Peanut Butter Eggs, Made

Gram's Recipe Box

Not too long ago, I posted three recipes for peanut butter eggs, and at the time I thought they sounded pretty easy. So, this past weekend I decided to try one of them! Here we go.

IMG_1334 Ingredients for peanut butter eggs

Here’s the ingredient list:

1 lb box xxx sugar

3/4 c melted butter or oleo

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 T cocoa

5 T peanut butter any kind

I omitted the salt, as my friend and frequent site reader Diane B commented, a pinch of salt in a pound of sugar sounds irrelevant. I used creamy peanut butter and unsalted butter.

It's like brownie batter It’s like brownie batter

Once combined the mixture was a bit loose, like a pudding. Hm, I thought, how am I going to shape these into eggs? Off to the store for a candy mold! Joanne’s is a dangerous place for a woman and child…

View original post 388 more words

Advertisements

Medieval vs Renaissance

So, those of you who know me know that I have a distinct affection for history. I will not say I am a history buff, but I am interested in almost anything historical – within reason, please, lol. Beginning early in my life, I have been fascinated by the thoughts, activities and stories of those who have passed before me. This includes ancient history through to modern history. I think because I am introspective about myself, looking back on past actions is easier for me than looking forward.

Anyway, one thing that does bother me is the abuse of history by authors of popular novels. This goes for everything from describing clothing incorrectly to having the wrong King on the throne in the timeline of the novel. I’m just a jerk that way I guess. I try not to let it bother me for the most part, but some things really really irritate me, mostly because I think these peccadilloes just show the author was lazy in his or her research. Especially in these days of Google and Wikipedia, there is no excuse for incorrect dates, fashion information, political events and social activities.

For instance, I used to read this one author who always described her heroines as “progressive” and said they didn’t wear a corset. While I allow this helps along the love scenes, not wearing a corset deemed a woman as a “loose” woman in the 19th century. As progressive as a woman was, it’s fairly unlikely that in the scenarios put forth of shop girls to high born ladies, they wouldn’t sacrifice their reputation for the sake of comfort. This one bothered me so much it inspired a “top ten” list of corset myths over at Who Were They?, one of my sister sites.

Now, I am the queen of suspending my disbelief. I can accept all the crazy stuff that happens in the vampire world, werwolves, fantasy worlds, Game of Thrones, witch craft, all of it, so I’m not saying poetic license or creative timelines are inappropriate. But, I refer you back to the existence of Google and Wikipedia for simple historical research.

Currently I am reading a book that is modern but set in a Renaissance fair. It’s quite fun, particularly since I spent enough weekends of my own working at the Ren Fair back in the day. I can totally relate to so much of what is happening, I really am enjoying the book.

But.

And there’s that “but.”

The author insists on referring to the time period as Medieval and Renaissance interchangeably.

There is a difference! The confusion may stem from the fact that the Renaissance began at different times throughout Europe, so some countries were in the Middle Ages while others had moved on to the Renaissance. England entered the Renaissance period later than most other European countries, and so Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) is a popular figure at Ren Fair, right along side Christopher Columbus (1451-1506). But while we all sort of know that Christopher Columbus and his contemporary Leonardo DaVinci are pivotal characters of the Renaissance, it is easy to forget that while they were discovering new worlds and painting masterpieces, other parts of the world were still mucking about in the Middle Ages and William Shakespeare (1564-1616) hadn’t even been born!

Granted, a Renaissance Fair celebrates the entire period (generally 1347-1605 or thereabouts), and seriously a Ren Fair is almost as far from historical accuracy as one can get, but it is not Medieval Times and that is what bugs me.

So there you go.

Virginia Special Macaroni and Cheese

I’m going to reblog some posts from my other sites occasionally, as I did with the dress modification. I feel like I have four loves but they are fragmented onto four sites, so this might be the best way to bring them all together. Cheers!

Gram's Recipe Box

Virginia Special Mac and Cheese

 

Macaroni and cheese with sugar in it isn’t exactly what I was thinking with this one. However, maybe it adds a gentle sweetness to an otherwise cheesy, gooey, casserole. Having a 6-year-old, we tend to eat a lot of macaroni and cheese. Maybe I will try this one. Without the tomatoes of course. I like catchup on my mac & cheese, but there is where I draw the line. :-) I don’t know the vintage of this recipe. It was clipped from a newspaper of unknown origin and date.

