Friday, August 18, 2017

Berries, cherries, oh my!

We've been really enjoying all the fresh berries this summer. Cherries, and strawberries have been especially good as have peaches and nectarines. We went to the local farmers market here and fonnd these berries. Prices have been quite reasonable too. The peaches and nectarines were only .99 cents a lb!Alan loves fruit but he does have to be careful and not over do it with diabetes. 

I usualy just clean the berries and have them cold in the fridge for snacking and dessert. We like them on cereal and pudding of course, too.

Its been interesting watching life go by our little condo. We've seen alot of characters and interesting people stroll ,walk, bike and drive by in golf carts. Many of the seniors here use bikes or golf carts. The carts are usually decorated, some heavily with flags and such.

Today, I put a chicken in the crock post and later will take the meat off the bones. Making chicken tacos tonight and quesadillas tomorow. Easy way to have a tasty dinner when its warm. I also am baking Alan a pan of sugar free walnut brownies. I bakes some banana bread early this morning too. Guess I'm in a cooking mood!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

More Quilts

I have the two quilts, I had posted about to show you..

The first is my great grandmothers..she was born  in 1864.

The quilt was made from dress material from the 1930s when she visited my grandparents...I believe the pattern is 9 patch but I could be mistaken. Its bound nicely with red fabric and is in fairly good condition for its age.

The second quilt, my grandmother made..she was born in Iowa from German immigrants who came over in 1850. They spoke German in the home. She was born in 1888 in Ottumwa. Having done some research, I found the family farm in that town. Its on the outskirts and still has a farmhouse on it. I'd love to go one day and see it. There is farm land there too but from the Google site, it doesn't look like its been farmed in some time.

Its done in pink and green and is in great conditon but the binding in some sides is worn. This would fit the top of a queen bed. The other quilts I've shown are better for a full.My grandparents had one on their bed and one in the guest bedroom. I remember sleeping on the floor in the guest room when I was little and later slept in a bedroom in the basement of the house when I was older. The basement was creepy for me but as I got older, it was fine. The creeking of the floor joists was the worst!

Grandma also did alot of crochet work. She was always making doilies and used them in the living room on the chairs and sofa. I am lucky enough to inherit those too. She crocheted a beautiful tablecloth which my brother has. I plan on giving him some of the doilies too if he wants them.

Here are a few photos of my  great grandparents, the German immigrants,

This is my great grandparents on my mothers side, Henry Wagner and his wife, Laura Alice. Henry arrived in the US with two brothers, and then went back to German tofind  his wife. They were farmers, just look at his shoes!

Here is my grandma when she graduated from high school
she made the pink and green quilt...

Friday, July 28, 2017

Strawberry Lemon Crunch Cake

I'm sorry, I know I said I'd share the other quilts but we had a bit of small emergency and had to watch our 5 year old grandson for a few days. As the quilts are in the cedar chest, its a little difficult for me to get them out right now.

I do promise to show them to you but until then, I wanted to share a great cake recipe. This one I made for my mother on her 78th birthday. She was really impressed and loved it. It does take a little more care and work than a normal cake but well worth it. Especially for a special person. Many times older people don't need things very much for their birthday, but something like this does that shows care and love makes a big impact.

I got the recipe from this cookbook,

Its a collection of the magazines recipes from throughout the year. We used to subscribe to Sunset. The cake I made is the one on the cover. Isn't it beautiful? and its just as delicious too.

The print is small so I'm going to give you the recipe so you can make it for your special person. Its well worth the work, believe me!

