Friday, July 31, 2009

Bermuda Vacation Pictures

Our cruise to Bermuda really was a great time - but the weather was awful. Not just rain - we had torrential rain almost every day. But - making the most of the situation - we trudged on. Thank goodness for our gortex rain gear - that purchase was really worth the money! We loved Bermuda - it was beautiful - even in the rain. We can't wait to go back again.

(Be sure to stop the music on the playlist - so you can enjoy the smilebox music.)

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Bermuda (in the Rain!)
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer's Bounty - Zuchinni Bread

I love zucchini bread - and this has been my favorite recipe for years and years! (I actually won first prize at the county fair for this recipe many years ago - so many, actually, that I had forgotten all about that until I started typing this blog entry!) I wonder what ever happened to my first prize ribbon!
Here is the recipe with my modifications:
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (honestly - most of the time I do not use this - I just add a few shakes of each of these: Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups chopped fresh zucchini - unpeeled.
1/2 cup shredded carrot - optional
1 cup yellow raisins - ( I always soak the raisins in a strong orange pekoe tea- like Lipton- while I am preparing the bread)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large (29 ounce) can of pears - I use all but about 2 large pieces. These need to be mashed and I usually run them through the food processor. Reserve the juice.
1 cup canola oil -
3 large eggs
1 T vanilla
Spray 2 8x4x2 inch baking pans with nonstick coating. In a medium bowl combine flours, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine, sugars, eggs, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Add mashed pears and mix well. Stir in flour mixture and if mixture is too thick - add some of the reserved pear juice. Lastly - stir in the zucchini, raisins, and carrots. Mixture should be thick - but pourable. Add more pear juice if necessary.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour - or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and immediately mix the glaze using a wire whisk:
1 and 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
enough milk to make pourable
With a sharp knife loosen the sides all around the pans. Pour glaze over bread while the bread is still very hot. Allow to cool completely before cutting. (Good Luck with that - I never can wait that long!)

This recipe came from a Better Homes and Garden magazine in the May 1990 issue. You can tell that it is well used by the food splotches all over it! This is really one of my most treasured recipes. I hope that it becomes one of your as well. ENJOY!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Flea Market Treasures (and peach cobbler)

My flea market buddies (Kim and Hubert) and I took a little trip to the Burlington Flea Market today. Was about a 2 hour drive - we left early - at 6 am. What a perfect day for treasure hunting - the weather was a little cool and partly cloudy - just what you want for a day at the flea. (Of course true treasure hunters go rain or shine - and believe me - we have trudged many a day in the rain in search of the perfect treasure! ) This is the first time that I have ever been to this flea market - and it was wonderful - not too big and not too small - just right for a day "at the flea!" After our time at the flea market, we also visited the Florence Antique mall and made a few purchases there as well!
Here are a few pictures of my treasures. This glass beaded necklace ($20)and rhinestone stretch bracelet ($15) were both purchased at the antique mall. My most expensive treasures of this day! I also found an audio book at the antique mall ($10). That may have been an iffy purchase - hope it plays well in my car.

I LOVE these earrings - 3 pair at $2 each. Will be just perfect for crafting. Might use them in my jewelry creations or could be used on a little knitted hat. We will see---. The little multicolored bracelet was also a great buy at $8. Love it!

This children's story book was published in 1942 and has colorful beach themed photographs - (like we don't already know where this little purchase is headed. ) Was a great price - $4.
I also bought two pairs of straight knitting needles and two circular needles - will save all of those for when I create my next Knitting basket to be donated at the Ronald McDonald Auction. Always thinking ahead you know! Paid $1 each for the needles. Also bought some extra large snaps for use in knitted baby things. I love to pilfer through the sewing supplies at the flea market. You can just find the neatest stuff!

This silly book was suggested by Hubert as a purchase that I was sure to want--- NOT! No way was I going to buy that book! We always make a game of finding silly things that we think each other should by. My suggestion for Hubert was a perfectly awful statue of Liberty thing - yea, we do that stuff all day long!
(The 1001 Ways to Please Your Husband book - was a cookbook - what were you thinking!)


