Saturday, November 26, 2011

Stove Top Saturday Night Supper

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.

Baby in the Mailbag | Special Delivery

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

Who Knew Seals Could bBe So Friendly?

Charlie Bird meets elephant seals while travelling through Antarctica following the route of explorer Tom Crean's final expedition alongside Ernest Shackleton aboard the Endurance in 1914-15.

Two Recent iPhone 4S Photos

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.

Antique Bird Prints

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

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ralph Waldo Emerson House with Friends Quote

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. 

Life's Little Instruction Book | Volume II, page 49

More great fatherly advice from H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Decked out for the Thanksgiving Day Hunt

Tally Ho
Happy Turkey Day :)

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

It's a little too nippy to have an outdoor Thanksgiving feast here at the cottage. Hope yours is lovely, inside or out. via Country Home

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lauren Bush weds David Lauren = Lauren Lauren

The bride wears a dress, designed by the father of the groom (also in Ralph Lauren), of antique tulle hand-embroidered with Swarovski Elements, beads, and pearls.

Hair, Julien Farel for Julien Farel Group; makeup, Bobbi Brown.
Photographed by Norman Jean Roy

Read the article and see the slideshow at

Be Safe if You Travel Today and Tomorrow

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

Beautiful Cat

I couldn't resist this beautiful animal. I don't think I've ever seen a more stunning photo of a cat. Those yellow-orange eyes forced me to do it. via

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies [Recipe]

Lee's Butterscotch Shortbread
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.

Hermès Bag may top $80,000 at Dallas Auction

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~

Happy Thanksgiving

I scanned this graphic from my antiquarian book of crests and added the type. This is my Thanksgiving card to all of you.

Gratitude is the sign of noble souls. ~ Aesop

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.~Erma Bombeck
image #3 here and #2 here

Monday, November 21, 2011

Red Barn in Need of Repair

Red Barn in Wood County Ohio by dbthayer
I hope someone saves it soon.

Webster is Already Down for A Nap

Now this is what I call the end to a perfect morning for any dog. Webster really knows how to relax.

All About Dogs in A Nutshell

They never talk about themselves but listen to you while you talk about yourself, and keep up an appearance of being interested in the conversation.

~Jerome K. Jerome

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tower Castle of Chatillon-en-Bazois in Burgundy

The garden at Château de Chatillon, Bourgogne
© collection Jean-Baptiste Leroux 
Absolute perfection.

Extraordinary Giraffe Photo

I hope you are having an equally lovely time today enjoying the scenery. via

Durable Outdoor Furniture

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