Sunday, November 29, 2015

Vintage Christmas Books

 I'm having a quiet  Sunday afternoon in front of the fire.  I just finished packing away the fall  decorations which are now back in the attic.  It's time to have a cup of tea and look through my collection of vintage children's Christmas books.  I just love the style and illustrations of these old books!  I thought you might enjoy them, too!

Old illustrations of Santa are my favorite!

Rudolph is thinner than the TV version!

This little book is from the early 1940's.

Is there an orange and a peppermint stick in those stockings?  Simpler times!

Babar and Father adventurous holiday story!

This little penguin doesn't like the cold weather! He's planning a trip to the South Pole.  The pictures are charming!

Check out the hot water bottles...and his map!

Waiting for Santa Claus is full of family-focused Christmas illustrations.  I love the picture of the dad reading to the children.

And before he was politically correct, Santa had a pipe!

And, finally the sweet story of a little French girl named Madeline!

Now we've come to the end of my Christmas books show-and-tell.    I hope it brightened your teatime!  If you're lucky enough to spot some of these treasures from Christmas' past at tag sales (or in your own attic) they make wonderful little additions to your holiday decorating (I love to decorate with vintage books).  Children or grandchildren would enjoy looking at them, as well!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

We feel very blessed to have all three sons home for this Thanksgiving.  I want to wish each of you a wonderful holiday, as well.

May your day be full of smiles!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Creamy Potato Soup

On a cold day, there's nothing better than a hot bowl of potato soup.  My version  has potatoes, onions, celery and carrots in a creamy broth.

1.  On a cutting board, finely mince:  2 cloves garlic, 2 carrots, 1 stick of celery and 1 yellow onion.
Place in large pot with 2 TBSP heated bacon drippings.  Let cook a few minutes until onions and celery are transparent.

2.  On same cutting board, chop about 6-8 large potatoes that have been peeled.  I like to mix two kinds, here, I used russets and Yukon Gold potatoes.

3.  Pour into the pot:  1 can Swanson's Chicken Stock and enough water to finish covering the potatoes.  Add salt to taste. Bring to a boil and then simmer.  As potatoes get fork tender, mash some to thicken the soup.

4.  Dilute 1 can Cambell's cream of chicken soup with 1 can of milk.  Stir until smooth and fold into the potato soup.  

5.    Mix a little flour with water (in a container with a tight lid) to make a thin white sauce and fold that in at the end to thicken.  Continue to simmer.  

6.  When the soup has thickened to the consistency that you like, chop green onions on top and add coarsely-ground black pepper to taste.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Collard Greens-Big Flavor but Less Fat!

 Collard greens sometimes get a bad reputation as a fat-laden food.  My sons made some great collards this past weekend that were full of flavor, but relatively healthy!  It's all in their cooking method and the way they layered the flavors.  

Make sure that your greens are fresh and well-cleaned!  They can have sandy grit on them.

1.  In a large pot, start with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and add 1/2 of a large onion, diced, and a couple of cloves of garlic, minced.  
2.  For that bacon flavor, they tossed in 1/3 C of Hormel real bacon pieces.  When this has all sizzled for a few minutes, pour in 1/2 large container of chicken broth or stock.  
3.  Add a smoked, cooked chicken wing or two (theirs was from a rotisserie chicken from the store). 
4.  Bring  to a boil and drop in your collard greens.  Let simmer until they're tender!  (Bake a pan of cornbread!). You are now ready for a real treat.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Joys of November!

  Fall is a busy time, but it's full of moments that feed the soul.  In the midst of the hustle and bustle, and the realization that the holidays are fast-approaching, there are times of complete bliss in enjoying God's creations.   The trees are putting on a show of their magnificent colors and the autumn sunsets are breathtaking!  
  Autumn is a time of cleaning up, storing -up and making sure we're ready for the harsh beauty of winter.  We put away the frivolities of summer (and also, Halloween) and bring out our warm, welcoming items that grace our homes with the feeling of harvest and thanksgiving.
  I've also had a busy week, but please come and see how I'm getting our house ready for Thanksgiving.  Would you like a warm cup of Earl Grey?

Oh, Abbey, no walk right now.  We have guests!

Our front entrance.  Kick your shoes off and stay a while.

I believe this turkey was meant to hold soup.  Around here, his job is to hide leftover Halloween candy!

In the dining room, I'm thinking of colors and shapes that might work on the table.    
I love the colors of the glaze on these Johnson Brothers salad plates.  I've had the brown chargers for a while.  They are not antiques, I just like the leaf pattern on the edges.

Miles and Priscilla have taken their places on our fireplace mantle.  Years ago, my sister lived in Manasses, Virginia and I found these at Wacamaugh Pottery.

Yet another turkey!  My hubby is not a fan of the glass turkeys;  he likes the real thing...with cranberry sauce!

Ah, we're in my kitchen, now.  Ben's Kindergarden-aged handprints make turkeys on my fridge.  I told you that I'm not very good at throwing things away!  I'm a,"sentimental hoarder"!

Look to the left at the brown bowl.  Both of these bowls have seen a lot of Thanksgivings, but the brown one is the one that my Mammam made,"light rolls" and noodles in.  It is very special!

These old crocks sit by my stove waiting for the big day of non-stop cooking and baking.

Finally, we go past a guest bedroom.  I've gotten out the winter quilts.  These two quilts were made by one of my great grandmas (Elizabeth) and they have a place of honor on the beautiful cherry quilt rack that my dad made for me years ago.  It has sat in every house we've lived in. 
  I hope you enjoyed our visit and seeing the stuff that I (hubby and son) got down from the attic to decorate for fall.  These items help bring the warmth and joy of the holidays into our home.  I hope your autumn days are full of good moments, special memories and exciting plans!