Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Now first it must be noted that the pot on the cover is not, in fact, the one described in the book. The mystery teapot is said to be "a magnificent Russian teapot" that was "gold and red and blue with little dancing bears etched around the sides." So there's that. The other surprise (and I don't believe I'm giving away too much here) is that June's beloved uncle died of AIDS. Well, I had a beloved uncle who died of AIDS, so that was another reason I was so interested in the book.
June and her older sister Greta have a very competitive relationship, and that's intriguing to me as well. I am very blessed to have a wonderful younger sister (definitely couldn't have made it through this past year without her), and yet I hear of so many women who have sisters who are just a nightmare to get along with. I can't imagine that, never having experienced it, so it's always interesting to me to read about the family dynamics when siblings don't get along.
I have tried to analyze why I liked this book, because I really shouldn't have: the uncle's death should have made me sad, the teapot artwork was misleading, and, oh yes, June mentions that she doesn't believe in God, which also made me very sad for her. And yet ... well, I loved June, and the book was just so beautifully written I found myself eager to see what happened after June got that teapot in the mail. The climax of the book was terrific, if utterly unbelievable, and yet it, too, was so well-written I didn't care about the believability factor. "Tell the Wolves I'm Home" is definitely not your usual fiction for the "tea party" crowd, but I do think some of you might enjoy it. If you've read this book, I'd love to hear your thoughts. In fact, if you've read anything good lately, I'd love to hear about it!
Monday, December 30, 2013
Congrats to Esther T. of the teafortoon blog, winner of the Tea Time magazine subscription. If you'll send me your snail mail address via the e-mail button at right, I'll get your info sent off to the magazine!
this one (she had looked on my blog and apologized for it being a duplicate, but I told her I will take all the Wedgwood teapot ornaments I can get!). They also gave me some new Chamomile Tea from the English Tea Shop. I haven't had Chamomile in a while and very much enjoyed it!
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Cranberry Raisin Bars
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablepoons all-purpose flour, divided use
1 large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/4 cups mixed dried cranberries, golden and dark raisins (I used half cranberries, half dark raisins)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup coconut
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest (I upped this to 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, then add the brown sugar and 1/2 cup of flour. Combine with a pastry blender until you have a soft dough, then pat it into the bottom of an 8-inch-square baking pan prepared with cooking spray. Bake for 5 minutes. While crust bakes, combine remaining 2 tablespoons of flour with other ingredients. When crust has finished baking, top with mixture, then bake for 25 minutes more, or until edges are beginning to brown. Cool completely before slicing.
***Be sure to stop by next Saturday if you'd like to see what my 2014 "Tea Project" is!
Friday, December 27, 2013
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
• A little boy named Joshua Lionel Cowen, age 7, made his own miniature train out of wood and gave it a steam engine, and 13 years later he made one with a real working fan, creating an electric train that ran on a brass track. A store in New York used the set in its display window, causing customers to clamor for sets of their own, and the former "little boy" used his middle name, Lionel, to form his own train company. (There's loads of fun stuff on trains if you're a train aficionado, or married to one!)
• What really made the Madame Alexander doll company a household name was the creation of the Dionne Quintuplet dolls after the birth of the quints in 1934. And "Madame" Alexander's real name was Bertha. "Mommy, may I please have a Bertha Alexander doll for Christmas?" Just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?
• In the early 1900s, a woman named Elizabeth Magie created the Landlord Game, which "was supposed to demonstrate the ills caused by unequal distribution of wealth." To her dismay, the players not only didn't learn to have compassion for poor people, but instead they loved winning big piles of money and enjoyed watching the other players fall into bankruptcy. No one wanted to manufacture the game — until 30 years later, the game came out with a new name, Monopoly, and became a hit toy during the Depression. Who knew!
Monday, December 23, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Black Forest Cabbage Soup
1 head of cabbage, chopped into 1-inch-wide strips
1 large onion, chopped and sautéed
2 cups mushrooms, sliced and sautéed
4 cups red potatoes, quartered and precooked
1 cup German sausage, sliced and precooked (I opted for regular pork sausage)
1 cup cooked turkey, chopped
1 cup cooked meatballs (homemade for the overachievers)
2 tablespoons each of garlic, basil and parsley
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 quarts chicken or turkey broth
Toss chopped cabbage in bottom of a large stockpot. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Terrific served with sourdough bread. Makes about 16-20 large servings, I'd say!
Friday, December 20, 2013
Thursday, December 19, 2013
here to see its images of the First Ladies' coffee and tea cups). What I learned from this article is that White House Coffee and Tea did not actively protect their brand's trademark after A&P made a "White House Milk" their own national brand, using a similar label design.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Royal Albert Petit Point cup and saucer (shown here) at a bargain price. It's probably the most accidentally interesting blog post I've ever written, simply because I have received lots of e-mails from people scouring the internet who wanted to sell me some of their Petit Point dishes. Now, you can learn a lot about human nature by studying such e-mails. As most of you know, I'm pretty cheap when it comes to my "collecting" (far too formal a term for my little junkin' habit). So when people offer to sell me entire sets of dishes, I write them back politely and say thanks, but I'm not really a serious collector of this pattern. Sometimes, too, I've gotten rather snippy e-mails letting me know that if I didn't go to some website immediately and pony up rather large amounts for their Petit Point wares, I was going to lose out on the opportunity of a lifetime. I didn't acknowledge those sorts of e-mails, though I can assure you I was tempted to! Most people, though, have been exceedingly nice, and some were almost apologetic about even e-mailing me. A kind inquiry is never in bad taste, so I have never minded those polite inquiries.