Tuesday, September 30, 2014

House History

 Do you ever wonder what houses would tell one if they could talk? How many owners they could tell about, what joys and tragedies they witnessed, if they were loved and cherished or left empty. Since I love history and old houses, I love to ponder these things. Did the owners make it through the Great Depression (the house was built 6 years before that event)? Was it a family or a little old lady, were there young children running through the house or a quiet and sedate couple?
Last summer, I decided to try looking my house up in the 1940 census records. It took a bit of doing, but finally I discovered Daniel and Daisy Toner! 
Daniel and Daisy Toner
With a bit more research, I was able to fill in a bit of the Toner's story. From census and telephone directories Daniel and Daisy moved to my house shortly after their marriage. It appears they were the first owners of the house. Daniel, usually called Al, was a supervisor at the local furniture manufacturing company, Daisy a homemaker. They had one daughter, Jean who grew up in the house, went to collage and became a journalist. Daniel and Daisy lived to an old age and passed away in their 80's a few months apart. 
Even though I don't have too many details, just having a sketch is amazing. And having faces to go with the names is incredible! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cherry Granola Bars

This might be the last cherry recipe. (It is time to move on to Apples!) These granola bars are one of our favorite snacks and seem to fit in with the fall-ish weather. I used dried cherries that Mandy dried in her dehydrator. Fabulous!

Granola Bars
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey or maple sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted or vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped or ground nuts (Almonds for this batch!)
3/4 cup dried fruit (Cherries and chocolate chips!)
Mix oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, dried fruit and nuts in a large bowl. Melt coconut oil in small bowl and mix in honey or syrup, egg and vanilla extract. Pour liquid mixture into dry and mix thoroughly. Pat into 9 x 13 pan and bake 28 minutes at 350.

We discovered we like thick granola bars, this also makes them more moist, so we double the recipe, but still make it in the 9 x 13 pan. 
Last summer when we didn't have a stove, a friend shared some freshly baked bars with us. I remember smelling them and thinking I had gone to heaven! I couldn't wait to get into my new kitchen and start baking!
This is a recipe that just cries out for experimentation and imagination! Think of all the combinations you can make! Dried cranberries and chocolate chips, raisins and walnuts, cherries and almonds, we have even done tropical bars with coconut and pineapple! Yum! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall! Are you ready for Autumn? I wasn't sure if I was, but the weather is certainly telling us fall is here!
Last night I decided it was time to put together the fall wreath I have been planning. When I was in the crafting mood last week, I made the little pumpkin and felted acorns. So fun!

  I had thought about painting the leaves gold, but once I was putting it all together, they looked perfect just as nature made them!
Does the wreath look familiar? I didn't realize I was going to get so much use out of it when I made it for Christmas last year! I love how versatile it is. So far it has been Christmas themed, Valentines, 4th of July and now Fall-ish. 
Now I am ready for Fall! Bring on the pumpkins and mums!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Milk Day

Fridays are milk delivery day here. Such an old fashioned simple pleasure we all look forward to each week! A little luxury that gives us as much happiness as good-for-you-ness. 
We get the good stuff, whole antibiotic-free milk in glass bottles. You really can't get it much fresher unless you lived on a farm. If you want to know more, visit Oberweis Milk.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What Shall I Cook Today? 124 thrifty, healthful tested recipes from Spry

 Here is the Spry Shortening cookbook I mentioned last week. Even though it doesn't have a copyright date, the illustrations shout 1930s! Aren't the comics darling? The thrifty, healthful line makes me laugh!
 I have always wanted to try apple fritter, I will have to remember this recipe.
 Of course, they couldn't have a shortening cookbook without talking about Pies!
 I like how they have included illustrated guides. Sometimes these are very helpful as cakes in vintage cookbooks usually aren't the dump-everything-in-a-bowel-and-mix variety. 
The recipe for Spry Pan-coat looks interesting. I haven't thought about mixing the flour and shortening together.

 Don't you love the recipe titles? Arabian Dessert Cake and Apple Upside Down Cake? 
Of course the reason I bought this booklet was the comics on the front and back, too cute!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Dinning Room

There was two projects I worked on in the dinning room this winter. They weren't big or changes that really made an impact on the room. Once summer was upon us in the busyness I kind of forgot about them. They were fun winter/spring projects, I had such fun working on them!
 Before we look at more pictures, a quick look at what the dinning room looked like last year, disastrous construction zone! There wasn't too much that needed done (compared to some other rooms!), re-finishing of the floors, paint and more paint and the ceiling light fixture moved over. You can see in the picture, there are two holes. The dinning room was one of the few rooms that actually had a ceiling light fixture, but when we went to put the light in the living room we realized the dinning room fixture was not centered. Since I was patching holes already, I had it moved over the few inches so everything would be in line. 
Here it is, both of my projects in one picture. The side chairs and the framed fruit prints. Both, of course, have stories.
The chairs I discovered in an antique mall last summer. One was in one room and the other in another room. When I saw the second I realized I had seen one just like it! Even though they needed some sort of seat and were all dried out from a previous owner's stripping, at $5 each I wasn't passing them up!
I painted them the same blue as the mirror in the front entry hall and upholstered the seats in matching curtain fabric. I love how the chair color brings out the blue in the fabric! After doing research, I realized the hole in the seats were for caned seats. I was very temped to cane them after doing my sewing room chair, but I decided to stick with my first plan as I wanted to use the curtain fabric somewhere else besides just the curtains.
 The second project, which really wasn't suppose to be a project, was the fruit pictures. I found them at an antique store several years ago, long before I bought my house. So of course, I had a completely different plan in mind and I only bought five (yes, five, what was I thinking!). As you can see, even nine doesn't fill the wall, five was lost. So I started a quest to find more. I visited the antique store, I scoured etsy, I googled and searched. The only plates I could find were either ones I already owned or were way out of my price range. 
Then I had a brain storm. Since they were from a book, why didn't a try looking for the book instead of the prints? After a bit more searching, I was fairly certain which book they were from and decided to take a chance and order the book. I got the right book, now I have 120 prints! I could paper the whole wall! 
I am still working on what to put on top of the buffet, I think a little more height would be nice. And I keep toying with the idea of adding more fruit prints. But decorating is always a work in progress!
I love how sunny the dinning room is in the afternoon. The angle of the sun is already changing, Autumn is on it's way!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cherry Breakfast Muffins

I am still celebrating Cherries! Today, I have a recipe that is not only cherry, but from a vintage cookbook! When I looked in past posts, I realized I had not shared the little Spry cookbook pamphlet this recipe is from, so stayed tuned for it in a later post.

The cherry muffin idea all started with a recipe I saw on Pinterest for Cherry Danish Muffins which looked delicious. But once I read the recipe I realized it was make with pre-packaged dough, not really my idea of  baking. So I took the idea and set out to find a muffin recipe. 
They turned out very well. A little different then we are normally use to in a muffin recipe. Instead of being almost cake like, they are a bit more egg-y with not as fine as a texture. I reminds me of a popover without the crisp outside. Which in my opinion makes a great breakfast muffin!
The muffins are in a vintage silver wire basket I found last fall. It has become my favorite thing to serve muffins and scones in!

I followed the recipe just like it is written except to substitute water for milk to make them dairy-free. Then I added 2 cups thawed cherries to the batter. Once the muffins tins were filled pushed a little chunk of cream cheese in the middle and spooned cherry jam on top. (When I make them again I would mix the cream cheese with a little sugar and milk so it was softer.) Or you can always skip that part and just make cherry muffins!