Something with Strawberries

So many strawberries can only mean even more berry-based creations on the way

I celebrated the 4th of July by going strawberry picking, and then creating a dessert with some of them.  I wanted something chocolate, with the strawberries, and maybe that could use the “Cream Filling” recipe that I found in an old cookbook.  My answer to these cravings: Mini Chocolate pies, with custard and strawberries – of course!

Old recipe, from an awesome old book.

Continue reading Something with Strawberries

Portland… on an apron

Confession:  I hate doing laundry.  It involves trying to gather clothes for a full load (to justify the money I have to spend), dragging the laundry bag downstairs (I’ll admit, I use the elevator… but I used to have to haul it up a hill, and I think that was like negative conditioning to want to avoid having to do laundry).  Then there’s having to wait for the machine to be done (paying attention to the timer and not being able to really get involved in anything while I wait), and then haul it all upstairs… then I have to fold and sort and put it away.  Sigh….

So, why am I sharing this?  Because I realized that I also am messy when I cook (I was always a fan of Big Messy Art…) and my clothes keep getting flour, sugar, and frosting on them.  Not to mention, I like to wipe my hands on my pants, or skirt, or whatever I may be wearing.   Which means more laundry trips.

So, I decided it was time to find myself an apron!  Having limited funds, it made sense to sew something.  And I’ve been somewhat inspired by a blog I’ve started visiting : New Dress A Day, and wanted to try my hand at some styling of my own.

I’m bad at following patterns, or planning my sewing work ahead of time – so I can’t really share, well, what I did in order to make this lovely, unique apron.  But here’s my attempt:

What I used: I have a lot of random t-shirts floating around, and so I took two of them to re-purpose. Continue reading Portland… on an apron

Glimpses of the Past

A few years back I tried to start a blog where I planned to post my transcription of some old family papers – Glimpses of the Past – It was fun while it lasted, but life interfered and I lost the flow of it.  Now I’ve decided to start in on some more of the transcription – and I’ll probably post some of it here.  In the meantime – here’s a letter I had a lot of fun with:

Meet Abbie Davidson

This was written by Abbie Davidson — the Granddaughter of Robert Dinsmoor, the “Rustic Bard” (More of his work to come later!).  She would later marry Sewell Grimes (in 1868), and give birth to both Abigail and Lucy Grimes (who also have their own share of documents).  Abbie Davidson is my great-great-great Grandmother.

Bracketed pieces in the transcription are words I’m not positive I have correct.

The First Page of Abbie's writing

One lovely evening in June, some members of the family in which I then resided, proposed taking a walk to which we all gladly assented, and accordingly set out.
There were in all, nine persons, & together, we constituted a joyous party.  We first passed through a delightful grove [Till] we came to the bank of the river, where was an encampment of Indians.  After spending as much time as we wished in looking at their [cabins]& manner of living, we were preparing to leave for home, when two gentlemen came in a boat, from the opposite shore, & said ‘if we would like to cross the river, they would go over with us’.  This was just what we wanted, we had long wished to see the fort, which is in [process] or erection & we eagerly embraced the opportunity.  The evening was mild, the river calm, we had good company & as it was my first sail in an open boat, I enjoyed it in the highest degree.  We crossed in perfect safety to the opposite bank & commenced taking observation[s].  We first came to the for[t], ascended the stone steps, which were one hundred & three in number, from which heights we had full view of the village as it lay spread before us. Continue reading Glimpses of the Past

Adventures in Cupcaking

Yesterday, inspired by Cupcakes, Coffee and Cocktails, I decided to try my hand at some cupcake creations.

Since I am trying to live Gluten-Free, I wanted to make goodies that I can eat. I found some Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix

Fresh from the oven!
Most of them turned out decent-looking enough....

on sale that I just had to put to some sort of use, so decided it would make a good base. I didn’t want to try just one kind of cupcake, of course, so instead I took little bits and pieces of the batter and added things to it.

I decided to try a variety:

  • Chocolate (adding 1 tbsp cocoa powder to 1/4 cup of mix)
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter (2 tbsp of the batter, 1/2 tsp of cocoa powder, and 1/2 tsp Peanut Butter)
  • Butterscotch (messy….)
  • and Peanut Butter (1/3 cup of mix, with 1 tbsp Peanut Butter).

I also tried a straight-up vanilla with a Peanut Butter M&M in it (to see what it would be like to have an M&M in it!) and vanilla with a Cherry-cordial Hershey’s Kiss in the middle.

Attempt at Butterscotch Cupcakes
Fail Cake... total collapse

Continue reading Adventures in Cupcaking

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

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