                Strawberry Lemon  Crunch Cake

Lemon-pistachio Sponge Cake                                             
(recipe follows)

Lemon cream 
Lemon crunch

4 cups strawberries, hulled                                                                                                              
 halved lengthwise

Pistachios reserved from cake
Lemon-pistachio Sponge Cake

Place 1 1/2 cups shelled, roasted pistachios in a 8 inch square pan and put in a 350 oven for around 10 minutes or until deep golden in color. Cool completely. Reserve 1 cup for later, chopped finely the rest.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, 4 large egg whites, beat  at high speed until foamy. Beating gradually, add 1/2 cup sugar until whites hold their shape. Set aside.
In another large bowl, beat 4 large egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel until very thick. Add 1/2 cup flour and 3 Tablespoons water plus the chopped nuts. Mix at low speed.
Stir a bit of the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture gradually, and then gently fold in the rest of the white mixture. Spread batter in a  ungreased 9 or 10 inch cheesecake pan with a removeable bottom.
Bake at 325 oven until cake is golden and springs back when lightly touched in middle when touched gently in the middle. About 40 minutes. Let cake cool completely in pan on a rack. Run a spatula around the edges between cake and pan, then remove sides. Slide a spatula until the cake from the bottom of the pan. At this point, you can make the cake ahead of time and it will keep about a day.

Lemon Cream

In a 2 to 3 qt pan, mix 4 large egg yolks 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel,  and 1/2 cup butter ( use the real stuff) cut in pieces. Stir over medium low heat, until mixture thickens  and heavily coats a spoon a metal spoon. 8 to 12 minutes. Cool and chill until cold, at least, 1 1/2 hours. Beat 1 cup of whipping cream until stiff and then fold in the lemon cream.  it took can be made ahead about a day.

Lemon crunch
Butter a 12 square of foil and set aside.  In a 1 to 1/2 qt. pan, mix 3/4 cup sugar, 3 Tablespoons water, and 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup. Boil over medium high heat until syrup  measures 300 degrees on a candy thermometer 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, immediately stir in 1 teaspoon baking soda and grated lemon peel. Pour onto foil. Let cool. Enclose in a plastic bag, coarsely crush the candy with a mallet.
it can be made ahead of time.

Place cake on a platter and slip pieces of paper underneath it to cover plate rim. Swirl all the lemon cream but one cup on top and sides of cake. Pat lemon crunch around the sides of the cake and just to the top edge. There may be extra which you can use for other things.
Arrange the strawberries , either cut side down or up on top of cake. Garnish with mint. Chill the cake for up to 2 hours.
Serve the remaining nuts and cream on the side. Nice to add as a garnish to a cut slice.

As I said, this cake is more work than most but well worth it. Absolutely delicious and great for a special birthday or other celebration. Most of it can be made ahead of time too which is a plus. My mom is no longer with us but we have great memories of her birthday and this memorable cake.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Great Grandma's Quilt

This is one of two quilts I inherited from my great grandmother, Mary Roberta, my grandfathers mom. She visited the family in Spokane, Wa one winter in the late 1920s and during that time made two quilts. The time line would make this about 90 years old.
It is beautifully handquilted and the perfect size for a full bed. Its also in wonderful condition as you can see. All done in soft yellow and violet.
I also have another quilt, which I will share tomorrow. Its in a little rougher condition and also I have one that my grandmother made.  It just needs to have the outer binding redone.

these quilts were all used in my grandparents house until they passed. None of the other family wanted them so I guess as the youngest grandchild they fell to me. I cherish them and always wanted to have a guest room to display them.

Here is a photo of Mary and her family, my grandfather as a young boy, and his two sisters, Gladys May and Katie Edith. Poor Katie, the smaller girl on the left, died of the flu, in 1899. She was only 15 at the time. My mom was named after Gladys.

I plan on working more on my family tree and finding out more about the family. I started working on it some time ago but family matters took over so now that we're semi-retired, I hope there will be time to continue my quest.
I do have a Wiki Tree page with what I have so far and its been wonderful meeting others that have added to it. Especially offshoots from my immediate line.
Great grandma's first husband, the father of the the above family, died when my grandfather was only 3 months old. She again married her brother in law, and went on to have 4 more children. I really don't know much about them, nor do I know what really happened to my mothers namesake, Gladys May.. So there is much to find out and explore!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Worship

I had this album. Happy Sunday!