Virginia Special Macaroni & Cheese

1 7 oz package elbow macaroni

1 1/2 cup milk

1 cup evaporated milk

2 well beaten eggs

2 T sugar

1/2 t salt

1 8 oz package sharp Cheddar (or process American cheese), coarsely diced

Tomato slices, halved

Cook macaroni in boiling salted water til just tender; drain. Blend milk, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar…

View original post 59 more words

Extending the life of a dress

Here’s a little project I did last week…

Mrs Brewer's Parlour

Our 19th century counterparts were very good at using every resource until it was completely used up. They didn’t have a local Walmart or Target available to run over and buy a replacement. Stores were sometimes a full days ride away from home, and so they stocked up on certain things, and used and reused things diligently. In their day, it was called “being frugal.” These days we have rebranded it for school kids and we call it recycling.

In a woman’s repertoire was the ability to remake dresses from one fashion to another, or to update a look with new trims and decoration. In particular with children’s clothing, it was important to make them last as long as possible because children grow! If you ever read Laura Ingalls Wilder, she refers to Ma “turning” hers and Mary’s dresses. This involved removing the skirt from the bodice and turning it…

View original post 699 more words

Vintage Valentine Card

Check out this exciting find! Thanks Mom!!

Vintage Valentine

Vintage Valentine

This is a Valentine’s Day greeting card dated February 14, 1900. There’s even a message hidden behind one of the layers. Click the image to read my full post about it on Who Were They?

My mother has tons of secrets squirreled away in drawers and occasionally she takes them out to share and pass on. Last weekend after Melody’s birthday, she gave me this, and also a box full of 100+ year old baby clothing. Squeee! One of the items is a christening dress with gorgeous tiny pin tucks and lace and it is oh, so delicate. We were able to see where the dress had been altered to allow for a bigger baby to wear it. Also, tiny baby bibs, backed with flannel, each edged with tatted lace. And two insanely fragile and gorgeous baby bonnets, one so filmy it was surely just for the christening. It definitely shows that babies have gotten bigger in the last 100 or so years! The bonnets were so tiny they look like doll clothes. I will try to get some photos of these later on, but right now I’m trying to figure out my budget for preserving them. I plan to have them placed in shadow boxes so they can be seen but not touched.

If you have antique items such as these, the first and best way to preserve them is to not touch them. If you must touch them, wear cotton gloves. The oils and residue our fingers and hands leave behind on these age-worn items will damage them. Next, keep them away from bright light and sunlight. If you ever noticed that the curtains around your windows are faded, it’s due to the natural bleaching properties of sunlight. That’s why linens hung out to dry are crisp and bright white! Many of my mom’s treasures are indeed in drawers or closets, away from natural light and even lamp light. If you do display your item, make sure it is behind museum quality glass that blocks UV rays. This will help protect dyes from fading and paper from disintegrating.

Finally, if you must launder something because it is yellowed with age, look into laundry soap flakes. These are different from detergents and are more gentle on delicate antique fabrics. You can use Woolite for delicates, or if you are really into preservation you can research French laundry flakes. For some reason they are not really easy to find in America. There are a couple services that will clean your heirloom items for a fee, such as Allo Laverie, in New York. I haven’t worked with them, so not an endorsement. Also, OxyClean dissolved in the hottest water possible for you to tolerate will work for removing most stains. Gently swirl the fabric in the soapy water and let it sit. It could take hours. You don’t want too high of a concentration of OxyClean but you also don’t want too little. The more delicate the item, the less soap. Once you feel the stains have come out as much as they are going to, remove the item from the water, refill you basin with cold water and rinse carefully until all traces of the OxyClean are gone.

Site update at Gram’s Recipe Box

New layout, whee!

New layout, whee!

A really wonderful thing happened over at my site Gram’s Recipe Box. I found the perfect theme. You might not realize how difficult it can be to find a great theme for your website. With a site like WordPress, they offer themes designed to integrate with your existing content to enhance and showcase your work. You know how much work you put into the content on your site, but if like me you aren’t a graphic designer, you also know how frustrating it can be to not express the vision in your mind of how your perfect site looks. Well as I was browsing the various available themes for this site, ironically, I found the vintage kitchen theme and I knew, I had found The Perfect Theme for Gram’s Recipe Box. The theme is clean, inviting, and yet still modern in a vintage-y way. I can’t say enough how much I like it! For now, Notes will stick with the existing floral theme since I don’t really love too many of the available themes right now. Perhaps as WordPress adds themes in the future, I’ll find that elusive perfect theme for this site too.