It’s My Big Seven O on 7/4! Oh my!

Happy birthday to me. It’s a fun birthdate. July Fourth.

Grateful to be in Columbus, celebrating my milestone birthday. And it’s a big one!

I made it through my seventieth year.

Surprise balloons with Charlie
Fourth of July Fireworks
With Laura – photographed by Charlie (7)
Maura taped them up on the mantle

Seven is Super

Charlie is seven today! And it’s halfway to Christmas. Oh my! Happy 7th Birthday Charlie!

It’s exciting to be here in person to celebrate together this year.

Early morning celebration

A few friends of his friends will come for cupcakes after lunch.

Seemed like his UNO birthday was just yesterday
It’s a Minecraft theme
220,752,000 seconds
A Scooby Doo Van

Happy Flag Day Birthday David

The history of Flag Day on the History Channel

Ruth from Jack( blog follower and good friend)

Father of Flag Day” honors have been given to William T. Kerr, who was credited with founding the American Flag Day Association in 1888 while still a schoolboy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

St. Joseph Feast Day from 2012 and 2011

Reblog from ten years ago

Carmela Baked All These Breads for St. Joseph Feast Day

Tuesday afternoon I met a friend for dinner. We used to teach in the same school but are in different schools across the city now. It was good to catch up.  When we walked into the restaurant,La Tavola Italiana, I could not believe what I saw in front of me!  A St. Joseph Feast spread from the day before.  Later Carmela came out to speak with us about how we were enjoying our dinners and she was taking photos with her iPad to send to her family. She uses the iPad to keep the restaurant calendar for parties and other aspects of her business.

I asked if she made the St. Joseph Cavazunes filled with the chick peas and she said, “NO, they are Calabrese.” She is Sicilian and she makes Zeppoles.

I said that I’d photographed all the bread and would send her the photos but would she like to pose with all her handiwork and she did!  I didn’t notice she put the iPad down onto the cloth in front until I saw it on the computer. She was gracious to allow me to photograph her. NEXT year we have to go to actual feast!  It sounded like a terrific party.

And speaking of party?  Click to hear Chicago John’s Italian Song Selection

and a Recipe for A St, Joseph Feast Day Strata from Bartolini Kitchens 

St. Joseph Day Pastries

Yesterday, March 19th, was St.Joseph Day. My sister bought two special pastries at Pasticerria Rocco on Bleecker Street. On the left is Sfingi On the right is Zeppole, baked to honor the occasion. “St. Joseph’s Pastries or Zeppole di San Giuseppe are traditional cream filled pastries from Campagna region of Italy.” -Click for recipe from Italian Recipe Book.

St. Joseph the Worker 24 FT Statue Waits in a Church Parking Lot

Today my friend J(of Pittsburgh, not Omaha) and I went to the Tin Front Cafe for lunch.  We heard about the St. Joseph the Worker statue having been removed from the nearby church.  Judith Tener told us where to find him in a parking lot and so after lunch we wound around one- way streets and asked a few people for directions but eventually we climbed up hills and back and found this beautiful statue waiting for us. He was striking.  There were the huge stone barrels pouring molten steel out onto the world.  Flames carved in stone.  See detail below on image three.

A big crane erected this statue (which was blessed in Italy by Pope VI) on St. Michael the Archangel Church in 1966 in Homestead.  Many Slovaks helped build this church.

When the church closed, the diocese took the statue down in 2010.

People missed looking at St. Joseph high above the buildings, overlooking Homestead and the Monongahela River.

A memorial to the hard workers of the mills in this town. He was loaded on a flatbed and taken to St Anne’s now 3 combined parishes to form St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish.  Read the names of the people etched in bricks- Vehec, Tarasevich, Godleski, Milchalk, Straka, Pavlik, Sklencar, Sayko to name a few.

The statue was designed by sculptor Frank Vittor  (b. 1888 in Italy) who also made the Honus Wagner Statue now at PNC Park.  His story on the link if you click on his name tells how he came to work with Stanford White and then  a week later White was murdered…but that is not the main idea of today’s post and I am getting off track.  It was just incredibly interesting. Vittor taught at Cooper Union in NYC and also at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University)

Here are two views of the giant St Joseph the Worker statue. And a detail shot, too.

There are plans in the works to get him relocated in a place of honor but will keep you posted when this happens.

There is an historical marker honoring sculptor Frank Vittor by the Columbus Statue in Schenley Park, Pittsburgh

Detail

Annual Presidents’ Teapot Shot

Last year I had the handle to the right. George was a bit more in focus. It sits in my China cabinet on the top shelf.

From last year’s post

PRESIDENTS ON A TEAPOT – 1966

LBJ is the last president printed on it. 

My friend Joanne give me the teapot.

Presidents’ Day -a Federal Holiday on the 3rd Monday in February clickHistory here

The date imprinted on the bottom of the teapot is 1966. Not sure if newer versions of Presidents on a teapot exist. This one is enough for me.

Yes that’s George Washington on a plate

Jan 1. 1977 Three Kings’ Cake and Spring Seeds to Plant

This page is from the January 1, 1977 New York Times Magazine.

My sister sent me the photos of the clipping today as Epiphany or Three Kings Day is January 6th. This day is the traditional day families would take down their Christmas decorations when I was growing up .

One side of the magazine page is Three Kings’ Cake recipe article by Mimi Sheraton. This recipe makes two Loaves of sweet bread with yeast and lemon and orange rind, currants and mixed fruits. Almonds are hidden in the dough to be discovered by one lucky eater .

On the reverse side of the paper is an ad to order seeds for Spring planting. Park Seed is celebrating 150 years of being in the gardening business.

(This is not the same king cake of February’s Mardi Gras.)

