Friday, March 30, 2007

Paris at Night ~ Panorama

Collecting ~ Souvenirs

Watercolor with Pencil
Montmartre Place du Tertre ~ Paris
Circa 1940s-1950s

Montmartre Place du Tertre ~ Paris

"Montmartre, high on the only hill overlooking Paris, has long been famous for its artists, and its magnificant Basilica du Sacre Coeur. Close by is the Place du Tertre; usually completely covered with tables and bright umbrellas...... and ``artists.'' Don't expect to find a budding Gauguin, or many Parisians here, but it is certainly harmless fun.

This is the place to come if you want to get your portrait, or that of your travel companion, drawn. Walk around this small square and look over the shoulder of an artist as he draws someone; or drink a coffee at one of the cafes which line every inch of the square."

Photo and Copy ~

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hot Cross Buns

The Tradition may have derived from ancient Anglo-Saxons who baked small wheat cakes in honor of the springtime goddess, Eostre. After converting to Christianity, the church substituted the cakes with sweet breads blessed by the church.

Hot Cross Buns are traditionally served on Good Friday (the Friday before Easter) and during the Lenten season, but they are good anytime. This recipe will make 2 1/2 dozen buns.


* 2 packages active dry yeast (1/4 ounce each)
* 1/2 cup warm water
* 1 cup warm milk
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 6-1/2 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
* 4 eggs
* 1/2 cup dried currents
* 1/2 cup raisins


* 2 Tablespoons water
* 1 egg yolk


* 1 cup confectioner's sugar
* 4 teaspoons milk or cream
* Dash salt
* 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1) Have the water and milk at 110-115 degrees F.
2) In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
3) Add the warm milk, sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, and 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth.
4) Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition.
5) Stir in the dried fruit and enough flour to make a soft dough.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and turn over to grease the top. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Punch the dough down and shape into 30 balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes). Using a sharp knife, cut a cross (or X) on the top of each roll. Beat the water and egg yolk together and brush over rolls. (You will probably have more than you need, discard the unused egg glaze.) Bake at 375-degree F. for 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make icing by combining the last four ingredients. Stir until smooth, adjusting sugar and milk to make a mixture that flows easily.

When rolls are baked, cool on wire racks. Drizzle icing over the top of each roll following the lines of the cut cross.

*1 1/2 cups warm skim milk may be substituted for the milk and water in the roll recipe above.

Friday, March 23, 2007

"Truely Overheard"~ On a Train

"If I Could I Would ..."

Traveling back to London from Hampton Court by train takes about 45 minuets.
Two British Children are making the Journey back, a boy perhaps five and his sister about seven. They decide to pass the Time by playing a Game, similar to one we all played in our childhood; "I see Something..."

Their version was called " If I could I Would ..."
Their Charming British Accents and Innocent youth painted a cheerful picture right out of a Victorian Children's Story.
We were all amused when the little girl's turn came around.

" If I could I would ...
Throw my Brother in the Rubbish Heap, but I can't, so I won't"

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Kitchen at Hampton Court

King Henry the VIII died in 1547.
His Daughter Elizabeth, the product of His marriage to Anne Boleyn, succeeded to the Throne.
Elizabeth made many changes to the Interior of Hampton Court; however,the Royal Kitchen remained untouched. It appears much the same as it did at the time of Henry's death.

Orange Pudding from the Time of King Henry VIII

To make the Orange Pudding

Take the rind of a small one pared very thin, and boiled in several waters, and beaten very fine in a Mortar, then put to it four Ounces of fine Sugar, and four Ounces of fresh Butter, and the Yolks of six Eggs, and a little Salt, beat it together in the Mortar till the Oven heats, and so butter a dish and bake it, but not too much; strew Sugar on it and serve it to the Table, Bake it in Puff-past

* There were no lists of ingredients - these were included as part of the text

* Food and ingredient measurements were extremely basic - quantities were not often specified!

