Friday, May 30, 2008


(Lovely Vintage Postcard)

Dear friends from the Blog-esphere, the tea pot will be placed back in the china cabinet until June 7Th. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, we'll be heading to Cherry Grove Beach, South Carolina for a nice family vacation. Until I return, here are some images of sand, sun, and surf...

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I am so touched and honored that Willow at Willow Manor, has nominated me for one of the blogs that makes her day. Since Deedee( Love White Linen) and Willow Manor were among the first blogs that I visited, it makes it that much sweeter...Goodness there are so many blogs that I love and all under my links section are favorites but the 5 I want to nominate are:

1. My Five Men ( Betsy)- I admire Betsy so much and she is such a great example of the word Mother. She has a lovely blog filled with everything from a plethora of sea shells to the trials and joys of raising triplets with Autism...Betsy, here's to you! You deserve an entire shelf full of trophies.

2. Love White Linen( Deedee)- Deedee's blog is the essence of tranquility and serenity. I can be in a sour mood and visit LWL and instantly be cheered. Her gardens are beautiful and she is the epitome of Southern charm, grace and sophistication.

3. Rochambeau( Constance)- Constance is a fellow artist and free spirit. Her blog is so lovely that words truly can't express how it makes you feel to visit. Her many posts paying tribute to her beautiful mother always touch my heart. Did I mention she's also beautiful, incredibly creative, and very kind? Her dolls and handbags are something else.

4. The Birdbath Chronicles( Lavinia)- Everyone blogging knows of Lavinia or should! Her posts are amazing because she has such varied interests and a wide range of topics to suit most everyone. They always make me think and Lavinia is such a delight.

5. Zip Zip's Vintage Sewing( Natalie)-Natalie is also a member of the Tea Society and a dear friend but she has the most charming blog where she welcomes the viewer into the world of Vintage Sewing...She is making a lovely Edwardian Walking skirt for me as well as some of the other Tea Society members and she's documenting the process on her blog. She also has the most adorable posts about her twin boys, Noah and Christopher.

Now, here is what you must do if you are nominated:
The rules for this award are:
1) Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make
my day.
2) Acknowledge the post of the award giver ( Thank you Willow!)
3) Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their
blogs with the news!

Again...I wish I could nominate all the blogs I visit, and Willow, I would nominate you 100 times but I suspect others have beaten me to it....

Steviewren( A little Birdie told me so) has once again inspired another post...It seems we share a fascination with the television show, LOST. I mentioned on her blog that we are PBS watchers over here at the Tea Society homefront and apart from CSI Las Vegas, we really don't watch network television. However, we do watch LOST and we are hooked on this show. It can get very complicated so we stopped trying to understand the ever changing plot and resigned to just be entertained for an hour every Thursday night. So, tonight, you will be able to find me firmly planted in the parlor, in my favorite chair, with a bowl of roasted peanuts ready to watch the two hour season finale of what I think is the most entertaining show on network television...I know Steviewren will be watching...

(Actor Henry Ian Cusick stars as Desmond Hume, my favorite character on the show. And I might add, a very handsome one at that:)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Steviewren( A Little Birdie Told Me So) and Lavinia ( Birdbath Chronicles) have been blogging on topics of artifacts and archaeology. Given the recent release of the new Indiana Jones movie, renewed interest in the field has once again been re-ignited( thankfully so, IMHO). Many Art Historians and Archaeologists in academic circles seem to be very critical of these movies and have their proverbial noses out of joint but I think if the movies motivate people, especially young people, to dig deeper( no pun intended) and research some of the topics mentioned in the films, then they can serve as a great learning tool. I am presently completing my degree in Art History and will soon begin Graduate studies in the field of Museum Studies so these recent blogs have delighted me very much. Since as I just mentioned, Indiana Jones is at the movies again, this is a perfect time to look back at the first in the series, Raiders of the Lost Ark. It so happens that some recent research I did in an Egyptian Art class dealt with treasures from the city of Tanis. In the first Indiana Jones movie, the Ark of the Covenant was supposedly hidden in a secret chamber at the lost city of Tanis until a sandstorm in 1936 unearthed the ruins. This was inaccurate but it sure did make for good entertainment. Tanis was not unearthed by a sand storm but there was in fact a French Egyptologist( I suspect the Frenchman in the film was loosely based on him), named Pierre Montet (the man in the photo) largely responsible for its discovery. I recently wrote on the contents of the tombs at Tanis and below is the abstract from that paper along with a few photos:

