A story in three photos. (The other part of the challenge.)
Welcome Maura Clare. November 2008.
Ready to whisk eggs before scrambling,
adding some grated cheese, freshly ground pepper
It was the colors in the light that caught my attention.
What’s on your cookbook shelf? These days, many people are cooking from recipes on the internet instead of cookbooks.
Did you ever discard or pass on a cookbook and then later regret your having gotten rid of it?
Diets, tastes and trends change over time. I have a wooden box of my grandmother’s recipes but I’m not making them.
I always enjoy reading a cookbook in bed, planning meals or dishes to try. Thinking about entertaining. What I usually end up doing is making the same things over and over again for the most part, not using a recipe.
Comfort foods as of late, with the ongoing winter temps I feel motivated to cook hearty meals- and eat them!
Here’s my sister’s cookbook shelf in NYC. You might remember seeing her kitchen. I love the Coldweather Cooking book and have a copy myself. I love to bake the Brown Mountain Cake out of the Farm Journal Country Cookbook. The Fannie Farmer makes me think of my mother’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook, tied with a ribbon.
I open old cookbooks, find a handwritten note or a yellowed recipe between the pages, see my mother’s hand- memories of my childhood or my children’s childhood, recipes past, present and the ones I’ve clipped for the future (always heavy on the desserts!)
I’ll share my cookbook shelf another post. Hope you will share your cookbook shelf photo.
It was hard to get it all in one shot, it’s a tight space!
This is the first time the daily prompt really spoke to me- ingredients.
WordPress offers daily inspiration to bloggers, if they want to respond. Here is the prompt by Ben Huberman
” What’s the one item in your kitchen you can’t possibly cook without? A spice, your grandma’s measuring cup, instant ramen — what’s your magic ingredient, and why?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us KITCHEN.”
Here’s part of my kitchen. Isn’t love the secret ingredient? I read a blog that says it is.
But I think I’ll choose the Kitchen-Aid mixer, the Kitchen-Aid mixer my dad bought me 25 years ago. The one I’ve used to make cakes for all the kids’ birthdays and graduations and cookies for all occasions. Now they are all grown and gone.
You need a lot of ingredients-
An electric kettle (thanks Laura)
The edge of the farmhouse sink and bit of my stove, the portable dishwasher top is laden with stuff- the knives,
a tin of olive oil.
I added my favorite nesting Pyrex bowls I’ve a thing for the big yellow one. It’s like the one my mom used to make her bread dough. Let it rise.
My grandmother’s recipes are in the wooden box on the shelf.
A couple of beat up baby cups, including my pewter one engraved with my name- Ruth Ella 1952
Tea in a tin.
My favorite French pepper mill a gift (1974) from my sister’s college friend Janet.
The bread board my sister gave me.
And how could I manage without vanilla?
Garlic keeper from Fredda at my shower in college. Got to have garlic. My brother sends me the best organic garlic from Okanogan WA.
But just one thing? I chose the mixer.
Definitely need butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Such a lovely start to so many things.
the close up
and then the shot with a bit more distance to see the all of the
Love my stove, oven and range hood, too. My pots and pans.
-or save them first and then heave them after they get a bit furry in the fridge.
Or eat them cause you feel it a duty, but not enjoy them wholeheartedly?
How do you feel about leftovers? Does it depend on the type of food saved?
Today as I drove home after school, I thought about the spaghetti sauce in the fridge and although freshly made pasta is preferable, warming up a bowl of leftovers with hot sauce poured over top was incredibly satisfying.
A little fresh grated cheese. Mmmm. Eating my way through winter…………..
Didn’t have to start a meal from scratch and it was a relief to know it was there waiting on a shelf in the refrigerator. I looked forward to eating it again.
I thought the spaghetti sauce tasted even better today.
Some people don’t enjoy leftovers or being served leftovers for supper.
And true, certain dishes are better than others in the leftover department. Chili seems to improve, the flavors marry as they say.
I know I have wrapped things up and put them away or I have saved food in a little plastic container and forgotten all about it and then when I unearth it, it’s inedible and needs to be pitched. Storing in clear glass is key to seeing what is there to eat.
Does gender make a difference in leftover preference? Do you have a limit as to how long you will keep a dish?