Friday, July 21, 2017

A Doll Buggy and More

I also inherited my mama's doll buggy. She had stored it out in a shed so it was rather dirty when we brought it home. But it is in very good condition. Even the tires have their original rubber on them.We did paint it as the white paint that it originally had yellowed considerably. This is probably as old as Rosemary. Mom was born in 1919. So this is from the 1920s also.
I've always liked it and thought of many ways to use it as a display piece. Not only for a doll, but it would be darling sitting next to a fireplace filled with wrapped Christmas gifts or greenery.

I cherish both Rosemary and this doll buggy. I hope to pass them on one day who will cherish them as much as I do.
Mama told me once she had a tiny iron toy stove too. A toy that she took out into the yard and actually cooked on. I've seen these on Ebay but never had one.

Here is a picture of one I found online
I have found a couple of the accessories for such a stove...a coal shuttle and a cooking pot.

                The cooking pot is a "spider" with legs on it.

As I said before, you can find them on is a link for such a listing...Cresent Stove-Toy

In my next post, I'll share the quilts I also inherited...from the 1920s and 30s.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Meet Rosemary, 96 years old!

Rosemary is 96 years old, almost 100! She was my mothers doll in the 1920s. She's a big girl, and does need to go the doll hospital but so precious. My dear mama had her at the doll hospital in the 60s and she was beautiful when she returned but needs to go again.

I am wondering just what kind of doll she is, she's not composition. I think she's either papermache or wood based. Her body is stuffed with straw and she even is wearing her 1920s underwear!

The underwear shirt still has all its buttons and her underpants have lost their elastic but still fit. She has her old slip too. The dress was from the hospital visit, 1960s.

I like her pudgy legs...

so if you're reading this and can identify her for me, I would be so grateful! She has no marks that I can see, either on her body, neck or head.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Spanish Rice

This Spanish Rice dish, ala 1950s, was made using the recipe for the Tomato Relish on my cooking  
Having this relish in the freezer, you have a really easy way to make the classic Spanish Rice meal.
Simply brown hamburger and add the relish, it already has tomatoes, onion, and peppers in it. Then add your cooked rice, mix well, top with grated cheese, and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. The relish has a wonderful tang which really makes this casserole good.
I canned about 12 pints and 6 qts. of this last year and its all gone now. I used the last  jar in this last night.
The recipe for the relish was published in the Oceanside Blade newspaper back in the 70s and was very popular. They had a food editor that always had the greatest recipes! 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Amish Cookbook, Wonderful Good Cooking!

 Soon after we were married in the 1970s, we made a road trip back to Iowa to visit my husband's family. As a California girl, I'd never  been to the Midwest. My family were all located in Washington State so when we did take a trip, it was up and down the west coast.

I was  amazed (and still am) what a wonderful country we live in. Traveling by car in those times was an truly awesome experience. The big interstates hadn't been built yet so there was alot of highways and little towns to go through. Gas was cheap then and hotels just as cheap. Hotel 6 was just that, you could get a hotel room for that price. And it was a decent room.

I think looking back, my main impression was one of green, brilliant green going into Iowa.. Also flat plains, I kept looking in the distance for mountains or hills. That's all I knew and I missed seeing them.
Alan's family were so warm and welcoming to this California native. He has a big family with 9 brothers and sisters so his parents little house was always full of laughter and good times. At that time, his youngest siblings were still living at home and in high school. His mom and dad were the sweetest people and I fell in love with the entire family.

Alan showed me around the small town of Independence. Population 5,000. We walked downtown along the storefronts and the old buildings.
Then we drove out the Amish farms and enjoyed the little shops they had set up on them. In one of them, I bought this cookbook.

 This one has alot of photos, how they got them, I have no idea as the Amish don't like to have their pictures taken. 

                        I even still have the receipt from the purchase!

Here are a few of the recipes, enjoy!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Coastal Cookery Cookbook

 This is another of my mama's cookbooks. Coastal Cookery, 1947. I'm not sure who published it but it does have a map on the inside...I believe it was given to her when my dad was stationed in North Carolina at Camp LaJune after WWII. Mom worked in the Hospitality House.

         It also says this is the fourth edition so there must be more of these around.