Portrait of the Dead: The Funerary Death Mask and Treasures Adorning The Mummy of Psusennes I
By Rebecca Chamberlain

On February 27, 1939 French Egyptologist Pierre Montet discovered the royal necropolis at Tanis located north- east of Cairo. There, the tombs of Osorkon II, his son Takelot II, and a previously unknown king, Shesong II were revealed. However, after these tombs were cleared, Montet followed inscriptions on the walls that identified the tomb as belonging not to the northern kings he had just discovered but to Psusennes I, the 3rd King of the 21st Dynasty. Montet continued his excavation of the pillaged burial complex until on February 15, 1940 his team of workers at last broke through a granite seal, made from a fragment of an obelisk of Rameses II, to reveal a tomb entrance where before them rested a perfectly intact pink granite sarcophagus adorned with an extraordinary golden mask. At last Pierre Montet stood face to face with the burial portrait of Psusennes I and marveled at the additional discovery of ornate jewelry, embellishing the body of the ancient King, equaling that which was found on Tutankhamen.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


One of the best scone recipes I've found came from a charming little mini cookbook that a friend of mine bought me when I was in college. It's for a dropped scone recipe. With the addition of cream cheese, it is wonderfully moist for a scone. I serve this often at Tea Society events and have paired it with many teas but the black teas go best with this scone. One of my favorite black teas is Yorkshire Gold and it would be great with this recipe. You can serve the scones with any type of curd and clotted or fresh whipped cream. Orange marmalade and sweet butter is really good eaten with this as well.

Pecan and Cream Cheese Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons butter
3 tablespoons cream cheese
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
½ cup medium pecans, chopped
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons cold water

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter and cream cheese into the dry ingredients, stirring until well blended. Add the chopped pecans and combine well with the dough. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out the scones and place them on baking sheet.

Beat the egg yolk with the cold water. Using a pastry brush, brush the glaze on each scone.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden. Serve hot or cold with butter and jam or clotted cream and lemon curd. This is a nice scone with Earl Grey or Darjeeling Tea.
Makes 10 scones

Monday, May 26, 2008

(General John A. Logan
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-B8172- 6403 DLC (b&w film neg.)])

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

(Taken from Memorial Day History)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rebecca and Kate Bob Their Hair

I can think of many fashion statements throughout American Culture which have impacted me greatly but only one in hair fashion that has remained a lasting influence from the time I first donned one in 1973 until my most recent visit to the hair salon, this week. I’m speaking of none other than “the bob”.

“The bob haircut was simply a blunt cut, level with the bottom of the ears all around the head. It was worn either with bangs or with the hair brushed off of the forehead. It was a simple look but a drastic departure from the long feminine looks created by Gibson and Marcel.”(From 1920’s piece)

The first credited “bob-cut” took place in 1909 in Paris and was cut by hair stylist Antoine. His inspiration was said to have been Joan of Arc. Before the end of the First World War, the style became somewhat popular in Britain amongst the Bloomsbury Circles. However, the revolution known as “the bob’ really began in 1915, when a Ball Room dancer named Irene Castle ( from Irene and Vernon Castle fame) decided to defy convention and cut her hair for the sake of convenience. With this new look being coined “the Castle-bob,” a timeless masterpiece in hair arts was created and still remains immensely popular in salons all across America.

“On May 1, 1920, the Saturday Evening Post published F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story "Bernice Bobs Her Hair." This infamous tale depicts a sweet-but-dull young lady who submits to the barber’s shears and is transformed into a smooth-talking vamp by her fickle society-girl cousin. The heroine would become a role model for many young women.”(1920’s piece)

Embracing this new look was famed fashion designer Coco-Chanel followed by actresses Clara Bow and Louise Brooks. Their images have long been among those most associated with the revolutionary style. Young women began embracing this new trend. They followed the leads of Chanel, Bow, and Brooks and began “bobbing their hair.” When a woman decided to have her hair cut in this new short style she showed a statement of her equality with men by her boldness in discarding her heavy locks- a token of femininity. Soon after this, women would begin wearing, “long beads, shorter skirts, rolled stockings, and rough on her knees” an expression which would become synonymous with-the flapper.” This new rebellious trend in hair design would serve as a harbinger to drastic social changes and “cause a revolution in the way women would wear their hair  forevermore.”

Did you know that the Bobbie Pin was created specifically for "the bob" hair style?

Our contributions to the hair cut-Kate's first "bob" at 16 months....

My latest "bob"....

