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www.paulawalton.comToday 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.

The side entrance of Lounsbury House.

The side entrance of Lounsbury House.

Looking up the staircase at Lounsbury House.

Looking up the staircase at Lounsbury House.

We had a chance to catch up with friend and fellow craftsperson Pamela Dalton.

We had a chance to catch up with friend and fellow craftsperson Pamela Dalton.

I've done quite a few shows with Pamela and we always find it amusing when people get us confused - Pamela Dalton / Paula Walton... I'm quite a bit taller and have about 10 times more hair... plus we make totally different things :)

I’ve done quite a few shows with Pamela and we always find it amusing when people get us confused – Pamela Dalton / Paula Walton… I’m quite a bit taller and have about 10 times more hair… plus we make totally different things 🙂

Pamela had some wonderful new paper cuttings. I indulged and bought several garden themed ones to hang in my new painting studio, which overlooks two of my gardens.

Pamela had some wonderful new paper cuttings. I indulged and bought several garden themed ones to hang in my new painting studio, which overlooks two of my gardens.

www.paulawalton.com

We found sewing themed treasures upstairs at Deborah Hartwick's booth, in the form of button collages and tiny emery filled velvet pincushions ( a minuscule mouse and cat for me).

We found sewing themed treasures upstairs at Deborah Hartwick’s booth, in the form of button collages and tiny emery filled velvet pincushions ( a minuscule mouse and cat for me).

www.paulawalton.com

www.paulawalton.com

The Wilton Historical Society was our 2nd stop. This year the show was held entirely on the society grounds.

The Wilton Historical Society was our 2nd stop. This year the show was held entirely on the society grounds.

I've always loved the two houses, two barns and the blacksmith shop that make up the Wilton Historical Society. I used to do a lot of hands on demonstrations and teach mini- classes for them during various events and when they had all of the town children come for field trips.

I’ve always loved the two houses, two barns and the blacksmith shop that make up the Wilton Historical Society. I used to do a lot of hands on demonstrations and teach mini- classes for them during various events and when they had all of the town children come for field trips.

www.paulawalton.com

www.paulawalton.com

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!!!

Grilled cheese!

Grilled cheese!

I clearly need to follow these people on facebook :)

I clearly need to follow these people on facebook 🙂

www.paulawalton.com

and if the grilled cheese truck wasn't great enough, there was also a crepe truck!

and if the grilled cheese truck wasn’t great enough, there was also a crepe truck!

www.paulawalton.com

We indulged and split a honey crepe for desert <3

We indulged and split a honey crepe for desert ❤

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!

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This is a list I put together for everyone attending my Izannah Doll Making Retreat next week.

I thought that some of you might find it helpful if you are planning to travel to Northwest Connecticut 🙂  Autumn is the perfect time to visit!

Places to Go, Things to See, and Good Food to Try!

Craft Supplies

Michael’s

14 Candlewood Lake Rd
Brookfield, CT 06804-2529
(203) 775-8790

http://hosted.where2getit.com/michaels/

Fabric Stores
JoAnn Fabrics

143 Federal Rd
Brookfield, CT 6804
203-775-2305

http://hosted.where2getit.com/joann/

Quilter’s Corner

312 Danbury Road – New Milford, CT 06776

860-355-5709

http://www.quilterscorneronline.com/index.html

Common  Threads Quilt Shop

168 New Milford Turnpike

New Preston/Marbledale, CT 06776

860-868-2658

Movies

Bank Street Theater

46 Bank Street, New Milford, CT 06776
Recorded Schedule (860) 354-2122

http://www.bankstreettheater.com/

Cars!

Lime Rock Park Race Track

http://www.limerock.com/

Big Al’s Toy Box

Gaylordsville, CT

http://www.bigalstoybox.com/

All Pontiac Car Show

Wallingford, CT

9/30/12

http://www.nutmegchapterpoci.com/nutmegchapterpoci_002.htm

Event: Stop&Shop Car Show
Location: Super Stop&Shop Rte. 7 New Milford
Date: Saturday – September 29 2012
11 AM til 3 PM – Bake Sale Food Music Trophies
For info call Tom King 860 355 3234 or 860-354-5347
Event: Street Fair and Car Show
Location: South Lake Blvd. Mahopac, NY
Date: Sunday – September 30 2012
8 AM – 4 PM $20 Registration
More info call 845 277 4376
Event: Navy Seal Memorial Car Show
Location: Southworth’s Automotive New Milford, CT
Date: Sunday – September 30 2012
10 AM to 4 PM $12 entry fee
for more info http://www.ctcruisenews.com

