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

Posts tagged “kitchen

Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

This week’ s theme is containers.  

I could probably post a hundred photos but was able to contain myself.  kitchen tins


Baking Wedding Cookies in all the Family Kitchens

Forget about the number in the series of the wedding cookies posts.

It’s an all out family effort!

These photos just in (thank you Marlene)  from multiple sources and family members baking cookies for Vicci and Ben’s Wedding this Saturday.

Everyone in Pittsburgh is baking. -including cousin Jaclyn’s St. Bernard Floyd in his Steeler’s apron and oven mitt

What’s your favorite cookie?

Will be sure to photograph the wedding cookie tables and post.  If you live in another part of the world, be sure to read about Pittsburgh Wedding Cookie Table Traditions in this article by Amy Rosen   In Pittsburgh, the wedding cookie table is a peculiar and wonderful local tradition

or this one in the New York Times  In Pittsburgh, It’s ‘I Do’ and Pass the Cookies by Ron Lieber

 

 

 


Wedding Cookie Production Begins- Part 1

Monday night I got a preview of the beginning of wedding cookie production but today Marlene sent me this cookie dough still life photo she took Tuesday.

She said she knew I would like it.  Nice photo Marlene.Thanks for sending it tonight for the blog.

photo 1

 

Marlene sent these photos she took today also

 

 

Here are a few I took Monday evening as they were just gearing up.

 

 

 

I took the portraits through the screens using my 70-200mm Canon L Series lens.

 

aunt linda

Aunt Linda

 

 

Aunt Marlene
marlene

Stay tuned for more baking for Vicci and Ben’s wedding


I Know Two People Who Collect These Stickers from Fruits and Vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Especially if they are interesting or different.  Unique.

I thought these produce stickers’ design would qualify as a keeper. Although I’m not starting a produce sticker collection today, I thought about two people I know who save them.

What do you collect?  vegetable sticker

Hey ML? Do you still save these from your fruit and veggies?

 

Here is what I made with the two zucchini and yellow squash.  

In a large skillet sautee an onion and a couple of garlic cloves in olive oil, throw in two yellow and two green squash (cut up) then add salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.  Add a bit of water and let them cook until soft. Mash up with potato masher.   Boil water and cook eggy pasta noodles, drain and toss in squash sauce. Grate fresh cheese on top.  I learned to cook this from Anna Fevola of La Cucina Flegrea. See the cooking class post in 2010 (from before the restaurant moved downtown to Market Square)  Everything she cooks is delicious!

 

Zuchinni and Yellow Squash

 


At First the Oranges Appeared Hard and Uninviting

But I found a solution….

Pulled the old glass reamer off the kitchen shelf and proceeded to make some fresh squeezed orange juice.

The hardness of the orange peel was deceiving because they gave up a lot of juice.

Fried egg sandwich on wheat toast.

Squeezing OJ this past weekend, I was trying to hold onto that Spring Break mood.

Hand painted glasses from Mary Ellen’s gift shop in Lawrenceville- Divertido- “where everyday is a gift?”

and if you want an interesting book to read- everything you need to know about oranges- read John McPhee’s Oranges.

(I have a copy if you are in Pittsburgh)

 

Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

 


Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Inside

egg interior

 

egg

excuses kitchen

 

Excuses Kitchen

 

chili

Pot of Chili

snow yard

 

Snow Yard from the Kitchen

 

 

 

concert

 

Carnegie Music Hall Pittsburgh PA

 

 

tent

Center for the Arts Wedding – Marc and Roberta

fridge

Refrigerator

bloomfield house

Bloomfield Window

mattress factory2

Detroit Artist at Mattress Factory

warholWarhol Museum

bakeryJean Marc Chatellier Bakery Millvale


Night Diner

9th Street       South Phillynight diner


A Story in Three Photos

A story in three photos.   (The other part of the challenge.)

Welcome Maura Clare.  November 2008.

 

mark bringing Maura home

 

 

family sees Maura

 

 

 

erika Maura


Yellow + Blue = Green

Ready to whisk eggs  before scrambling,

adding some grated cheese, freshly ground pepper

It was the colors in the light that caught my attention.

 
eggs


Share Your Cookbook Shelf

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.

Cookbook Shelf

It was hard to get it all in one shot, it’s a tight space!


Daily Prompt: Ingredients

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.

Handwoven potholders.

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.

