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I recently had the opportunity to cook dinner in the kitchen of the small Yellow Tavern at Eastfield. It was a day to remember, filled with friends, historic buildings, wonderful food and lively conversation. Simply perfect in every way…

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.

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Thank you Sandy and Scott for an amazing day!

What fun!  Planning the menu with co-hostess ( friend & exquisite doll maker) Peggy Flavin was just the beginning of a lovely adventure…

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Our day started early, as we prepared to head 2 hours north in a van full of hearth equipment, kindling, food and dishes.

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

Menu

Pounded Cheese w/Toast

Blue Cheese w/Balsamic Vinegar & Toast

Manchego Cheese w/Quince Marmalade on Toast

Roasted Chicken

Garlic & Rosemary Roast Pork Loin with an Accompaniment of Quince Marmalade

Roasted Potatoes

Dressed Salad, receipt from The Virginia Housewife or, Methodical Cook

Stewed Mushrooms

Cranberry Sauce with Roxbury Russet Apples, Vanilla & Cinnamon

Dried Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Joe Frogger Cookies, Embossed Sugar Cookies, and Ginger Cakes

Wine

Cider

Sage Tea

Tea

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A last peek at the splendor of Autumn before the Christmas season arrives tomorrow with the first day of December.

This is the back of our tack barn.

Trees along the brook.

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I love old photographs, whether they are family keepsakes, or glimpses of strangers that provide windows into the world of the past.  I also believe in living with and using my antique collections.

A whimsical and inexpensive way to decorate for any holiday is to alter pieces from your photo collection to fit the occasion.

Here is How I Do It:

I’m sure everyone who loves antiques already knows that heat and light are two major villains when it comes to preserving antiques.   I do try to store and display my antique photos in safe locations.   However I also think having a back-up copy of your photographs, just in case, is a good idea.  You can either scan your original photographs ( here is where the heat and light comes in), or choosing the better conservation choice – photograph them using a digital camera without a flash.  Once you have a copy of your photographs made and stored you are ready to move on to the fun part of this project.

Method #1 – Take your stored image and using Photoshop alter the image by adding seasonal accessories.  In my case this also means talking one of my very computer and graphic literate family members into doing it for me :).  For this photo I had my son add a witch’s hat to a photograph of my great-grandmother Henrietta Josephine Wallace Prather.  He also layered in part of another photograph of one of our cats sitting on a pumpkin.  No, he didn’t have to Photoshop the cat onto the pumpkin, she just happened to like sitting on pumpkins!  Weird cat… enough said.

Method #2 – Print out a high quality copy of your stored photograph, then get out your pencils, pens and markers and draw in all of the details that you would like to add.  In this example I used a photo that I purchased of two young siblings( because I liked their clothing) and drew in witch’s hats.  After I finished, I re-scanned the altered photo.  However you wouldn’t have to re-scan if you want to just use the photo as is.

What can you do with your altered goodies???  Anything you can imagine.  You can re-size and print your images in dozens of different ways.  Try printing on card stock, vellum, fabric, photo paper, business card stock and labels.

I turned my witchy version of Henrietta Josephine into a Halloween necklace by printing it on vellum and tucking it into a glass locket frame, to which I added a sheer black ribbon.

My two tiny witches look adorable in a black vintage frame and they also made fun necklaces to give to dozen and a half friends.  To make the necklaces I printed the altered photo on fabric that is specially treated and backed for use in an ink jet printer.  I cut out the fabric photos, added a plain piece of fabric for the back, then stitched them together to form a pocket,  I bound the edges with black twill tape which also forms the hanging cord.  I added a velcro dot fastener inside the top edge to secure valuables, then sparkled things up a bit by gluing on glitter accents.  Sew on buttons and other trimmings if you desire.

Happy Halloween, I hope you enjoy creating your own “haunted” photographs!

The instructions, photographs and project ideas in this article are all copyright 2010 by Paula Walton.

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