When I did some research on leftovers I found an article about how Americans waste about twenty pounds of food each month. Yikes, that seems like a lot and is a disgusting statistic. So wasteful.
Growing up you were encouraged to consume everything and clean your plate. My mother had a book as a child The Sunny/ Sulky Book and one of the naughty kids (the book could be turned upside down to read about the good children) always took more on his plate than he could eat. One night he was visited by a Fairy-Eat-It-All in a dream and given a spoon to consume the mountain of food he had wasted. Eyes bigger than his stomach situation I guess.
A moral tale.
One time I posted how to revive a piece of leftover cake
Although the sun was shining, the thermometer dipped enough to cause schools to be closed today. In fact, they were calling it Arctic Blast. We weren’t in as bad shape as Atlanta, though. What a mess.
A friend picked me up, drove me down the hill to Park Bruges Café where I ordered the Lemon Cheesecake for dessert, serious comfort food. We used to work together but don’t see each other often so it was fun catching up. You can see how the sunlight streamed into the window where we sat.
Forty years ago my sister gave me a set of Farberware Pans. They have seen a LOT of use.
Mary’s coming to visit for the weekend and I was trying to get the dark burned- on grease off the bottom of the pan. I only noticed it as it hung on the rack, thinking about how she keeps her Revere Pans’ copper so shiny as it hangs over her stove in NYC. I solved the problem of not being able to get it all off. Tried some internet remedy with vinegar but it didn’t quite work so this is what I did so the bottom didn’t show. What I should post is a photograph of the bottom so you could be horrified but the idea is to camouflage the undesirable pan bottom.
It was quite dramatic.
iPhone captures today.
The last of the Christmas gifts of fruit.
Starting the day off with refreshing citrus- Ruby Red Grapefruit from Texas.
I don’t use it often, but dug out the old grapefruit knife to loosen the sections. The best part is squeezing all the juice into the spoon at the end.
Have you chosen a word for this year’s theme yet? Mine is gratitude.
This afternoon I drove home alone to Pittsburgh after a nice vacation in Ohio with my family. Two hundred miles can feel long and lonesome after all the activity with the family. If you’ve been following along you saw that the girls and I went to Laura and James and had a nice New Year’s Day celebration with the rest of the family.
On my way home I spoke with my dear friend J in Omaha. She told me about hostess gifts she passed out to her Fondue Party guests on New Year’s Eve. Here is what she gave them ( a semi-guest blog, J?)
Picture a quart Mason Jar (thanks John Landis Mason 1832-1902) wrapped with a fancy bow.
Inside J put a paper with instructions.
Starting January first. write good things down on little pieces of paper and put them into the jar. Could be a goal accomplished, something good, a happy moment, a thought. Then on Dec 31st, 2014, reread all the good things you wrote on all the little pieces of paper that you deposited throughout the year.
Right now this jar in my kitchen is filled with homemade Chex Mix (thanks Laura)
But starting when it’s empty, we’re going to fill it with good notes. Lots of them. Kind of like Three Daily Delights by my number one commenter this year, Stef.
Thanks for the good idea J. It’s a wonderful way to start a new year.
And a p.s. from J this morning A photo of her gratitude jars all lined up plus the original instructions from her niece.
A welcome gift. Fancy fresh fruit. Perishable, DO NOT FREEZE the boxes state.
Tonight as I cut up a couple of perfectly ripe pieces for the family to share, I remembered another fancy apple I ‘d cut with the apple sectioner at home in Pittsburgh. Steve’s former colleague had shipped them and his former boss sent some succulent red grapefruit.
Our cracker selection a bit pedestrian but paired well with the cheese and fruit.
Each apple wrapped in green tissue, cradled in a partitioned box, accompanied by a handwritten map telling which type of apple was in each space. Refrigerate upon receipt.
Here in Ohio there were juicy pears in gold foil papers, sheets of green foam cushioning their journey from Oregon.
A box of oranges are in the garage keeping cool.
Doesn’t fruit always taste better when someone else cuts it up and places it on a plate?
You might remember a similar photo of a cut pear from a 2012 Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise post -
Today Jaclyn and her sister Shannon baked nut rolls together, carrying on family tradition.
Their mother, Theresa, passed last February. This post is to remember Theresa , those who knew and loved her and to send hugs to Jaclyn and Shannon as they are missing their mom, especially at Christmas time.