My Kitchen

the close up

and then the shot with a bit more distance to see the all of the clutter  ingredients

Love my stove, oven and range hood, too.  My pots and pans.

Pyrex BowlsNow you can see the dirty dishes in the stainless bowl and the remnants of the sink skirt adhesive I tried to stick onto the sink once upon a time. Need to get some Goo Gone.


Leftovers – Love ‘em or Heave ‘em?

-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.

spaghetti sauce

One time I posted how to revive a piece of leftover cake 

 


Ice Crystals on the Window in Morning – Solar Light on Snow at Night

Crystals on a Window in the MorningHere is the view from my bedroom window.

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.

 

Lemon Cheesecake

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.

Farberware pan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solar Light on SnowDropped off a birthday gift for a friend and then I was over at the neighbors and on my way home, I noticed their solar lamp’s rays radiating on the snow.

It was quite dramatic.

iPhone captures today.


Making Good Use of the Grapefruit Knife

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.

Slurp!

 

Red grapefruit


Right Now It’s Filled With Chex Mix but I Have Plans

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.

Mason Jar

 

 

 

 

And a p.s. from J this morning   A photo of her gratitude jars all lined up plus the original instructions from her niece.

gratitude jars

The original instructions from J’s niece Jeninstructions for the jar


One of the Fancy Apples

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 -

fancy apple

 

 


Hungarian Nut Roll Slideshow

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.

 

 

four sisters and their mom

One of my favorite photos from long ago, taken by unknown photographer

Theresa their mother Marion, Bride Linda, Marlene and Georgeann

 

 


This is Kryptonite to My Son

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.

 

eggnog pouring into glass

The little hand painted glass is from that fun gift shop I blogged about , the shop in Lawrenceville  named  Divertido

 

freshly grated nutmegYes, 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.


Health Conscious Eaters Don’t Look Today

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.

steamy window

so I boiled some noodles

noodles boiling on stove

Buttered a retro baking dish I bought at a thrift shop in Wisconsin one summer

Magic Bars Dish

I crumbled some saltines and cut in some butter and put the mixture to the side

crackers and butter

and then I opened some cans

cream of mushroom and tuna

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!

freshly ground pepper

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.

Tuna Noodle Casserole in 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.

Fake Russian Dressing

Iceberg and 100o Island

The casserole browned nicely.

IMG_2241

I miss you Mom.


A Quart of Vegetable Soup

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!

vegetable soup

 


Grated Grenada Nutmeg

Sunday afternoon I was getting ready to bake cookies. (Originally from Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School)

The recipe my mother used to use  for her signature Sour Cream cookies – (baking them on my cousin Paul’s milestone birthday :-) and will mail them tomorrow)

‘d just gotten back from the store with the sour cream when I realized I did not have a container of nutmeg on the spice rack.

But wait, how abou these whole nutmegs in a little bag?  I pulled one out and began to grate it and the aroma was amazing.

The label said Grenada Nutmeg .

(Joanne, did you send them to me?)

You may already grate your own nutmeg but it was first for me.   The interior was a beautiful pattern. The smell intoxicating.

Nutmeg interior

Freshly Grated Nutmeg ready to go in to the Sour Cream Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 3/4cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture on top before baking – I used parchment paper for easy baking and clean up
  • Bake at 350 for 11 minutes

Back to the Post Office after school.

 

 


Chili Weather Inspires Dinner

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?

I’m trying.

Chili and beans on stove


Laura’s 30th Birthday Surprise

 

 

 

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.

 

IMG_4142 IMG_4143

Laura is surprised

Laura is surprised

happy 30th

the last present                HER BROTHER’S GIFT……………………..

opening gift from Mark

Brother gift

Mark''s photo

IMG_4219

IMG_4224

Mark found an empty picture hook on the wall!Laura and Mark

IMG_4156

Mark and the boys

ANNA AND THE SHOWER RIBBONS

Anna holds the wedding shower ribbon bouquet that was under the glass dome cake holder.  How did that tradition get started?

MICHAEL AND THE STATE OF FLORIDA MAGNET

Michael studies Laura’s state of Florida magnet to find the city where he was born (Tampa)

James Mom Kim

James and his sister Kim and Mom Sharon

LAURA AND JACKAunt Lala catches Jack as he comes into the kitchen


Another Dryer Lint Creature Found in the Compost Bowl

What I Found in the Compost Bowl

What I Found in the Compost Bowl

 

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.

(iPhone shot)

 

 

 

 

 


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