Monday, May 19, 2008


It’s amazing what visual creatures we are….I was thinking about my favorite movies and what the first scenes that come to my mind, when I read or hear the title of a movie, might be. For instance, in Gone With The Wind, it would be Rhett Butler turning to Scarlett and offering perhaps the most famous line in movie history, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn…….”.But then there is the scene with Scarlett when she returns to find Tara in shambles and vows, “As God is my witness, I will never go hungry again…” That timeless classic film offers a fantastic visual feast…. My mind then made the leap to another Clark Gable movie and another one of my favorites, the 1934 film It Happened One Night…For me, the first image that this title conjures is the great hitch-hiking scene where Claudette Colbert shows Gable a unique way to get someone to give them a ride….I did some investigating about this scene and it seems that Ms. Colbert thought that it would not be appropriate for her to lift her dress and show off her legs this way but when Frank Capra decided to bring in a “body-double”, Claudette became quite angry and insisted that someone else's leg could never be passed off as hers. She then insisted that she should do the scene. I would have been so disappointed if that had not really been Claudette Colbert. I’ve always loved that scene and it would’ve ruined it for me if a body-double would’ve stood in for her. I’m so glad she decided to show off her fabulous gams! The other scene that this movie calls to mind is the famous one with the sheet over the rope which served as a room divider between the two characters, Peter and Ellie, Gable christened them, “The Walls of Jericho!”....Hum… …Could be time to watch this great film again... It’s been years since I last saw it and what better way to spend a rainy Monday?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Deedee over at Love White Linen inspired this post, so thank you, Deedee.. She recently made reference to the beautiful Christian hymn, I come to the Garden Alone, and this transported me back in time to when I was a young girl growing up in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. On Sundays at church we would often sing that hymn which my Grandmother particularly loved and this reminded me of another hymn, Church in the Wildwood, which was also a favorite. This certainly brought back memories of summer potlucks with all the great covered dishes, vacation Bible School, and Easter Egg Hunts where we still colored real eggs ( and ate them, too!) and the plastic ones didn't exist! So, this journey down memory lane motivated me to search a bit about this hymn. I was very surprised to find that this church actually exists, in Iowa! The history of the song and church is so charming that I wanted to blog about this sweet hymn that brings back so many precious memories... I know my Grandmother is still singing them in heaven....Thank you, Deedee, for the inspiration...

The first settlers came to the Bradford area in 1848 and with an abundant water supply and virgin timber, the town grew. By 1855 the first members of the Puritan-Congregational Church had begun holding meetings. By 1856, Bradford had 500 residents and was the first town in this part of Iowa.

A young music teacher named William Pitts was traveling by stagecoach from Wisconsin to Iowa to visit his future wife. While waiting for the stagecoach horses to be changed, he walked down Cedar Street and saw the empty lot where the church now stands. Being a romantic young man, the thought came to him of what a charming setting the spot would make for a church. Returning home, he wrote the poem “Church in the Wildwood,” and later set it to music. He put it away in a drawer and forgot it.

Meanwhile, church members grew tired of meeting in places such as the lawyer’s office, abandoned stores and parishioners’ homes. They began making plans to build a church. A family in the parish gave them the property. When Rev. Nutting arrived, talk of building became serious. Limestone was quarried and by 1860 the foundation was laid. The Civil War slowed the work, but when one family gave trees and another donated the sawing of the lumber, the work never really ceased. By 1862 the building was enclosed and not a penny had been spent. When it came time to paint the building, the cheapest paint to be found was Ohio Mineral Paint, which would protect the wood but which was unhappily brown. With help from friends in the east, the building was finished, complete with bell, in 1864.

Mr. Pitts had married and was living in Wisconsin. In 1862 the couple moved to Fredericksburg to be near her elderly parents and Mr. Pitts was hired to teach singing class at the Bradford Academy. Imagine his surprise when he saw a little brown church nestled in the very trees where he had stood some years before. He went home and found the song and taught it to his class who sang it at the dedication service of the church. Pitts had written a song for a church that wasn’t there. The congregation had painted their little church brown without ever hearing of the song.

History was hard on the Little Brown Church. The railroad by-passed the town and a flour mill moved to New Hampton to be on a bigger river. The railroad and other industry moved to Nashua. The town, once the county seat, slowly disappeared. In 1888, the church building was closed, although the congregation continued to hold Sunday School every week at the school. Occasional services were held at the building. In the early 1900’s a Society For The Preservation of The Little Brown Church was started and by 1914, services were again held, as they are now.