http://www.paradiceclassiccruisers.org/Calendar.aspx

Food

Farmer’s Market on the New Milford Green

Saturday morning 9:00-12:00

Fruits, veggies, baked goods, some times goat’s milk soap and flowers

Averill Farm – apples, quince, cider, cider donuts, apple pie

250 Calhoun St.
Washington, CT
06794
860-868-2777

since 1746

http://www.averillfarm.com/

Maple Bank Farm – antique apples, veggies, some baked goods and cheese, yarn

57 Church St., Rt. 317

Roxbury, CT 06783

http://www.maplebankfarm.com/

Rivebank Farm

David Blyn + Laura McKinney

33 River Rd

Roxbury CT 06783

http://www.riverbankfarm.com/_/Home.html

Bantam Bread Company – great bread, good cheeses, some sweets

853 Bantam Road
Bantam, CT 06750

(860) 567-2737

http://bantambread.com/

Simpson and Vail Tea – family owned, 100’s of tea and coffee blends

3Quarry Road

Brookfield, CT 06804

(203) 775-0240

http://www.svtea.com/

Sugar Hoot Bakery

57 Bank Street

New Milford, CT 06776

860.355.3000

http://sugarhoot.com/

The Sweet Spot Bakery – including vegan and gluten free

60 Railroad Street

New Milford, CT 06776

860.799.7170

http://thesweetspotct.com/

Hopkins Vineyard – wine tastings, good peach wine

25 Hopkins Road

Warren CT. 06777

860-868-7954

http://www.hopkinsvineyard.com/index.html

Hopkins Inn – across the street from the winery, contemporary Austrian cuisine

22 Hopkins Road

Warren, CT 06777

860-868-7295

Connecticut Wine Trail – more wineries to visit

http://ctwine.com/

The White Horse Pub- good food, extensive beer list

Route 202

Marbledale, CT

860-868-1496

http://www.whitehorsecountrypub.com/

The Wandering Moose Café – great food, especially the crab cakes!  If you go you’ll pass by 2 covered bridges.  Be sure to stop in a browse at Ian Ingersol Furniture Maker across the street, if he’s open.

421 Sharon Goshen Turnpike

Next to the Covered Bridge

West Cornwall, CT

(860) 672-0178

G.W. Tavern – very good food, order the quail if it is one of the specials!!!  Murals, fun décor based loosely on George Washington.

20 Bee Brook Road

Washington Depot, CT

(860) 868-6633

http://www.gwtavern.com/home.php

Oliva – very good food, romantic atmosphere

Route 45

New Preston, CT

860-868-1787

http://www.oliviacafe.com

Three Brothers Diner- wonderful breakfasts

79 Danbury Road

New Milford, CT 06776

860-355-9269

Kent Coffee and Chocolate Co.

8 North Main Street

Kent, CT

860-927-1445

http://www.kentcoffee.com/

More Restaurants

http://www.urbanspoon.com/n/48/41718/Hartford/New-Milford-CT-restaurants

Scenic Adventures

Kent Falls

http:www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A-2716&Q=325228

Litchfield, CT- nice museum, plus Tapping Reeve 1st law school in America, cute town – very New England

http://gonewengland.about.com/od/ctfoliage/p/aalitchfieldfhb.htm

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One of the great pleasures of summer is homemade ice cream, frozen in a wooden ice cream freezer that is packed with layers of ice and rock salt.  I can not think of a single summer in my whole lifetime that has not included this sweet ritual.  My father still has the ice cream freezer that he has used for over half a century.  Mine is of a similar vintage that I found for $5 at a flea market.

Before you start imagining that my entire family possesses steel like biceps from churning all that ice cream, I must admit that while our freezers are vintage, they are also electric 🙂

This is the  ice cream recipe I use the most:

Title: Vanilla Ice Cream

Description:
This is my favorite receipe of Mom’s for Vanilla Ice Cream.   It wasn’t her favorite though, she was known to cut down on the sugar as she thought it was too sweet.   I think that it is just about right the way it is listed in the receipe.   Use very good vanilla.   I like ground vanilla beans because of their added depth of flavor.

