Tuesday, October 21, 2014

There and Back Again

This past weekend we went to Grand Rapids, MI and stayed with friends. My husband attended a seminar on self-publishing and my friend and I went to all of her favorite thrift and consignment shops. I found some great vintage fabric.
vintage polished cotton

Four yards of this cute folksy print
 I had to get this cotton towel.

On our way home on Sunday we stopped at the Williamston Antiques Market. I bought some vintage handkerchiefs.

There were quite a number of quilts, nothing uncommon or mint. They also had loads of glassware, china, and pottery.

How about a bathing costume? 

We stopped at the Tanger outlet mall near Howell where I found some cute fox oven mitts at the Corelle store. Shiba Inu owners like foxes because Shibas are so fox-like in appearance. So of course I bought a set!

Last stop was Ray's ice cream, a local store with it's own ice cream. I had Coconut with dark chocolate sauces. Yummy!

I received my order of Gatsby fabric. I had ran across this line while noodling around online last week. I have it in mind to make a Gatsby quilt. More on that later.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Recipes from the October 1962 Family Circle Magazine

The October 1962 Family Circle Magazine recipe sections included roasts, meat pies and seasonal baking.
"Apples and spice make these desserts nice." Pictured is an Apple Crown Cake, Apple-Snow Souffle, a Banbury Apple Tart, and an Apple Cobbler Pie.

The Apple-Snow Souffle is "fluffy light and refreshing with a now-and-then bite of apple--and it unmolds beautifully."
Here's the recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Coat a 4-cup mold with butter; dust lightly with sugar; tap out excess.
  2. Saute 2 cups of sliced, pared and cored apples in 1/2 stick of butter, stirring often, for about 20 mins or until golden but not mushy. Set aside.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Stir in 3 tablespoons flour and a dash of salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in 2/3 cup of milk slowly, stirring, and add 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Cook, stirring, until it reaches a boil. Cool.
  4. Beat 3 egg whites until they form peaks.
  5. Beat 3 egg yolks, gradually adding 3 tablespoons of sugar. Blend in cooled sauce, then apples. Fold in beaten egg whites.
  6. Pour into mold. Set mold in baking pan filled with water and place on oven shelf. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes,, or until puffed and firm and in the center when touched.
  7. Remove mold from pan of water. Let stand, away from drafts, until cool, about 15 minutes, and it will hold its shape when turned out.
  8. Loosen edge with knife; cover with serving plate; turn mold upside down on the plate and lift off. Spoon 2 tablespoons of Grenadine syrup over and ut into wedges.

Roasts were a special dinner in my household. This magazine offers 5 roast recipes making 10 meals. It also included meat pies, like the Continental Veal pie in the photograph below. Other meat pies included Beef and Kidney, Canadian Pork Pie, Crisscross Chicken Pie, and Clam Digger's pie.

Here is the recipe for the unusual Clam Digger's Pie:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  1. Prepare a package of pie crust mix, or make your own, to create two 12" rounds to fit into a 9" pie plate. Place one crust in the pie plate.
  2. Drain two 11 ounce cans of minced clams reserving 2/3 cup of the liquid in a bowl. Add the clams, 3/4 cup of milk, 2 beaten eggs, 1/2 cup unsalted soda cracker crumbs, 1 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Spoon into shell and dot with 2 tablespoons of butter.
  3. Roll out other pie crust and cover pie. Cut slits to let steam escape. Trim overhang to 1/2" and fold under flush with rim and flute.
  4. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake another 30 minutes, or until golden.

Carolina Rice advertising photograph
They caught the dreaded bacon-snitcher in the act! Bacon has had a revival today.

What would be served for "casual get-togethers" in 1962? One menu plan included Sea-food Lasagna, Savory Green Beans and Romaine-cucumber salad, a fruit and cheese tray, bread sticks, and Expresso with lemon peel. Sounds healthy enough.

