont in August of 1977.  Little did I know then, that for the next 12 years I would become completely enmeshed in the company and in the restaurant business.

After working in Burlington for almost two years, the opportunity to become part of the management team in Portland came up.  I jumped at the chance with the caveat expressed to ownership that as soon as a position became available in Burlington, I would be allowed to move back.  As irony would have it two years later I was asked to return to Burlington, but Portland, by that time had become the place I wanted to make my permanent home.

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Recipe: Traditional British Scones With Meyer Lemon & Currants

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.” 

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Vintage Inspired Recipe: Old-Fashioned Maine Needhams & A Hidden History

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.

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The Shiniest Star(s)

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.

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Meet My Court Jesters: Long Tail Sally & Wishy

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Now that chipmunk season is almost a wrap-up, it seems like there is a bit of an “after hours” type party happening. I didn’t realize until Chippie’s departure into her burrow that she was quite the watchdog. Chippie reigned from the perch of our deck, chased away other chipmunks from our garden and guarded her territory– that I knew. I also knew that she and her nemesis, El Chippo, were always chasing one another. In her absence he enjoyed a couple of days of playing and jumping on the formerly forbidden places. As an example, I watched him leap from the deck into the garden and then slide down the tomato stakes like a little fireman. Fortunately we had finished harvesting the garden for the season. Then even he went underground and two new characters showed up: Long Tail Sally and Wishy.

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Holiday Entertaining: Timeless Advice

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The above vintage photo of Imogene Wolcott, author of The Yankee Cookbook (1939) and former Food Editor of Yankee Magazine (years unknown) appears in my circa 1940s copy of “Parties Should Be Fun…For You!” which she also authored. There is a Forward by Margery Wilson, former silent film star and authority on entertaining, charm and etiquette who is also one of my favorite authors on that genre.

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Possibilities: Victorian Era Inspiration

I am really looking forward to some “slow news days” in my own life! In addition to having ANOTHER tree come down yesterday during another windstorm (it fell right on top of the tree that fell last week?!!) this past week was rather stressful due to dealing with various petty tyrants in positions of minuscule bureaucratic authority. I patiently asked to speak to someone else more than once. Within those machinations that lack common sense and kindness, I was able to reach people who were actually reachable as human beings and they made things right. There are kind people in this world and we have the opportunity every minute to be one of them!

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