History took another turn when the Weatherwax Quartet traveled throughout Canada and the United States in the 1920s and 30s. Their theme song was “The Church in the Wildwood” and they talked about the little church. After World War I, highways were improved and cars brought many visitors. When a School superintendent and a merchants’ daughter were married at the church, a new tradition was started. Over 40,000 visitors come to the Little Brown Church each year, and over 400 weddings are performed annually. In June of 2005, the 72,000 wedding was held at the church. The congregation is alive and well with an active Sunday School, youth groups, choirs, ladies’ fellowship, Bible study, a prayer chain group, and weekly services at 10:30 on Sunday. They remain, as they were founded, a Congregational Church. The song continues to be sung in a little church that is painted brown and sits in the wildwood.

In 1998 the bell tower was completely restored. In 2000 with help from the State Historical Society of Iowa Site Preservation Grant Program, a new foundation was placed under the church. This project has enabled the church to be completely handicap accessible. Air conditioning has been added for the first time.

The Church in The Wildwood

There's a church in the valley by the wildwood
No lovelier spot in the dale
No place is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

How sweet on a clear Sabbath morning
To listen to the clear ringing bells
Its tones so sweetly are calling
Oh come to the church in the vale

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

There, close by the church in the valley
Lies one that I loved so well
She sleeps, sweetly sleeps, 'neath the willow
Disturb not her rest in the vale

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

There, close by the side of that loved one
'Neath the tree where the wild flowers bloom
When farewell hymns shall be chanted
I shall rest by her side in the tomb

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 boneless/skinless chicken tenders
8 teaspoons prepared pesto
1/4 cup prepared pesto
1 jar roasted red peppers( cut into strips and separate 8 strips from the rest)
salt and pepper
2-3 Tablespoons pine nuts

8 ounces penne rigate pasta( approximately 1/2 a box)

Sprinkle each chicken tender with salt and pepper and spread 1/2-1 teaspoon of pesto on each tender( spread on one side only)...add a strip of roasted peppers on top of pesto, roll up and secure with toothpick...Cook pasta according to directions...Heat olive oil in skillet and cook chicken thoroughly until juices run smooth...They should be lightly browned as well...After chicken is cooked, remove from pan and put on a warm plate...drain water from pasta and add penne rigate to the pan where chicken was browned....stir in the 1/4 cup pesto and remaining strips of roasted red pepper... Heat on low for 2 minutes then add chicken and add pine nuts into the mixture. Remove the toothpicks before serving....

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Spending this day being loved by my precious children was the greatest gift I could have received. Thank you David and Katherine and to Daddy for organizing it all. You made this is a wonderful day filled with loving, honoring, and kindness....

Happy Mother's Day to my own sweet Mother and to all the Moms ( and Mr. Moms) visiting the Tea Society Blog!

Thursday, May 08, 2008


My favorite actor of all time is Gary Oldman. To me, he is absolutely unequaled. I first discovered him in the 1988 movie Criminal Law where he starred alongside Kevin Bacon and his performance in this film astounded me. I had to then backtrack and see Sid and Nancy and his performance in that film was riveting. He next made a name for himself as Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK and in 1992; he starred in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which will forever be one of my favorite movies. I actually saw it in the theater 6 times and have lost count of how many times I’ve watched it on video. Following Dracula, he had a string of other movies, all with minimal success yet to great critical acclaim. Then, Immortal Beloved was released. This is my absolute favorite of all of Gary Oldman’s movies and his performance is absolutely masterful. The passion and depth that he brought to his portrayal of Ludwig van Beethoven garnered great accolades from not only some of the toughest critics in Hollywood but also from his fellow actors. What is constant about a Gary Oldman performance is his gift as a virtual chameleon where he transforms himself so convincingly into each carefully selected role. Whether it's a sadistic murderer in The Professional or the dreamy Reverend Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter, the mastery of his craft is amazing… Younger viewers know him as Sirius Black in The Harry Potter movies and I’ve read in interviews that his children are thrilled that he was cast in that role. I’ve also just discovered that he will be in the new adaptation of A Christmas Carol, along with Colin Firth (another favorite of mine) and Jim Carrey, as Ebenezer Scrooge. Upon first learning this, I wasn’t thrilled with Jim C. being cast in this role but I will reserve further judgment until I see the movie. One thing is certain; which ever role Gary Oldman has, he will undoubtedly stand out among the others. Below is a Movie Internet mini Bio on Mr. Oldman.
Gary Oldman, the son of a welder and a homemaker, won a scholarship to Britain's Rose Bruford Drama College, where he received a B.A. in theatre arts in 1979. He subsequently studied with the Greenwich Young People's Theatre and went on to appear in a number of plays throughout the early '80s, including "The Pope's Wedding," for which he received Time Out's Fringe Award for Best Newcomer of 1985-1986 and the British Theatre Association's Drama Magazine Award as Best Actor for 1985. His film debut was in the 1986 biopic Sid and Nancy (1986), wherein he played Sex Pistol Sid Vicious, picking up the Evening Standard Film Award as Best Newcomer. In 1988, he received a Best Actor nomination from the British Academy of Film and TV Arts for his portrayal of '60s playwright 'Joe Orton'. His ability to transform himself physically and his command of accents have allowed him to play a broad range of characters and a number of historical figures, including, in addition to those mentioned above, Lee Harvey Oswald (JFK (1991)) and Ludwig van Beethoven (Immortal Beloved (1994)).