Here is the recipe for
Seafood Lasagna
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Cook a 1/2 pound of lasagna noodles in boiling water with olive oil added to prevent sticking. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and cover with cold water.
  2. Thaw 2 cans of frozen condensed cream of shrimp soup in a large saucepan, stirring. Stir in 2 7-ounce cans of king crab meat. Heat until bubbly.
  3. Blend 1 pound of cottage cheese and 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese with 1 cup of chopped onion, 1 beaten egg, 2 tsps of basil, 1 tsp of salt and 1/3 tsp of pepper.
  4. Lightly oil a 13"x 9"x 2" baking dish and line with a layer of noodles. Top with half of cheese mixture, another layer of noodles, and all of the crab sauce. Arrange four sliced ripe tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with 2 tsps of sugar. (Casserole can be chilled for later use at this point, just let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes first.)
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes; Sprinkle with 1 cup of grated Cheddar cheese and bake 45 minutes longer, or until crusty brown. Cool for 15 minutes and cut into 8 servings.
Here are some of today's versions of Seafood Lasagna:

Cooking Light's Seafood Lasagna uses canned crabmeat and fresh shrimp, low fat cottage cheese, and no-cook lasagna noodles. http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/seafood-lasagna

The New York Times version uses fresh seafood and half-and-half. http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/474-seafood-lasagna

Stoneyfield uses Greek yogurt and adds lobster and has less fat. http://www.stonyfield.com/recipes/seafood-lasagna

And Eating Well has an even lower fat version with almost no cheese. http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/seafood_lasagna_lasagna_di_pesce.html

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 1962 Home Decorating: When Turquoise Was King Continues

The October 1962 Family Circle magazine's feature story was on furniture arranging. The photos show a nice overview of decorating styles in '62.
I love this cover arrangement with the wonderful MCM settees, the console, and the octagonal coffee table. The blue, green and gold fabric on the settees is way cool. That antique gold/green carpet is an unusual color.

The next photo is their "conversation sparking" arrangement, an area adjacent to the dining area. Very traditional, but with an aqua/turquoise color in the upholstery, drapery, and even the table runner.

The "interest wall" was the focal point in the room below. If you don't have a fireplace or window as a focal point, they suggested creating one. Here walnut boards are supported by metal keyhole strips and brackets.
The colors of blue and green are more primary in tone, but the rug and chair appear a deeper turquoise in the original photo. Can you find the television? It's almost a Where's Waldo moment, the television is so tiny compared to today's monstrous ones. Who needs a "focal point" when the television has taken that role?

In the next photos the windows are the focal point of the rooms. The upper photo has "no wall-hugging sofas or chairs," a definite turquoise color scheme, and is quite informal with floor pillows and a window seat.

The lower photo shows a room with two focal points, the fireplace and the window. They suggest alternating the placement of the sofas: at right angles to the window in summer, and in front of the fireplace in winter. The couches, wall, and drapes are turquoise in the original photo.

Dual purpose study/guest room includes a day bed. The bed covering is a turquoise and brown floral print, and the drapes a deep brown in the original photo.

The photo below shows more great MCM furniture in turquoise with a matching rug. Notice the great wall unit with shelves, drawers, and flip down desk. Is that is asphalt tile flooring, or perhaps linoleum? In 1963 Dad redid our bedroom floors with linoleum tiles.

A traditional Colonial look with a brown couch in the foreground and chairs across from it. The paneling on the walls was quite the rage. Our 1966 house has wood paneling in the family room and Dad had installed it in the basement in 1972.
And last of all, a sleeper sofa in a turquoise print has matching chair and lamp, a turquoise and golden colored rug, and  a painting with deeper blues. The table has a magazine are, and is to the side for easy opening of the sofa bed. On my monitor the turquoise is showing up green. :(
A nice article on fall flower arranging has some great photos.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Green Heroes Completed. Finally.

I finally completed my quilt on ecologists, naturalists, nature activists, writers, legislators, and other "green" heroes. I started it in 2012. I embroidered the portraits and names on green and set the blocks with a green leaf print on black.

