The duchess with her beloved chickens at Chatsworth in the 1990s. Photograph: Christopher Simon Sykes/Getty Images
Wait For Me: Memoirs of the Youngest Mitford Sister by Deborah Devonshire
I've been saving this article and book review from the Guardian until I could sit and enjoy it and this morning was the perfect time. If you are looking for the ideal Christmas gift for a friend who is a dyed in the wool Anglophile, this is certainly a book to consider.
Antique beams crisscross a Nantucket kitchen. Painted diamonds span the wood floor (love, love love this detail), and the counters are butcher block. via Architectural Digest This kitchen is #6 of 13 in a slideshow on Rustic Kitchens. Click here to start at the beginning. One of the kitchens belongs to Diane Keaton.
Everything cooked on top of the stove in stages in the same vintage cast iron wok: one split Cornish hen, stuffing and brussels sprouts. Easy and delicious. Pumpkin pie with whipped cream for dessert. I love one-dish meals because of the quick cleanup. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
This city letter carrier posed for a humorous photograph with a young boy in his mailbag. After parcel post service was introduced in 1913, at least two children were sent by the service. With stamps attached to their clothing, the children rode with railway and city carriers to their destination. The Postmaster General quickly issued a regulation forbidding the sending of children in the mail after hearing of those examples. via Smithsonian Institution
We have had the best weather since Thanksgiving Day. This is a perfect blue sky photographed as the perfect backdrop for my giant black walnut tree.
I drove my friend Karen to the mall to pick up something that was being held for her on Black Friday. I dropped her off and was prepared to drive around since there were no parking spaces in sight but got lucky and found one. These parking lot lights were the only thing of interest I could find in a sea of parked cars. I played around with the special effects features on Picasa, my favorite free photo editing program from Google.
I love this mixed media image I scanned from an old copy of Town and Country magazine. I have always admired these antiquarian prints from The Natural History of Birds, by Eleazar Albin, published between 1731 and 1738. These large scale hand-colored antique bird prints are favored by decoupage artist John Derian. When reproduced and laser printed they make wonderful trays.
There must be lots of happy houses this weekend. I scanned this image from an old address book and added the type. I was honored by being a guest at a lovely Thanksgiving dinner last night in a happy home.
We have rain on the east coast. Be careful on the wet roads if you are traveling home for Thanksgiving. Think pleasant thoughts about those anxiously waiting for you to arrive safely -- humans and pets alike. via
Recipe adapted from Lee Schiring and an ancient Jane Austen Society of Puget Sound Newsletter
yields: 2-4 dozen, depending on size
keeps: 3 weeks or longer, in an airtight tin
The only slightly tricky bit to these is judging doneness, as the dough is already brown from the sugar. There's quite a time range given, below, as I'm terribly uneven in rolling my dough. A few tips, then, to aid: note the sight and scent cues below to determine doneness. Also, note that the oven temp is unusually low, giving you more wiggle room than most cookies—if in doubt, give them a few more minutes. Finally, these biscuits are best slightly overdone than underdone: the end result should be crisp, not yielding. And if, after cooling, they're still tender in the center, a return to the oven (5-10 minutes) will correct that, spit-spot.
1 cup salted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
Heat oven to 300°. Cream butter, both sugars and salt, then add vanilla to combine. Scrape sides, then add flour, mixing just to combine.
Dust a clean surface lightly with flour, and roll dough 1/4" thick. Cut with desired cutters, and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, 1/2" apart (these cookies spread very little).
Bake 20-30 minutes, until cookies are fragrant, edges and bottoms are slightly darkened, and tops have lost their glossy look and taken on a matte finish. Cool cookies on sheet 15-20 minutes, then remove to rack to finish cooling. Cookies will firm up while cooking, and not be fully crisp until an hour or so after baking.
Recipe found @ remedialeating with lots of photos of children rolling and cutting these delightful cookies.
DALLAS – An Hermès Diamond Birkin, with Diamond and White Gold hardware – a beautiful example of one of the most exceptional handbags made – is expected to bring $80,000+ when it comes across the block on Dec. 6, as part of Heritage Auctions’ Handbags and Luxury Accessories Signature® Auction at the auction company’s Design District Annex, 1518 Slocum St. ~ Read more~
I love outdoor furniture like this that you can leave out all year long. It would look great covered with snow. That faux bois table is amazing and would be a great place to sprinkle bird seed for winter bird watching. via
I have officially finished the fall cleanup in the back. These two pictures were taken when I started this afternoon. It was too dark to show you the finished product. I ran the tractor around after doing all my hand raking. I put all the leaves back in the woods where they came from and Webster supervised. It's supposed to rain on Wednesday and my goal was to get trench cleaned out beforehand. The line of leaves and debris where the wonder dog is walking came out of the trench after the tall grass and weeds were whacked down by the worker yesterday. It looks nice again and I'm so happy.
I didn't have any time today to play with my camera. I got my haircut before lunch and when I got home there was a message that my worker would be dropped off to trim weeds with a metal blade. I was glad but not really prepared to work outside until late afternoon. My chin-length bob and I changed into work clothes and bit the bullet. I was excited about cleaning out the area with my trench for the rain water. We worked from 1:00-4:15 without stopping. I was in charge of the rake. It looks so good and I am glad I worked along with the hired hand. I think you always get a better job if you work as hard as they do. And I firmly believe they worker harder if they see you aren't afraid to get your hands dirty.
I took the iPhone photo of the birdbath yesterday. Tomorrow I'll pick up my trail of leaves after I take a picture to show you. Have a great weekend.
One of the oldest known intact doll houses is in the Germanisches National Museum, Nuremberg, Germany. Known as the Stromer House, because it was presented to the museum by Baron von Stromer, its original owner is unknown, but it is dated 1639.
Like other famous doll houses which followed it, the Stromer House offers a fascinating view of upper-class life for the time and place it was made. This doll house has 15 sections, with everything from stables and servants’ quarters, to elegant bedrooms and a reception room and hall with intricately paneled walls. via Monicamo on Flickr...click for more views.
I learned how to 'lock' the focus and reframe. Love this feature.
The barberry bushes started losing their leaves overnight.
Another shot with the focus 'locked' on the bark to the right.
This tree is losing all of its bark in big sheets. These photos were taken before dinner on the same walk I take every day with the wonder dog. Eventually I'll probably run out of things to photograph. Won't you be glad? Smile.
Lifelong collector of antiques. Things that interest me: animals, cottage and country life, fine art, architecture, antiquarian books and prints, dogs, natural history and sporting items, gardening, photography, graphic design, humor, quotes, real estate, interior design, renovation, restoration, learning new things, electronics and technology. This blog, established in 2008, reflects my own personal taste and will never bore you. Rosemary Beck