* Temperature control was difficult and therefore not specified

* Cooking times were vague - and left to the cook to decide!

* It was assumed that the reader would already have some knowledge of cooking

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Entering Hampton Court

Divorced, Beheaded, Died ~ Divorced, Beheaded, Survived

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

More Favorite Smells ~

Geranium Leaves
Tomato Plants
Iris in Bloom
Sauteed Onions and Garlic
Hard Tack Christmas Candy

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Collecting Children's Books ~

Babar at Home
by Jean De Brunhoff

Methuen & Co. LTD.
36, Essex Street, London, W.C. 2

she did not know how,
in one gulp
she swallowed it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Thumper's Creamed Cabbage Soup

2 cups Chicken Stock
1 Med. Onion, diced
1 cup Celery, diced
1 Med. Head Cabbage, shredded
1 Carrot, diced
1/4 cup Butter
3 Tbs. Flour
1 cup Milk
2 cups Light Cream
2 cups Ham, diced
1-1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Tsp. Pepper
1/2 Tsp. dried Thyme
Fresh Parsley, chopped

In a large kettle combine Stock and Vegetables. Cover and Simmer about 20 Minuets
In a Saucepan, melt Butter and stir in Flour.
Gradually add Milk and Cream, cook and stir until thick, stir into Vegetable Mixture.
Add Ham, Salt, Pepper and Thyme and simmer until heated through.
Garnish with fresh Parsley
Makes 6-8 Human Servings / About 2 Quarts
12-16 Rabbit Servings

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Animals ~

"a righteous man cares for the needs of his animal"

Proverbs 12:10

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Childhood Memories ~ The Bunkum Book

A Topsy Turvy Tale ~ by Aubrey Hopwood
Illustrated by Maud Trelawny

Frederick Warne & Co
London / New York 1900

A Million miles from Anywhere
Is Topsy Turvy Land,
Where trees have roots that grow in air,
And branches in the sand;

The skies are green instead of blue,
And happy people frown;
For every single thing they do
Is always upside down.

A hundred thousand years ago,
The people woke one night;
They always slept all day, you know,
So this was only right.

Each native stood upon his head
And racked his addled pate:
"Our country's upside down," they said,
"How can we put it straight ?"

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Wrinkled Memories ~ "Sing for me Elvis Baby"

My Mother just loved our entertainment unit. A great, dark, Sendakian Beast of a thing,who's enormous wide mouth tilted open in front to expose a keyboard of settings, dials and knobs. It was a German made Grundig. The entire Top of the Beast flipped open to expose a reel to reel tape recorder and a LP record player which played 33-1/3 RPM records.

It was the late 1950s. My father was stationed in Germany and we lived on an Army Base.
Our Apartment was large and rambling and the complex was called Army Billets. Once each month or so, about payday, my parents would throw a party. The guests were fellow army buddies of my Father and their wives, and also German friends my parents had made in the nearby town.

Elvis was all the rage, and had even toured Germany in the Army at that time. To entertain her guests, my mother enjoyed making special recordings on the tape recorder housed in the heavy, darkly wood-grained music center. She would edit together songs and recorded dialogue from her Elvis records together with her own "impromptu" comments and song requests. The result was a recording capturing a fictitious party in which she had hosted Elvis Himself as her Guest of Honor.

During the monthly party when things had reached full swing and after everyone was well inebriated, she would slip one of her "Elvis at My Party" recordings into the Beast. "Bitte, Bitte, Bitte" my Mother would plead on the tape for Elvis to sing another song. "Oh come on, sing one for me !!!, Sing for me Elvis Baby!" Of course He would always comply and sing His heart Out. Maybe "Love Me Tender" or "All Shook Up." "Yeah Man" my Mother would exclaim in a loud but slurred Party tone. "Thank You, Thank very much" Elvis would reply. He was always so polite.