Aldo Leopold, "A Sand County Almanac" author
I wanted to try something new. I decided to quilt images representing the different 'heroes' achievements. I don't think it is really successful. There is too much unquilted space.

I found the dark border fabric very hard to quilt. I used a green thread darker than the block fabrics. I quilted around the leaf shapes in the inner border and did a Methodist (sometimes called Baptist) fan in the outer border.

I hated doing the quilting, every one and a half spools of thread of it. Partly because the dark fabric  made it hard to see the quilting, but also because I was so unsatisfied with the quilting...perhaps because I could not see it! I started it on my quilt frame, but found it was hard on my back and switched to a hoop.

The quilting took all winter and all summer and into the fall. It was packed up for three months or more because of moving. I lived in three addresses while I worked on it.

To illustrate how I did the quilting design, here is John James Audubon.

I chose his turkey illustration for the left side area behind his head.

Here is what the quilting looks like; I turned the photo into black and white so that the stitching shows up better.

Lois Gibbs, the grass roots organizer of Love Canal, has the danger sign on the left and a house and swing set on the right. I wrote a blog post about her on Nov. 5, 2012 found here: http://theliteratequilter.blogspot.com/2012/11/my-green-heroes-quilt-lois-gibbs.html

It is one of my posts with the most traffic.

For Pete Seeger, the Clearwater sloop is in the background to represent his work with the Hudson River "Clearwater" Revival
And of course his banjo with it's famous saying also appears in the quilting.

I finished the binding today while watching Ken Burn's series The Roosevelts on TiVo. Teddydied in the episode I was watching. Of course he is on my quilt because of his work creating the national park system. 

Only a few of the drawing used for the embroidery were created by me. The rest were drawings from Better World Heroes "Eco Heroes," There are twenty "heroes" on the quilt.

All I need now is a label and a sunny day for a good photograph.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Autumn Leaves

Over twenty years ago while walking in town I saw red-orange leaves against the clear blue autumn sky. The image stuck in my head. About fifteen years ago I taught a continuing adult education class on "old fashioned" quilting, and made Maple Leaf blocks to demonstrate hand sewing quilt blocks.

And it came to me to use those pieced blocks with the image of those leaves to make a quilt.

I used all hand dyed fabrics, some purchased and some which I had dyed. The quilt is hand appliqued and hand quilted with a 'curlicue' design.

The branches in the central panel are knotted in places. I used bleach to remove color from the central leaves, and made dots with a Pigma permanent marker for shadowing.

Fall was always my favorite time of year. I loved the colors and the cool weather.

Now I am older, it makes me think of the coming winter, the cold, and the long sunless days until spring.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ogemaw County Quilt Trail

On our last day of our trip Up North we visited several barns on the Ogemaw County Quilt Trail. Fifteen county barns display a quilt block.

The first one we discovered while driving from West Branch to my brother's cabin. The Zettle barn has a block with a cat on it.

 Several days later we were looking to get a nice photo of the Smiley face water tower, voted the #1 favorite sight on the I-75 drive Up North by Detroit Free Press readers this summer. That is how we found quilt block two.

 The third quilt block was not far away.
There is a map available at the city hall showing how to find all the barns.

A favorite shop that sold reproduction fabrics has decided to discontinue stocking fabrics! I had to take advantage of the 25% discount. I also visited Caroline's Sewing Room. I bought reproduction wide backing fabric for my Charles Dickens quilt. I have one more quilting session and I will have finally quilted my "Green Heroes" quilt!!! Whoopee! And Dickens is next in line.

While walking our doggies I twice saw an otter along the roadside and watched it slink into a culvert that diverts a creek under the road. In the other direction the creek goes down a waterfalls. As it rained quite hard several days the water's rush was very loud. We were told that a neighbor has caught salmon in this creek!

Now we are back home that To-Do List is being addressed again. This week we are painting the hallway, including inside the linen closet and installing a new LED ceiling light fixture. It was nice to spend a week away with no to-do list, no television, no Internet (except at the library!), and plenty of time to read.