To see a glimpse of Gary Oldman's performance in Immortal Beloved, go to this YouTube Clip:

Last year when I was looking for teas to serve at Tea Society events, I came across Revolution’s Earl Grey Lavender. Granted, I’m somewhat picky when it comes to tea (and tea bags in particular) so I skeptically bought a box at Kroger and brought it home to test…I honestly wasn’t expecting much but I was instantly impressed with the lovely aroma and infuser bags. I knew that this would give a truer loose leaf taste so I put the kettle on for my first cup. To say it was love at first taste would be a vast understatement… It was everything you expect in Earl Grey and then some! I served it at our Gardener’s Tea last June and the ladies are all hooked on this lovely tea… Earl Grey Lavender is a blend of Ceylon, Oolong and Darjeeling estate tea leaves which have been lightly flavored with Oil of Bergamot with the wonderful combination of super blue lavender which creates a delicious sweet tea. I recommend Earl Grey Lavender in the morning at noontime or at night and did I mention that the aroma is heavenly?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


My favorite New Orleans dish is Shrimp Creole. I get it at least once every time we're in the city and on our first trip there I was on a mission to find the "perfect" Shrimp Creole recipe. A great cookbook called The New Orleans Cookbook by Rima and Richard Collin is the one that kept popping up when I asked the locals for a recommendation. I have had this cookbook for 14 years and have cooked several dishes from it. My favorite is of course the Shrimp Creole dish but there are many others that are delectable as well...If you decide to try this dish, don't let the long list of ingredients put you off. The key to this dish is to chop everything in advance and then it's a breeze and so worth the effort. I made a batch Saturday Night. You can see the end result in the picture below....

"Shrimp Creole piquante was the original version of shrimp creole. Firm shrimp, plenty of whole tomatoes, lots of pepper-a far cry from the bland, soggy restaurant dish served all over America. This is a really spicy CAJUN ( not CREOLE) dish."
Sauce Piquante
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
1 3/4 c. thinly sliced shallots( scallions)
1/3 cup chopped celery
1 c. chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
4 tsp. finely minced garlic
3 Tbs. finely minced fresh parsley
1 one-lb can Italian style whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 Tbs. minced chives
4 Tbs. dry red wine
4 whole bay leaves, crushed
6 whole allspice
2 whole cloves
2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. Cayenne
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. mace
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 cups water
2 lb. whole fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
Boiled Rice

In a heavy 6-8 quart pot or kettle ( I usually use my black pot/ Cast Iron Dutch oven), heat the oil and gradually add the flour, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat, stirring contantly, until a medium brown roux( the color of rich peanut butter) is formed. Remove from heat and add the fresh vegetables and parsley. Mix well with the roux, then return to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables begin to brown. Mix in the canned tomatoes and tomato sauce, then add the chives, seasonings, wine, and lemon juice and mix again.

Raise heat under the pan and bring to a low boil. Add the water and mix thoroughly. When mixture begins to boil up again, reduce the heat and simmer 45 minutes. Add shrimp and allow to come to a boil again, then cover, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from burner and allow to stand, covered, at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve over boiled rice.

Monday, May 05, 2008


Last month,on my Franklin trip, I picked up this porcelain doll for my daughter. I never had a real doll collection when I was a little girl so this is something I want to start for Katherine. I thought she looked so sweet in her pretty pink polka dot bonnet and dress. She doesn't have a name yet so I'm in need of some suggestions. Does she look like a "Rose" or perhaps "Belle" ?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I know you're running in heaven with Sasha, our beloved Greyhound......