Winter is reluctant to give up her icy crown…
In yesterday’s post I showed my chocolate bread as I mixed it, let it rise and baked it. This morning we reaped the rewards of my baking day and feasted on chocolate bread, strawberry cream cheese and Harney & Sons Valentine Blend tea, a black tea with chocolate and pink rosebuds. It was perfect! ❤
Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, perhaps because I am quite fond of hearts ❤ ❤ ❤
Here are some of my favorites…
Vintage Valentine’s scattered about in my 1840’s kitchen…
and in the 1790’s kitchen.
hand and heart shall never part…
I wish I could post the aromas swirling through my house today as I baked my annual batch of chocolate bread! This year I added dried cherries soaked in Kahlua. Dark chocolate, tart cherries, coffee and bread. What could be better??? If you’d like to bake a batch too, just click here to look back at this previous Valentine’s post.
mmm… so good!
Wishing you a very special St. Valentine’s Day ❤
On Sunday, in the brief lull between Thanksgiving and the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, Brian and I were invited to spend a magical day at Historic Eastfield. The entire day was the (almost) impromptu plan of Sandy Connors, a fellow doll lover & amazing artist who creates and prints wonderful wood engravings. In just a few days time Sandy somehow managed to arrange for a private tour of Eastfield and the use of the Yellow Tavern.
What fun! Planning the menu with co-hostess ( friend & exquisite doll maker) Peggy Flavin was just the beginning of a lovely adventure…
The kitchen in the Yellow Tavern was a welcoming space to cook in, from the same era as our house, but with a slightly more spacious hearth. Peggy and I spent the morning getting the kitchen arranged to our satisfaction and cooking. Brian hauled our hearth equipment, food and utensils out of the cars, carried in wood and kept track of time for us. We took advantage of the additional fires burning in the other rooms of the tavern and set one of the tin kitchens in front of the parlor fireplace, where the chickens roasted and filled the air with delicious aromas…
Mid-way through the day Sandy arrived, bringing the guests of honor, Christine and Bob Crocker. Christine makes charming 18th century style dolls that I love ❤ and writes for A Simple Life magazine. It was so nice to finally meet Christie in person! Much like pen pals of long ago, who eventually had the chance to see one another face to face.
Scott Penpraze was very patient with us, as he guided Christie, Bob, Brian and me through all of the buildings in Eastfield and answered our many questions. Peggy popped in and out of the tour, joining us for a bit here and there, then returning to the kitchen to see if Sandy needed help. Eventually we returned to the tavern, where we all toasted bread over the hearth to enjoy with cheese and wine. Afterwards came a lively, boisterous dinner. If you love old buildings, Eastfield is as much a treat as Disney World. It is a bit along the lines of Strawbery Banke Museum, but much more intimate and hands on. In the morning when we first arrived at the little Yellow Tavern, it felt more like entering a house in a living history museum; but as the day went on, the fires warmed the rooms and the simple act of cooking and using the tavern for it’s intended purpose made it come alive! As the candles burned down, we lingered over desert, wishing that such a perfect day would last just a bit longer… ❤
Dinner at Eastfield
Sunday November 27th, 2016
Pounded Cheese w/Toast
Blue Cheese w/Balsamic Vinegar & Toast
Manchego Cheese w/Quince Marmalade on Toast
Garlic & Rosemary Roast Pork Loin with an Accompaniment of Quince Marmalade
Dressed Salad, receipt from The Virginia Housewife or, Methodical Cook
Cranberry Sauce with Roxbury Russet Apples, Vanilla & Cinnamon
Dried Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce
Joe Frogger Cookies, Embossed Sugar Cookies, and Ginger Cakes
* click on any image to enlarge
I’ve had “attend antiques week in New Hampshire” on my Get Out & Go Do These Things Because You Live in New England List for 20+ years. Last week I finally made it up there! It was just as great as I thought it would be, but even more breath takingly expensive than I expected.
Here is a glimpse at just a few of the great things we saw.
In addition to antiques, we spent a little time eating in interesting places such as the Red Arrow Diner and The Tuckaway Tavern, Market and Butchery. We even managed to locate McDonald’s lobster rolls, something we couldn’t find at home in New Milford. 🙂
The presents are wrapped, the stockings are hung and the house is festooned with greenery… Here comes Christmas, ready or not!!!
With fond Christmas wishes from our home to yours!
Today I took a day off! This hasn’t happened often this year, as I am still running behind, trying to catch up due to unforeseen family matters. I do admit to having a few twinges of guilt, which I firmly squashed down to the very back of my mind and went on to enjoy a wonderful day with a very dear friend. We ventured out to Ridgefield and Wilton, Connecticut, where we attended the American Craftsmen Show and the Wilton Historical Society American Artisan Show. These shows are the current incarnation of the huge show that the Wilton Historical Society used to hold every year at the Wilton High School. I did the show at the high school for several years, and have always enjoyed attending and shopping when I wasn’t exhibiting. This years American Craftsman Show was held in Ridgefield’s Lounsbury House, shown above.
We admired some marvelous tramp art, wooden ware and ingenious whirligigs. I found some really nice redware herb markers at Bob & Kay Shaeff’s booth and purchased one each of the 14 different herb varieties that they had for sale. Kay even assured me that she could make me custom markers for any other herbs that I needed!
As great as all the crafts were, I think our favorite part of the show was the gourmet grilled cheese food truck parked at the show entrance!!!
As much as I love what I do, it was very, very nice to take a day off. I need to remind myself to stop, take a little time and enjoy friends and small pleasures… Admiring the work of other craftsmen has renewed my creative energies!!! What an excellent day!