What is interesting is that all the recipes are in the original writing of the contributors. Young people wouldn't be able to read these if they didn't know cursive writing.

There are even recipes for wild game which must have been common then, perhaps?

                    If you click on the photo, it will get larger if you want the actual recipe.
         I have a Amish cookbook also I will share soon.

 I didn't do a post yesterday because my husband had oral surgery. Two teeth had to be pulled and it was rough for him. The bottom tooth was hooked to the bone and took quite a time to get out. His poor gums are black and blue. The tooth broke out in pieces. Then we had had to wait at the pharmacy for a long time as they were so busy. I wanted to  get his pain meds before the Novocain wore off. He's feeling better today and is taking a nap right now as I type this. 

Monday, July 10, 2017


I've been thinking of making a separate blog on cooking. I've inherited tons of good recipes, many of them from the 1930s through 1990s. Basic cooking is always a good thing to know, especially as food prices have risen so much. Its so much cheaper and better (more healthy too!) to cook at home.

I did publish many good recipes here on this blog. Once a week, I did a Grandmas Recipe Box post.

My family  is a family of good cooks. My maternal grandfather had his own bakery back in the 1930s during the Depression and Grandma always made everything from scratch. They also had a big garden, canned and stored food too.  No one went without during this time in our family. They traveled to Montana to the other family farms to get 100 lb. bags of potatoes, carrots, and onions which they stored in a cold storage in the basement of the house. Grandpa also made root beer in the bathtub. My mom and aunts would speak of hearing the pop in the basement when one of the bottles would explode. They also made all types of pickles, relishes, and jams.

                                     Grandpa and Mama in front of the bakery in the 1930s.

My paternal grandparents had a farm and did the same thing.My dad spoke of milking cows and working at the farm. They also had many fruit trees and berry bushes. Years later when I came along, I remember picking berries and running through the tree groves with my cousins. Barefoot and smiling from ear to ear, I'd go into the kitchen with a pail of berries, and my face covered in berry juice. My fingers scratched from the blackberry bushes and happy.

Now, I'm the grandma and I can only hope our grandchildren can have similar memories. Sadly, our dream house is gone but that doesn't mean I can't cook!
You can find the recipes I've published on this blog, here

I also have tons of cook books! My mom collected them before I was born so I have a few of those plus I've collected some myself. I just love cookbooks. The photos alone are wonderful. The cookbook Mama used the most was the one her parents gave her the year I was born..

     Its really worn out now as we used it so much! 
  The cookbook is the America's Women Cookbook. You can still find these on Ebay in better condition. Probably because they weren't used as much as this one.  Even though this book is old, its still a wonderful addition to any kitchen.
  Grandma wrote on the inside cover the year and more.

The inside of the cookbook is in good condition. So many good recipes and beautiful photos

That's about all for today. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy 4th of July

Wishing you a Happy 4th. We got a new flag in our new place. Made in USA flag too!

Here are some vintage postcard graphics to celebrate the holiday. As you know, old postcards are a favorite of mine.

You may have noticed I changed the template in this blog. Thought  I needed a change. How do you like it?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday Musings

I just finished this stitching and will get this one and the matching one for dogs in my shop soon. Have to frame them. I rather like these new patterns from Urban Threads. Different and fun to stitch!

I'll be opening my shop in August. I want to stitch up some new things to list. These are just the beginning. 

Our cats are adjusting well to the move. They don't sit in the window anymore as the window sill is very narrow but do love it when we open the front door. There is a security screen door so we  lock it so they can look out.



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ironwood and Saying Goodbye

 Last weekend, our family went to the San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar fairgrounds. What a relief of coolness from the ocean winds, its been very hot here, in the 90s and as hot as 108. It was 72 at Del Mar.
We happened upon a seller of Mexican Ironwood. Years ago we'd bought several pieces and our son bought us the feather, the detail is amazing. Its a new piece and made with modern tools. Our older pieces were hand carved but they are all wonderful.

Here is the roadrunner we have

and our other piece is the oldest, a owl and yes he does have a beak.

