Thursday, March 26, 2015

He was published!

Public domain photo from Pixabay
Yes, my dear hubby, Mr. T, recently had a recipe published by Gooseberry Patch.  It is called Grandpa's Sunday Waffles and is the waffle recipe he uses nearly every Sunday morning.   The cookbook he was published in is Christmas at Grandma’s, but unfortunately it is not going to be available for purchase until July or so.  We did receive an advance copy of the book, so we are already enjoying and using it.

If it is just us here for Sunday breakfast, we don't bother with waffles and have something simpler.  But most weekends our two older granddaughters are here, so we make waffles, bacon or sausage, and some special toppings.  I'm going to share our recipes for syrup and for berry sauce, which I usually make with strawberries because the girls prefer it and we have a freezer full of strawberries.

I’ve forgotten where I found the following recipe, but it is a good, easy pancake syrup. Here in New England, we produce real maple syrup and most of us prefer it to the fake stuff. But when frugality is the rule of the day, and we’re out of the real thing, I actually prefer this to the supermarket pancake syrup.


2 c. packed light brown sugar
1 c. water

Bring sugar and water to boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring once or twice. Boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve warm. Store leftover syrup in refrigerator. Makes about 2 cups.

This easy homemade syrup is good on pancakes or waffles. It is much tastier than the artificially-flavored syrup, and of course much less expensive than real maple syrup. It makes a great substitute.


1/2 cup sugar
1 Tblsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup water
2 cups blueberries, raspberries, OR cut-up strawberries

Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in the water. Add the fruit and bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve warm. Makes about 2 cups.

This is a wonderful, versatile recipe that tastes so good on waffles in particular. It’s also good on pancakes or French toast and would probably be good on vanilla ice cream as well. You can make blueberry sauce, raspberry sauce, or strawberry sauce -- all are wonderful. Or you might like to use a mixture of these berries to make a mixed berry sauce. When I do this, I usually also add a few cranberries to the mixture.

Here's what the book looks like:
Photo from Pinterest
 I love the artwork -- but then, I love almost all of the artwork from Gooseberry Patch!

It's been so much fun for me over the years to acquire free books from Gooseberry Patch when they publish one of my recipes or crafts.  Now my hubby is getting in on the fun, too!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

January and February 1953

Rather than wait until next January and February to show the pretty vintage calendar pages from the 1953 January Woman's Day magazine, I decided to go ahead and post them now.  It's interesting to see the Scripture verses that were chosen, and the illustrations are beautiful.  I need to learn more about the artist.

Above is January, of course, and here is the page for February:
You can see that the homeowner here has been spending his February days in a still snowy yard readying his firewood supply for the coming year.  Just what my hubby is currently doing!
Hope you have enjoyed this look at a vintage pocket calendar!  As one of my readers noted, it's really neat that the dates for the days are exactly the same for 2015 as they were in 1953!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Happy Spring!

This picture of daffodils at my dad's house is from a previous year.  No sign of them yet in 2015!
No, there is not much of a spring look hereabouts in northern New England!  The daffodils above are still only a dream as yet.

It really looks much more like this, as the maple sugar producers begin to tap their trees and make syrup:

At my Grampa's sugarhouse, 1956
In the sugar orchard, 1956
So it may be spring by the calendar -- and yes, maple sugaring is a sign of spring up here -- but there are few other signs of it.  It will be all the sweeter when it finally gets here!

Friday, March 20, 2015

A vintage find

I can't even remember now where I came across this treasure, but I found it among things I had saved:  the Woman's Day 1953 Calendar.  You may remember, these calendars used to come as pages within the January issues of Woman's Day magazine.  They featured Scripture verses and lovely illustrations.  The pages were then cut up and assembled as pocket-sized calendars.

Isn't this beautiful?  The verse lettered around the edge of the calendar's cover is from Matthew 12:35 and reads, "A good man out of the treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things." 

The next page of the calendar has another verse, Genesis 1:14.  What a perfectly lovely verse to consider a new year in light of!

And then the months of the year begin.  I plan to show one for every month.  Here is the one for March.

Hope this beautifully illustrated vintage calendar and its Scripture verses has brightened your day today!  It certainly brightened mine!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Salted Caramel Oreo Icebox Cake

Photo from Inside BruCrew Life
This is another one of the recipes I chose for the dessert course of the teen progressive dinner back in February: Salted Caramel Oreo Icebox Cake.  Most teens love coffee as well as chocolate, and this has just enough of a coffee flavor to be barely noticeable.

For this recipe I again turned to Inside BruCrew Life and Jocelyn's inspired recipes.  She has a number of recipes for icebox cakes, and I will be posting about a couple of more of them in days to come.  They are made with oreos dipped in milk (or coffee, in this case), layered with cheesecake filling and various toppings, then chilled thoroughly so they cut like a cake.

I made this in a 9-inch square baking dish and it was the first dessert to disappear from the chocolate buffet I had prepared for the teens.  So the next week, I doubled the recipe for a 13x9-inch pan and took it to our weekly potluck lunch at church.  Again, a huge hit!

If you think you would not care for the coffee flavor in this, just dip the oreos in milk instead of coffee.  It's good either way!  I think a combination of coffee and milk might work well, too.

For more dessert inspiration, check out my Sweet Treats Pinterest board.  You will find dozens of new ideas!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Works in progress

Nearly finished crocheted boot cuff
... and one finished project!

But, before I show you the finish, here are a couple of UFOs.  The photo at top shows a nearly completed boot cuff from this pattern: cute and easy crocheted boot cuffs at Skip to My Lou.  I had made a set of these in a cream color for my granddaughter's birthday (but failed to take a picture of them).  Now I am working on the second cuff for a set in this linen color.

Here's the photo from Skip to My Lou of what they look like when worn.
Photo from Skip to My Lou
Here's another  work in progress, the ever-challenging "Snow Angels" cross stitch which I've showed you before.   It is on 18-count Aida and is quite the project.  The area that the kids are walking away from is going to show snow angels they have made.  You can just see the beginning of one of the "wings" of an angel toward the lower right.  I have found it a huge challenge to keep track of where I am on this chart.  It is huge and very complicated, lots of blended needles in the design.  Those "line minders" and magnetic chart holders just don't work for something this big.  I finally found a low-tech, simple solution: washi tape to mark my place.  I will do a blog post about this eventually.  Wish I had thought of it earlier!  I am trying to do a little on this cross-stitch every day, if possible.

And finally, here is the finished cross-stitched hand towel with the rose border.  It's a good feeling to have this finished, washed, dried, and ready to gift to the recipient.

I am living proof that UFOs can eventually be completed.  Take heart -- and pick up one of your own unfinished projects!

Friday, March 13, 2015

My early spring hutch

I'm simply going to share a few photos and captions of my hutch decorated for early spring.  Not too different from past years, but a couple of new things perhaps.
The lower shelf.  Pretty simple; I have a couple of pieces from the "Grandfather dishes" mentioned in an earlier post; a couple pieces from the Colonial Homestead dishes I collect; some Fiestaware salt & peppers, a St. Patrick's Day tag by my friend Judy; and all arranged on a crocheted-edge vintage cloth I made last summer.

Middle shelf -- this has pretty much stayed the same with a maple sugaring display, including a spile that was my grandfather's.

Top shelf; I used a different teapot this year and added my sweet "Thankful" sign that I got at The Wilds of New England.  It's appropriate for any time of year!

On the dining table, I've placed a wooden tree and a little maple syrup tin under glass in my small cake dome.

Hope you have enjoyed this look at my simple early spring decorating!