May 17, 2013
*Our Washington College parents just arrived, giving us the news that their relative would not be able to come to see their son graduate. (They just got the news on their drive down.) Soooooo,….if you need a last minute stay, we have a room available! It is a shared bath.
Availability: Friday, May 17 – Sunday, May 19 – TONIGHT!Tweet
March 24, 2013
“‘Comfort, comfort my people,’ says your God. ‘Speak tenderly to them….’” Isaiah 40:1
Comfort comes, like the poet’s fog sometimes, on little cat feet. It’s gentle, sometimes small and soft, and chords are struck inside of us that feel right and good. Often we don’t know that we need it; we weren’t searching for it. It just finds us. And that is a lovely thing.
In State of Wonder, Ann Patchett writes:
…Marina remembered a funeral her father had taken her to as a child, thousands of lights in paper cups floating down the Ganges, the people crowded onto the banks, walking into the water, cutting through the night air filled with incense and smoke. She could smell the rot of the water beneath the blanket of flowers. At the time the spectacle had frightened her so badly she buried her face in her father’s shirt and kept it there for the rest of the night, but now she was grateful for the little she had seen. It didn’t explain what was spread out before her but it reminded her of all the things she didn’t understand… (p. 186)
March 22, 2013
My mother was the sister known for her baking, but after she died, the youngest of the sisters, Aunt Sara, became the go-to gal for goodies. She’d experiment with new recipes and fly around the kitchen, “slopping here and there,” according to her 8-year-older sister, our Aunt Bernice, (who was anything BUT messy; my land, she washed her trash) and what Aunt Sara came up with was always a winner. I don’t remember how old our girls were when she had to stop making them – but I believe she made individual eggs for each of the family members up until the girls were grown. Adding them all up, I’d say she made a ton of Easter eggs over the years.
In our house each egg was carefully guarded till they were gone. Mine was usually gone the first day. (I’ve been like this since early childhood, when I’d eat my entire chocolate bunny all at once and then would plot about how to get some of my sister’s, since she would eat a bit at a time – to torture me, I always thought. When our girls were babies, I’d fix them a basket with chocolate rabbits, knowing full well from the get-go who was going to eat those bite-sized baby bunnies. I do love a good bunny.) The Sally Forth comic strip was always my favorite, since Sally would always sneak into her daughter’s Easter basket and bite the ears off, just like I always wanted to do. It didn’t take our girls long to figure out that their chocolate had to be guarded, so each of Aunt Sara’s eggs were labeled and stored in separate places in the fridge. (I sometimes would sneak very, very thin slices from David’s egg, since I didn’t think he’d notice, and he generally didn’t.)
Anyway, all this is to say that I firmly believe Easter eggs personify something really big and wonderful and that they’re full of love. So that’s why today’s guests, a mom and her daughter, will have 2 on the table waiting for them. Their names are written on them, in case one of them has the same penchant for pinching as I do…..
1 stick butter
1 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
4 oz softened cream cheese
4 c confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Mix, shape, chill, then coat with melted choc which has about a tsp of paraffin melted in.Tweet
January 31, 2013
Cathy, our regular vegetarian guest, likened the Roasted Mushroom and Blue Cheese Hummus to her vegetarian pate that she makes. Creamy, thick and scrumptious, this hummus recipe is just too good not to share! Unfortunately, I can’t give credit to the source. I ripped it out of one of my magazines, so it’s possible that the recipe is from Eating Well, or from one I was given. I can only apologize for this oversight; there’s just not enough page left to figure it out. But the recipe is from Portebello’s in Kennett Square, (PA??) from Chef Brett Hulbert. It is served with fresh vegetables and crostini there. Since I had some homemade wheat bread in the fridge, that’s what I made my crostini from – just swished it around in some olive oil, s & p, fried it just a bit, then popped it into the oven for a nice crisp browning – just a larger version of yesterday’s homemade croutons**. Enjoy! Vegetarian or not, this is wonderful!
Roasted Mushroom and Blue Cheese Hummus
2 lbs button mushrooms
1/2 c olive oil
S & P
20 – 30 garlic cloves, sliced (I used minced garlic in a jar. It’s just fine.)
1 15.5 oz can garbanzo beans
1 1/2 lbs blue cheese, crumbled
1 bunch scallions, chopped (I used a Vidalia onion, grated, b/c I never have scallions.)
3 T fresh thyme
2 T fresh tarragon
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Coat mushrooms with half of the olive oil and season with S & P. Roast until mushrooms are reduced in size by about a third, approximately 25 min’s. Cool.
Over high heat saute garlic in remaining olive oil till edges just start to brown. Cool.
Puree all ingredients in food processor or a blender.
10 – 12 servings (I quartered the recipe; it yielded about a cup of yumminess.)
** If you’re frying something wonderful in a skillet and there are some drippings left – (today I had just fried the Farmhouse Veggie Burgers) – just use this pan to swish the bread around in for the croutons or crostini. You might need to add some more olive oil, but it gives some added flavor. Hmmm…I wouldn’t use a fried chicken skillet, though…Tweet
January 15, 2013
After David’s mom died, when I was going through things in her 209 Mt. Vernon house, sorting, saving and discarding, I really did try to be very careful, believing that a tender treatment of her treasures would somehow be a tribute to her. It was a lengthy job, but was one which I relished, and I stuck to my rule about not bringing anything across the street to our 208 address unless it was going to live there forever. At the end of each clean-up day, I tried to leave my work site organized, and after a day in her kitchen, sifting through recipes, I had the most special ones tucked away safely in a plastic grocery bag, along with some other things which I intended to keep. I brought my bag across the street. But after a day of cleaning at her house, my will wavered when I got home. I thought I was being careful, and left the bag next to my own kitchen counter. David, naturally, did not see my “safe spot” in the same way that I had, since the location of my sack of stuff was also next to the trash can. And it did happen to be trash day. So being the efficient guy that he is, he scooped this bag up with the others – and since there had already been about a million bags that looked just like the one I had set aside, why should this one be any different?? The recipes were gone before I could “shake a stick,” as my own mother used to say. I can’t remember what the other items were in the bag, (which proves that I didn’t really need them), but I grieved the loss of some of her cookie recipes. Her cookies contained stories, plus I liked the way they tasted! BUT oftentimes, when we’re sure the sun will never come out on a given situation, it eventually does. The other day, when I received some new cookie cutters in the mail – I’d needed some music-themed ones – there was a “Decorated Sugar Cookie Recipe” (http://www.cookiecuttercompany.com) which I determined to try asap. I made them the other day. And guess what? They tasted like Grandma’s, David’s mom’s!! I believe cookies have to be just right, and it’s the texture that made me an instant believer in these, just as my first chomp at Christmastime at Grandma’s house had done with her’s. Enjoy!
Decorated Sugar Cookie Recipe (The Cookie Cutter Company)
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 medium eggs
5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Cream butter and sugar; add eggs and extract. Stir in remaining ingredients. Chill dough for 2 hours. Roll out 1/4″ thick. 400 degrees – 5-7 minutes.Tweet