These last two pieces were hand carved by the Seri Indians of the state of Sonara in Mexico. 
Iron wood is very hard and heavy. The grain is very straight and it sinks in water. You polish this wood using shoe polish.

We got all the boxes and things out of storage now and said goodbye to our house. It was sad leaving, especially as the bank has not turned the water on. Our lawn and fruit trees are dying in this terrible heat.Its puzzling as they were so determined to make us leave only to leave it empty for weeks and not taking care of the landscaping. The front lawn looks dead and dry.
I cried while driving away, those trees, rose bushes and sago palms were like children to me. Shriveling in the driving heat.

But life goes on and another page in our book of life has turned. I will try to post as often as I can.
The cats have been a great comfort to us as well as getting into Gods Word and prayer. I know, like Job that He is in control.

 I don't want to close this post on a sad note......

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Day Three of the Condo

As I said, there is a room behind the bedroom. A little funky but quite usable. Its still in the planning stages, but we have put up blinds, and put down a indoor/outdoor carpet. Before it was just concrete.

As I said, its a mess right now. The large window-like area that you see on the left is plexiglass with glass shelving. Eventually, this will be a nice office. Outside  toward the back left is the atrium. I will post photos in a few months so you can see the finished office.

We did look at rentals in the neighboring town of Hemet, Ca and could have got a much larger home for less money. However, after praying about it, we both felt we were to stay here in the Menifee/Sun City area. Our son and grandson are here so for the time being, we should be too. Plus our business is improving and we don't want to have to start over again somewhere else.

Having our personal things here has made a difference in the feel of the condo. Its starting to feel like home.
Be it ever so humble...
I will be stitching again also..guess the name of my shop Sweet Home Stitchery is becoming more appropriate!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Our New/Old Condo

I thought I'd continue letting you know about Sun City. Del Webb built it back in the early 1960s. He first built a similar senior living area in Arizona.

The Kings Inn was where everyone stayed and had the tour of the area.

I remember as a teen traveling with my family driving by here. I never dreamed we'd be living here years later.

The inn suffered a fire in the 70s and only a few buildings were left standing. They were moved across the freeway and now are part of the Americans Best Value Inn. We actually stayed there one night recently while moving. I didn't go in to register but Alan did and he noticed the office was older and looked rather vintage.

Now the lot where the Inn stood is empty.

Hopefully, some one will put something on it one day.
Our condos are right down the street from this lot. From what I understand (I could be wrong) these were built with the idea to house people while their homes were being built.

The entry of ours, like so many others has a geometric look

                                 The mail comes through a slot by the door. Rather classy. No more having to walk to the community mail box. There have been many break ins in these boxes so no worries when the mail is delivered personally.

We're still moving in. It seems to take time when we help with our grandson and do our locksmith business. All our stuff is in storage. We have about 1/3 left to get out. Its been challenging finding space for everything but its coming along. 
Here is the living room so far...

I'm trying to make the bookcase more interesting. The top shelf houses the flag that was on Alan's dad's casket. He was a WWII veteran. 
Also I put our cat Boots ashes with a photo of him as a memorial. He's been gone now 7 years but I still miss him. 
The other end of the room has Alan's tractor collection and my oil lamps. Plus an antique  sewing machine stand and vintage radio.

Behind those doors is the kitchen. and a bar area for eating. No dining room here. We would have left it open but the cats decided they wanted to jump in there so we're not using the bar. Plus we needed a space for the barrister bookcase. I was pleasantly surprised to find some old fashioned TV tray stands at Ross the other day. So we use them to eat on.

Here's the bedroom. Its quite large, big enough for the curio cabinet. Its a nice quiet retreat. I do have pictures for the walls but as I said, we're still moving in.

Tomorrow I will show you the office.

Most of these condos are one bedroom, however, someone built another room on the back. 
There is also a "atrium". A rather small area for planting and gardening. We've talked it over and decided to make a small raised bed there and plant tomatoes. Right now its a fenced in graveled area.

That's about all for today.