The response was none short of fevered excitement and envy mixed with amazement, especially among her local German Guests. This frenzy was intensified by the presentation of a Large Turquoise Blue colored enameled Water lily. When the handle located in the center was triggered, the leaves of the Flower would slowly unfold to reveal a spray of 20 uniformly arrayed American Cigarettes.

Those parties were always well attended often concluding with some sort of altercation or another.

Original Short Story by
Michael Hostovich

Friday, March 2, 2007


A delightful concoction handed down from an ancient Greek sorceress. The recipe was Originally Discovered on the North Coast of Africa.
Said to be a favorite of Cleopatra and Mark Antony who used the confection as an aphrodisiac and consumed tastes between love making.
Peach-nesia causes a mild form of Amnesia, which renders the eater clueless as to how much they have eaten. You may eat as much as you like because it's totally not in your control.

First find your peaches. One can prepare the best examples of this dessert in season and with an almost over abundant supply of fresh ripe fruit. If the mood strikes out of season, a reasonable substitute is frozen peach slices, either from produce you harvested and prepared and froze on your own or the packaged sweetened variety.

Many cobblers are dough on top of fruit. Crisps have a topping over the fruit. And buckles usually have a cake like base. This recipe is several of those ideas combined.

The lotus seeds add the twist. Find seed with or without the embryo inside at a natural food store. Soak the seeds for an hour in clean water, rinse and drain before using. The alkaloids in the seeds are increased if the embryos are inside however there is an increase in bitterness. Taste to see if you want to add more sugar to counteract this taste. IT is astringent and not unpleasant but needs to be noted.

If there are no lotus seeds available you could substitute pine nuts or other nuts, or omit them and the dish will still be delicious.

Choose a warm afternoon when time stretches ahead and there are few obligations -- after the 'nesia you may not want to do anything for a while!


4 lb. of fresh peaches, peeled, sliced and tossed with 1 Tbs. of lemon juice and a 1/4 cup of sugar to produce juice and keep from browning (some varieties peaches are more susceptible than others to turning brown in the air). Sprinkle peaches with 2 tbs. of corn starch combined with 1/2 cup of sugar. Add two tablespoons of instant tapioca if available, or add another tablespoon of corn starch if not. Add grated lemon rind and a 1/4 tsp. of nutmeg if you peaches need a bit of brightening up. If they are spectacular leave them as they are.

The base:

2 cups unbleached (or all purpose) flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter cut into small 1/4" dice (keep cold)
1 egg
1/2 cup milk and more if needed
2 tsp. vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add butter and cut in lightly with pastry blender until crumbs resemble coarse meal. Be careful to keep butter cold. Beat egg, and add milk and vanilla. Then mix all of the liquid into the dry ingredients and combine with ten strokes. If too thick add a few splashes of milk. You want a sticky dough that can be patted out in to the pan.

The crumble:

Combine 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cup sugar (brown or granulated), 1/2 tsp. each of cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cut in 1/2 cup cold salted butter, cutting until crumbs form. Add a few tsps. of milk if needed to make mixture come together into a crumbly mass.

Place base dough into a well oiled 9 X 13 pan, possibly glass so you can serve right from it. Pat out dough -- you may lightly flour you hand to do so. Make a raised edge to trap the peaches and their juices. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

Place peach mixture on top of base, distribute lotus seeds over the top of the filling, and crumble topping over. Sprinkle with bits of butter and bake until bubbles form in filling, base is golden brown and topping has a crusty appearance -- about 40 minutes.

If you are impatient just dig in and serve while the bubbles heave! Watch your mouth though as it could be burned!

Otherwise wait until warm, about 15 minutes. Serve alone or with whipped or ice cream as desired.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

"Truly Overheard"~ In an Antique Shop

"Hi Yvonne, how are you?"

Yvonne / Shop Owner
"Well, I'm fixin' to go on Vacation"

"Where are you going ?"

"I'm going on a tour, We're gonna to see ten countries in three days."

"You know Yvonne, You have yourself an Extravagant Flare !"

"Yes, I know"