Theresa was one of the four sisters in this slideshow (baking the pizelles) showing the three sisters making nutroll in Pittsburgh- Linda, Georgeann and Theresa, while the fourth sister Marlene communicated via SKYPE in Virginia.
You might remember the previous post of the 15 greased nut roll pans where the retro recipe card is photographed in case you want to make them.
Marlene and I share grandchildren and her daughter Erika is married to my son Mark.
One of my favorite photos from long ago, taken by unknown photographer
Theresa their mother Marion, Bride Linda, Marlene and Georgeann
I really wanted to grate some fresh nutmeg again.
As I left Ohio for home, I stopped off at Kroger and saw this in the dairy case. Thought I’d give it a try when I got home to Pittsburgh. My mother used to make homemade eggnog before anyone talked about salmonella and the risks of consuming raw egg. Mark feels the same way about mayonnaise. It just disgusts him.
Goes down easy for me. Comfort. Silky smooth.
I grated the wonderful little nutmeg that has the most intricate design inside. Maybe the eggnog needs some more fat in it.
Lowfat eggnog? One good thing about this particular brand is it did not have that fake-o rum flavor.
And now I’m settling down for the winter’s nap to rest for the last week of school before the break.
The little hand painted glass is from that fun gift shop I blogged about , the shop in Lawrenceville named Divertido
Yes, the nutmeg kept just fine on the shelf in a bag. I love looking at the interior design of it. And the smell of it when you are graing it is so inviting. The eggnog intoxicating without a drop of spirits.
Second of a series. Beanie Weenies was (were?) the first.
Comfort food as the days get shorter and the temp outside dipped down to 12.
Our systems are still adjusting to the cold and urge to crawl into a cave and hibernate.
My kitchen back door window looked like this after I made a cup of tea.
so I boiled some noodles
Buttered a retro baking dish I bought at a thrift shop in Wisconsin one summer
I crumbled some saltines and cut in some butter and put the mixture to the side
and then I opened some cans
Yes, a new low point in the culinary department around here.
Tuna Noodle Casserole coming up! Comfort food series part two.
Freshly ground pepper will give it some zip!
BTW, you just mix the drained noodles into the soup mixture combined with an almost- can of milk oh and add the tuna.
Here it is baking in the oven.
Thanks to Steve there was a head of ICEBERG lettuce. Oil and vinegar just didn’t fit
Found an almost empty jar of mayo and added some ketchup and chopped up bread and butter pickles and served a slug of lettuce on a glass plate, topped with dressing.
The casserole browned nicely.
I miss you Mom.
A good friend brought a quart of vegetable soup and some homemade bread for tonight’s supper.
Especially welcome as I just got home after being in Ohio for the Thanksgiving break and no chance to go to the store yet.
Simmered the soup and sliced the bread and enjoyed the delicious meal. Thought of how fortunate I am to have good friends.
My friend J in Omaha trades a quart of homemade soup each week with her friend A.
I won’t return the mason jar empty!
Low thirties temperature makes me want to make soup or chili, some sort of stew. And devour it, too.
A pot of something simmering on a low flame, creating a welcoming aroma when you enter the house.
Dinner was chili and beans with a side of brown rice on the adjacent burner. It’s time to pull out that Cold-Weather Cooking cookbook that my sister uses (author Sarah Leah Chase).
Tonight I used grass fed beef, sauteéd with organic onion and garlic from my brother in Okanogan Washington. Last weekend , I’d replaced my chili powder with a new glass jar of organic chili powder.
Earlier today a friend had posted an article about the 8 Foods Experts Won’t Eat and I remembered the article and got worried about the canned tomatoes (I used the Fire Roasted Muir Glen Organic Crushed Tomatoes) and wondered if the acidity of the tomatoes had leached the can lining into them but ate the chili anyway. Not sure if they use liner with BPA in it or not. I read they have a non GMO commitment so surely they don’t line their cans with the bad stuff.
You could lose your appetite if you think about things deeply.
What is safe to eat these days? Is there any way to totally avoid the pesticides, preservatives, additives and harmful chemicals and the genetic modification nightmare?
Happy Birthday to you, Laura.
James sure planned a wonderful surprise for you.
Enjoy your actual birthday today and relive the fun we had on Saturday by looking at the photos.
