"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Archive for June, 2011

Laura and I Went to the Annex Cookery and Tin Front Café- Homestead, PA

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A full weekend of family and happy times. Laura drove in from Columbus and met me at Clarissa’s Boutique at 3:30, ( they close at 4 on Saturday) tried on and picked up her bridal veil and headpiece. I’d driven down from Uncle Frank’s and Aunt Linda’s in West Mifflin on the way to Carson Street and saw the Annex Cookery Store looking inviting. So after we got the veil, we drove back along the Monongahela River to Homestead to check out the Annex Cookery, a cool store that used to be almost behind our first house (1989) in Pittsburgh on Walnut Street years ago. The Tin Front Café (all veg, beautiful bread and local resources) with a wonderful back patio. Judith Tener gave us a nice tour of the cafe. A great place to meet friends and eat, then shop in the adjacent Annex Cookery. Laura and I bought a couple of Joseph Joseph kitchenware items (there is a whole line in the store) and made a wish list for more. Like the triangular olive dish with the holes leading to a circular bowl underneath where partygoers stash the olive pits they never know what to do with after they eat the olive! A square colander that would fit in a sink’s corner perfectly, and all these utensils where the spoon bowl or spatula head doesn’t touch the counter or stove top when it is at rest. They call it Elevate Slotted Spoon or Elevate Ladle- How smart is that? Those Joseph brothers have created a lot of colorful and useful kitchen ware. “Joseph Joseph is now internationally recognized for producing some of the most stylish and technically innovative products available.

I bought a Riviera Bag and it was hard to choose between sizes/colors but you know how I am about the Red White and Blue. Didn’t I just tell everyone don’t buy me anymore Red White and Blue items. Well, it looked like something the kids would think funny when I travel to visit. Of course, I’m not going to look like Julia Roberts carrying her Riviera Bag in Eat Pray Love but the bag is going to be able to hold knitting and whatever else I need to take to the Riviera, I mean Ohio.

And if you ever spent a rowdy evening raising a beer stein and cheering the Steelers underneath the Maidenform, Bali and or Warner’s assorted brassieres hanging at Chiodo’s Tavern (formerly at the end of the Homestead Highlevel Bridge) you can see the bar(without bras) in all its stunning beauty of wood and mirrors and glass right here! Now a Walgreen’s is in Chiodo’s location. :-(

Get thee to Homestead and eat brunch or “Butternut bisque with coconut milk and basil $3.75 Four bean chili with cheddar and cilantro $3.95 Black bean hummus with sliced cucumber and warm pita $7.95 Spinach salad with apple, gorgonzola, walnuts and pickled beet $7.95 Hot tamale with black beans…” (menu sample taken from their website) Tin Front Café and shop in the unique store with wonderful kitchen and cookware and jazzy aprons and tableware at the Annex Cookery- There are write ups and reviews galore, raving about the renovations, the store AND the café. Click here for one by Patricia Lowry.

Homestead is happening!

A return visit to the Tin Front Cafe 6/15/11-  Joan and I ate a delicious lunch.  I had Grilled Cheddar and Apple sandwich with mixed greens on the side with a touch of balsamic dressing and lovely parings of sharp Italian cheese.  Joan had the spicy spinach quesadilla.  A couple of iced teas and a lot of fun.  Ellie brought out “Happy Beans” with our check- Chocolate covered coffee beans.

(And if you’re following Keep or Pitch there is a shot of the Yard Sale Leftovers at St. Raf’s Gym.)

Uncle Frank Drove His 1933 Plymouth to Pick Up the Bride Today (6 images)

We were up at Aunt Linda and Uncle Frank’s today, seeing all the family in town for the wedding last night. Saturday was another wedding and Uncle Frank took his spotless 1933 Plymouth to pick up the bride. He has had the car since 1973 and it a beauty. He added a couple of Just Married signs on the sides and back. Michael(5) is photographing the scene from the porch.

Cookie Table(s) at Pittsburgh Weddings are Tradition

Cookie-Table-WeddingTonight Mark and Erika are at a wedding and I am thinking about the cookie table. Wondering if they packed a container and brought home some cookies. (Probably not since they are doing the PX90 workout these days.)

There was a big article in the New York Times in Dec 2009. Several theories as to the origin of the tradition. The wedding reception featured in the article took place at the Le Mont where Mark and Erika had their reception, too. The cookie tables shown today on the blog are from a May 2009 wedding of my friend Donna’s son John and his lovely bride Angie. They had multiple cookie tables and the cookies were delicious. Everyone must have baked their hearts out for this wedding! Dozens and dozens of cookies. Everyone has a favorite type cookie and I have seen wedding guests scarf down a dozen or so lady locks BEFORE dinner is served.

Anyone know about the unwritten rules of cookie tables as written about in the Chowhound article??


Cookie-Table-PittsburghCookie-Table-Pittsburgh- WeddingThese cookie tables are all from the SAME wedding!!

Quesada from Spain

My next door neighbor’s parents are visiting from Spain. They brought a Quesada wrapped in a cool paper that listed all the ingredients.. It is a dessert that has a bit of lemon peel in it. Dense and delicious. I was invited to have a piece. Butter, eggs, sugar, flour, lemon zest, a pinch of cinnamon. Tastes reminiscent of a simple custard of childhood but different texture. It is made like this so it could be carried in a knapsack and last a long time, not spoil. Here is a photo of it.Quesada from Spain

It Started with an Elvis Clock and 3 Latch Hook Rugs

I went to the North Side Carpet Cleaning Company to pick up the latch hook rugs my mother made years ago. After I paid the bill and Joe put them into the car I saw the giant Elvis photo on the wall of the office and then realized there was a clock in the left upper corner. He said they got it when they visited Graceland years ago. His wife is the fan! I asked him if it would be okay to photograph it for the blog. He graciously agreed. Elvis-Clock-Graceland

And once I was in the office and shooting Elvis without a reflection from the window, I saw the black and white historical photograph of the first chain driven truck on the North Side.


Then check out this office machine sitting in front of the window. A Paymaster Ribbon Writer to imprint checks.

Office-MachineThen I got a tour of the room where the rugs are cleaned and I saw the 1952 MIRZA (made the same year I was born)

1952-Mirza-Rug-Cleaning-MachineRug-Cleaning-MachineAnd he pointed out the hole in the ceiling where I could see a rug hanging to dry. They dry 24 hours. He told me tomorrow it would be full.

Hanging-Carpet-DryingHere is the place you bring your rugs. They will carry them out of your car which is nice. And load them when they are ready.

North-Side-Carpet-Cleaning-CompanyClean-Rugs-Ready-in-Will-CallThe front of the building I captured as I left. North Side Carpet Cleaning Company has coupons to print out on their website. Joe told me my mother’s rugs “cleaned up nice!”



Did You Ever Have a Bread Box?

Or watch a TV game show where they had to ask “Is it bigger than a bread box?”  Use a bread box as a gauge. I walked in the kitchen and the afternoon sun came in a spotlight onto the bread box, created some reflection and looked like there was an electric light inside the box.  That is a loaf of Left Coast Sourdough by Allegro Hearth purchased at the Bryant Street Market and a package of hot dog buns for our non-cookout we are scheduling.  98 degrees in the shade here today.chrome-bread-box


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