Three Kings’ Cake by Mimi Sheraton
Park Seed- 150 years in business in South Carolina

My friend Roberta sent me an email this evening with a video from the University of Pittsburgh French Nationality Room Galette Des Rois (click the name of cake to watch) see how to make another type of Kings’ Cake with Almond paste and puff pastry. The French version.

Eggnog Yes or No?

Eggnog, egg nog or egg-nog, historically also known as milk punch or egg milk punch, is a rich, chilled, sweetened, dairy-based beverage. It is traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg whites, and egg yolks.” Wikipedia

Eggnog, yes or no?

And if yes, spiked or non-alcoholic? And if spiked, what alcohol do you add? Rum, bourbon, whiskey?

A rich and creamy adult milkshake it was called in one recipe I read. I think it’s a love it or hate it but we’ll see what response we get.

My mother made it with raw eggs when I was a kid and sprinkled nutmeg on top. She used a hand held egg beater, a rotary one, non-electric, to whip the egg whites into froth.  There was no cooking involved that I remember but there is definitely cooking in  Alton Brown’s recipe.

Here’s an article from Wired Magazine How to Use Science to Make Safe Eggnog with Raw Eggs  

There is an Eggnog Pound Cake Recipe here

You definitely do not want to make anyone sick with raw eggs. Not that anyone is entertaining and serving eggnog this holiday season.

 

Happy Day Cake Recipe

HAPPY DAY CAKE RECIPE

It’s my sister’s birthday today.

The Happy Day Cake Recipe post is from a birthday post I made for her ten years ago.  For many family  birthdays it was the 1-2-3-4 Cake recipe or the Happy Day Cake recipe on the back of the Swan’s Down Cake Flour box, frosted with Penuche icing.  My mother would put the saucepan filled with boiling brown sugar and butter, into a sink of cold water and then beat it by hand once it cooled.She’d add Confectioner’s sugar to it. I can hear the ring of the metal loop at the end of the pan’s handle.  She added a dash of vanilla extract.  My dad would pour milk over a stale slice of cake and eat it with a spoon.   Cake and frosting recipes below photo.

Mary bought me this vintage cake pan when we were visiting our brother in Okanogan Washington

Happy Day Cake

2½ cups sifted cake flour

1½ cups sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shortening, at room temperature

1 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

Sift flour with sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir shortening to soften. Add flour mixture, ¾ cup of the milk and vanilla. Mix until all flour is dampened, then beat two minutes at medium speed. Add eggs and remaining ¼ cup milk. Beat one minute longer. Pour into two 9-inch layer pans that have been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans; remove from pans and cool thoroughly on racks.

This cake also may be baked in three 8-inch layer pans for 25 to 35 minutes, or in a 13- by 9-inch pan for 30 to 35 minutes. Batter may be spooned into 36 medium paper baking cups in muffin pans, filling half full. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Penuche Frosting   Butter is Key

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, more or less
  • hot water, optional
  • vanilla extract

PREPARATION:

In a saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Add the brown sugar. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium low and continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually add sifted confectioners’ sugar. Beat until thick enough to spread. If too thick, add a little hot water. Frosts top and sides of a 2-layer cake or a 13×9-inch cake.

Happy Birthday Mary.

 

I didn’t count the cake posts I’ve created in the last 12 years but if you have time on your hands and like cake  you can look at some photos from theblog tagged CAKE here

McWalker Yarns Sweater Party NaKniSweMo 2019

Saturday afternoon the November sweater knitters gathered in Millvale Pennsylvania.  McWalker Yarns was the place to celebrate participation in the National Knit a Sweater in a Month Challenge.  50,000 Stitches, cast on just after midnight on November first.   The sweater was to be completed (ends woven in and blocked) by midnight November 30th.

If you follow me on IG you know my sweater was 24 hours and 15 minutes over the cut off.

Here is Clarissa,  the Grand Prize Winner of NaKniSweMo 2019 holding her prizes- a generous gift card to McWalker Yarns to buy yarn for the NEXT sweater and a very cool magnet/bottle opener.

 Trove by designer Emma Durcher.  Yarn is BC Garn Semilla Melange Sport Weight

Detail below of Trove.  PomPom Magazine Autumn 2019

Jes sporting her very fine knitting SC1 by Allison Brookbanks design  Yarn Neighborhood Fiber Co Loft

 

Robin designed her sweater.  The design name is Hauplande  Yarn Loch Lomond by BC Garn worsted weight.  I think she has 150,000 stitches in her design. WOW!

IMG_2041
Hauplande designed by Robin

 

Jes photographed me wearing The Purl Code Sweater Designer Isabell Kraemer. Yarn- Baa Ram Ewe Winterburn DK weight in Rhubarb colorway,  Using the Morse Code Alphabet provided in the pattern there are phrases, words, place names, favorite movies and books, song lyrics and people I love,  knit right into the sweater.


Christine is holding a gift bag with the sweater she crocheted as a surprise gift.

Her sweater (which she translated into Crochet from Knitting) will be added after the holiday season.  Christine brought cheese ball and crackers and spinach dip to round out the party fare.  McWalker Yarns Shop owner Amy McCall baked a delicious and moist chocolate cake with sweater decoration.

 

Below see Shop Owner, Hostess, Sponsor and Chief of Inspiration for the NaKniSweMo 2019 Challenge, Amy McCall.  Making the Local Yarn Store a welcoming community for all.

 

Spruce Point Pullover designer Amy Herzog               Baa Ram Ewe Winterburn yarn

 

Feistywoman Knit Hanefjed Sweater  click for details 

BC Garn Loch Lomond Bio GOTS certified  and Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool

 

https://www.ravelry.com/projects/feistywoman/hanefjed-womens-version