Love you, Ma
p.s. I wish I had someone take a photo of us together! Next time.
the last present HER BROTHER’S GIFT……………………..
Anna holds the wedding shower ribbon bouquet that was under the glass dome cake holder. How did that tradition get started?
Michael studies Laura’s state of Florida magnet to find the city where he was born (Tampa)
James and his sister Kim and Mom Sharon
What do you find in your dryer lint? I asked- early June – in a blog post
Here is another one for the series. My family’s lint seems more interesting than mine at home.
Another photo essay today. An iPhone essay.
My friend J sent a huge styrofoam chest filled with fancy steaks, filets, chicken breasts, some gourmet franks and burgers, too. It arrived today.
Going to be a birthday grill out but Mark’s mind started thinking……… memories of science class?
Mark carried the package to the basement. We put the food in the upright freezer and then he proceeded to entertain and teach the four kids about the properties of dry ice and how it could be used for special effects on stage or movies. He was careful and warned them about how you couldn’t touch it and why it was doing what it did as he poured water of different temperatures onto it. It was quite a show and much appreciated by all.
Well, Maura(4) hung back. Said she didn’t like it.
Solid Carbon Dioxide- dry ice
Thanks Joanne for the lovely present. Who knew the packing material to preserve the food inside would become a blog today!
All the precautions on the bag. I am sure most people just dispose of it. But maybe not.
Michael’s Lego man stands in the red light from the sun and he photographs it with my phone.
I got my camera to catch him photographing the scene.
One thing that occurs in the family is the grandchildren try their hand at photography, too. One of Michael’s photos from the iPhone!
A couple of years ago I was going to photograph junk drawers. It looks like it has already been done on the google search. There are some incredible junk drawers in the image search already.
There’s even an article about Make Over Your Junk Drawer from overwhelmed to organized
My DIL Erika consented that I could blog hers but that was awhile back so hope she is still in agreement.
After all, this is probably the kind of situation that gives a MIL a bad name.
I blogged my own junk on my old Keep or Pitch blog but never proceeded with the project.
I’m thinking about returning to the project, even though there are a lot of photos out there already.
Just read an article about self-assignment for your photography practice and I was thinking about some of the ideas I’ve been considering.
One thing, no two junk drawers would be the same.
So you do keep a junk drawer in your home? Maybe readers could send photos of their own junk drawers and we could have a collection of photos from around the world. Maybe they are only in the USA.
If I came to photograph it, would you keep it “as is” or feel compelled to tidy it up first?
Just thinking about junk drawers. Cleaning up. Being tidy. Wondering how little pieces gather in a spot, collect.
If you followed my Keep or Pitch blog,you’ve seen these already. Seems only fair to post some of my own accumulated junk.
no room for a junk drawer? A little copper dish will do.
I emailed my friend Rob to see if he had any updates for National Pie Day this year. He is the only pie judge I know. Official, that is.
Just a year ago he was guest blogger with the National Pie Day post. When I went to retrieve the post and his photos with Willard Scott and Keegan Gerhard, I remembered how a fellow blogger helped me out that day. No visible pictures had posted when I published the guest blog, just blue boxes with question marks. I saw them on my computer but no one else could see them on theirs!
Thanks to the expertise of Chicago John from the Bartolini Kitchens Blog we were able to see Rob’s photos last year.
And although I knew it was National Pie Day today, you see what I came up with this year?
The idea of pie. The possibility of pie. Contemplating the making of pie.
What’s available in the larder?
A lone can of pumpkin?
A few apples for school lunch?
Tons of citrus, some grapes. There are raisins in the fridge but raisin pie has zero appeal to me.
So here’s my offering, Rob.
A pretty pie plate in the afternoon sun and the mere suggestion of a pie to be created. Great for the calorie count, if one were so inclined.
The only problem is that they are resting in my DIL’s fridge in Ohio and I am back in Pittsburgh. The temperature going down to nine and I am thinking SOUP!
I just got a kick out of the label from their market. Soup BONES?
I had never heard the rinds called soup bones and it struck me funny. I use a rind in my minestrone and it really adds to the body of the soup flavor. Any be any soup will do.
and a prettier shot with the lid off
They look as if they were dyed with food coloring for Easter.
They are not.