Ingredients:
1 can Eagle Brand Milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 pint half & half
1/2 pint light cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 quart milk

Directions:
Heat Eagle Brand, eggs, sugar in top of double boiler.   Add half & half, cream and vanilla.
Add one quart of milk.   Cool in refrigerator.   Freeze in ice cream freezer.

Each year on my birthday, my husband bakes me a cake.  Since my birthday this year was just five days after my son’s wedding and our refrigerator was still full of left over wedding cake, I requested ice cream instead 🙂  I actually got two batches, vanilla on my birthday and blueberry a few days later, over the weekend, when our whole family gathered to celebrate.

To make the blueberry version I used the same recipe as above, but added two pints of fresh blueberries that I pureed in the blender.  I also increased the sugar to 2/3 of a cup.  Then topped the frozen ice cream with a generous amount of fresh whole blueberries.

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Wedding Cake Recipes

Even though these are modern recipes, I thought some of you might enjoy trying them.  They are the ones I used to make the Wedding Cake, Groom’s Cake and Pumpkin Tarts for my son’s wedding at the end of June.

This is the basic cake recipe that I started with.  It’s one I got years ago that was printed in the local newspaper when we lived in Minnesota.

Title: Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Description:
I like this best with ground vanilla beans. I buy mine from The Vanilla Company.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups butter
1 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups flour
pinch of salt
3 tsp. vanilla

Directions:
Cream butter & cream cheese.   Add sugar and cream well.   Add eggs one at a time and beat well.   Stir in flour and salt.   Add vanilla.   Bake in a 10 inch tube or bundt pan.   Start with a cold oven and bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours.

Wedding Cake

For Colin and JungHwa’s wedding cake I used this recipe, then I brushed the baked cake layers with Creme de Violette.  I made the frosting using this basic recipe:

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

I omitted most of the vanilla and added Creme de Violette instead.  The cake was decorated with organically grown wild and cultivated violets that I gathered, then pressed and dried.  I was forced to abandon all plans for intricate decorative icing when the heat soared into the 90’s on the day before the wedding.  As it was I was lucky to even keep the frosting on the cakes!

Chocolate Groom’s Cake

When I made the groom’s cake I took the same pound cake recipe, but this time I exchanged 1 cup of the flour for one cup of Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa.  I also splashed in a generous measure of Chambord and used liquid vanilla rather than ground vanilla beans. The baked cake layers were brushed with additional Chambord.

For the frosting I used the Especially Dark Chocolate Frosting recipe from the Hershey’s website.  I added more Chambord to the frosting as well.  This cake was decorated with a white and dark chocolate groom that was made in a vintage 1920’s chocolate mold.

Pumpkin Tarts

Because Colin loves pumpkin pie and often asks for it instead of  a birthday cake, I made a tower of pumpkin tarts for him in addition to his groom’s cake.

I love the molasses in the following recipe, so it’s the one I chose to use.  I did bake a real pumpkin, rather than using canned pumpkin.  Fortunately I had one Long Island Cheese pumpkin left in my pantry from last fall.  Did you know that pumpkins will often keep for over a year if stored in your house at room temperature.  Basically if it’s the right temperature for you then it’s right for pumpkins too 🙂  There is a photo that I love of Tasha Tudor’s house, showing pumpkins stored under one of her beds.

Title: New England Pumpkin Pie

Description:
This is the recipe from the back of the canned pumpkin canned by the One Pie Canning Co. of W. Paris, Maine 04289.   It is a little different than other recipes, mostly because of the molasses and the individual spices rather than using pumpkin pie spice.   I really like this version.

Ingredients:
1 can pumpkin
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tbsp. melted butter
1 1/2 cups milk or 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1/8 cup molasses
1/2 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs

Directions:
Add dry ingredients to pumpkin, mix.   Stir in wet ingredients.   Pour into unbaked pie shell (9 inch) and bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 minutes.   Reduce temp. to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 50 minutes.

I baked Colin’s wedding tarts in a heart shaped Nordicware muffin pan, which may have been discontinued, since I no longer see it on their website.  The tarts took about 30 minutes to bake at 350 degrees, but I would check them closely because this is going to vary depending on the pans you use.

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