Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Garden Totem

 I haven't made a garden totem in a long time.  Not for the lack of not liking to make them; I love to make them.

 Rather, I ran out of people to give them to.

 I bet I gave 30 of them away when I was making them all the time.

 I had a lot of trouble getting a good shot of this one and now it's gone so these pics are as good as it gets.

 This one is comprised of 13 pieces.

 And it sure was fun to make.

 I placed a Lenox porcelain duck in the lower globe and a vintage Italian Capodimonte flower basket in the upper globe.

All of the pieces were purchased at thrift stores and the entire totem cost 10.00 to make.  These can stay out all year except for winter.  I use all weather glue so rain doesn't bother them.  These look so pretty placed in the center of an outdoor dining table.  Though, I have been known to scatter them throughout my raised beds.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Pink Depression Glass at the Thrift Store

I stopped at a thrift store after running errands yesterday and found this perfect set of Cambridge Glass bridge glasses from the 1930's.  These are quite rare because the glasses are very delicate and not many made it to 2017.  These are in perfect shape without so much as a chip or crack.  11.99!
 I'm not sure of the maker of these glasses but with delicate etching and twisted stems, they were a steal for 59 cents each.

 There were only five of them but these days I much prefer mixing and matching patterns when I set  a table rather than using all matching pieces.

 I got 2 of these tulip candle votives for 99 cents each and these 2 cute candy dished for 59 cents each. 

 Sorry for the blur.  This Cambridge glass candy dish was 1.99. This is also in perfect condition.  I'm sure all of this sat on someone's shelves for years.

 And though this juicer's bottom is missing, it can still be used over a glass or bowl and it was only 1.99.

All of this went to my daughter who loves pink glass.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Milk Bread

This is a new recipe for me.  It is a terrific bread, unlike any other recipe I've tried.
 It starts by making a paste using flour and water:

  • 5 1/3 cups bread flour, divided, plus more for surface 
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup mild honey 
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder 
  • 2 tablespoons rapid rise yeast 
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 large eggs (2 for the dough and one for brushing)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter at room temperature
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • Flaky sea salt
 The recipe called for using large muffin tins which I didn't have so I just used small oven proof bowls and ramekins.

  1. Cook 1/3 cup flour and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a thick paste forms about 5 minutes. Add cream and honey and cook, whisking to blend, until honey dissolves.
  2. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and add milk powder, yeast, kosher salt, 2 eggs, and 5 remaining cups flour. Knead on medium speed until dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. Add butter, a piece at a time, fully incorporating into dough before adding the next piece, until dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic, about 4 minutes.
You might need a bit more flour but this dough is sticky.
  3. Coat a large bowl with nonstick spray and transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Lightly coat a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan with nonstick spray. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and divide into 6 pieces. Divide each piece into 4 smaller pieces (you should have 24 total). They don’t need to be exact. Place 4 pieces of dough side-by-side in each muffin cup.

  5. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size (dough should be just puffing over top of pan), about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 375° F. Beat remaining egg with 1 teaspoon. water in a small bowl to blend. Brush top of dough with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until bread is deep golden brown, starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, and is baked through, 25 to 35 minutes. Let milk bread cool slightly in pan on a wire rack before turning out; let cool completely.

This is  a dense moist bread and perfect to eat with soups or stews.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Another Sugar Shack

 For someone like me that never wants Winter to leave, these sugar shack trips are the last hurrah before Spring moves in. No matter how warm it is at home, the sugar shacks seem to always still have snow at this time of year.  I get my last snow fix.

 A nice old Ford tractor.

 The shopping area.  The shacks sell everything they make.  A lot of shacks now sell maple cotton candy and this year we bought our first maple peanut butter.

 Maple shots anyone?  Each sugar shack offers samples of all of the grades of maple syrup they make.  You can taste everything from the lightest grade A (mild) to the darkest amber (robust).  It used to be that the lightest was the most expensive and the most popular.  You could buy the dark syrup very cheap.  Not anymore!  People have caught on that the dark syrup is more concentrated and has a better flavor.  Right now, all the grades are priced equally.

 More awards.

 I would like to have a maple syrup window in my house.

 Vintage syrup tins.

 On the way home we stopped at a wonderful pottery shop.

 Be still my heart.  I love pottery.

 They were selling insect hotels which impressed The Blog tech since he built one for the community he works in last year.

I was so good.  I didn't buy any pottery though it was tough walking away from it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Sugar Shack

 Last Saturday we went to our last Maple Festival of the season.  It sure flew by fast this year.

 This is one of The Blog Tech's favorite sugar shacks.

 You can see all of the different spiles used to tap the trees.  Click for a closer look on any pics.

 And here you can see why this is The Blog Tech's favorite shack.

 Some of the free samples.

 Stoking the fire in the boiler.

 Hot dumplings right out of the oven.  All they need is the vanilla ice cream and maple syrup which they top them with.  Surprisingly, The Blog Tech passed on a dumpling.

 Vintage syrup cans and awards won by this shack.

 These girls show you how the pioneers made syrup over an outdoor fire.

 The Blog Tech and his wife did, however, imbibe in maple milkshakes.

 And maple hot dogs.  And that was just at the first maple shack.  They ate maple products all day long until TBT was turning a bit green around the gills by the end of the day.  His wife never faltered. She was still sampling maple products at the last shack.  They are a couple made for each other!

And so we were off to the next place.  More tomorrow!

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Good Day at the Thrift Shop

 Sometimes you just get lucky at thrift stores.  I found this old oil painting on Saturday for 19.99.

 It's big too.  It's 3'X2'.  I'm taking it to have it framed later today.  And yes, to answer a question in the comments, it is signed....Chappel.

 And I found this nice pottery plate and bowl for 59 cents!

 Great glass flower frogs for 99 cents each.

 The bowl inspired me to make hummus.