Came home from the flea market and the Gardener has sliced up our Georgia peaches that we brought home from our trip to Atlanta last week. (We went to visit our grand baby - those pictures will be posted soon.)
He also picked a few blackberries that grow at the edge of our yard. He was hinting for a cobbler----. So, of course I made him one. The way to a man's heart - you know the saying---. Don't think I needed that book, my guy is always happy with a fresh cobbler!

If you missed the first posting for this recipe, click here to take you to the original posting.

Was a wonderful day - full of treasures both at the flea market and at home. One of the best surprises of the day was running in to my dear friend Judy - both of us standing at the dollar jewelry table not knowing that either was there! You just have to know Judy to appreciate how poetic it was to run into her at the dollar table - she is like the Queen of finding bargains - and she did - a beautiful gold necklace. Bet she wears it on our next cruise together! A wonderful surprise to see her there - good friends are a true blessing.

My bite of this cobbler - smothered in a little ice cream will truly be the end to a perfect day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sharing a Legacy

The Gardener's stepfather was a master mold maker in the Owens-Illinois Glass Factory in Huntington, West Virginia for over 30 years. Whitey, (his nickname) was responsible for crafting the molds for glassware - his talent was known all across the country. Whenever a mold was needed to be made or refined, Whitey was the person who was asked to create this mold. He created molds for Coca Cola, Avon, and numerous other industries in the 60's and 70's - the heyday of glass manufacturing in this area. If you find or own a piece of glass with the Owens -Illinois logo stamped on the bottom - chances are that Whitey created the mold for that piece of glass.

(If you follow this blog further down until you reach the posting about our anniversary - there is a picture of Whitey, standing just beside my husband in the wedding party. If there ever was a kinder, sweeter man on the face of this earth - Whitey was it.)

There were no exact tools for this trade and Whitey crafted his own - often molding traditional tools into the necessary form that was needed for his craft. Whitey engraved his name on his tools. His tools were kept locked in his toolbox - he shared them with no one. His secrets for his trade were kept only to himself -and later shared with only one person - an apprentice (and later a treasured friend)named Jack O'Dell, that he took under his wing at the plant. Together they crafted the molds for glassware that is now collectible all over this country. Remember all those famous collectible Avon bottles? Whitey crafted the molds for those. Remember the old glass Coke bottles that were turned in for deposit? He crafted those also.

Whitey past away shortly after the Gardener and I were married. With the passing of his mother also, the Gardener was left with the task of settling the estate of his mother and step-father. As is so often the case - there are things that you treasure and want to keep. Whitey's toolbox became a part of my husband's possessions and for several years was simply stored in our garage - just waiting for the perfect time and place to be displayed.

That opportunity presented itself recently when I found an article in a local travel magazine about the West Virginia Museum of American Glass located in Weston, West Virginia. The Gardener phoned the Museum and asked if they would like to have Whitey's tools. The timing was perfect as they were just setting about creating a display of the various tools and molds that were used in the crafting of glass in the 60's and 70's - they were thrilled to accept this donation.
And so the tool box was brought out into the light of day and opened---

The Gardener found Whitey's tool box to be just as he had left it - the day he walked out of the factory. Thirty years of memories just waiting to be shared with others. Pictures of family and friends, priceless links to the past of this gentle and sweet man, immensely talented and so very proud of his craft. And so - we made the trip to Weston to donate this legacy so that it could be shared with others.

The American Glass Museum is dedicated to this region and to the nation's rich glass heritage. It is a place where thousands of glass items can be viewed and where the stories of people and the process of glass making is brought back to life.
Soon - the collection of glass making tools will be created and this toolbox, a true memento of both the times and the trade will be on display for all to see and enjoy. We feel that this is the perfect home for this priceless family treasure - Whitey would be so thrilled and so proud to know that his tools and legacy are being shared with others.

Some pictures of the glass museum and the beautiful glassware on display---

The Museum also houses the National Marble collection - a stunning display of glass marbles. I never knew that marbles could be so beautiful.

This collection of blue depression glass was amazing. As a collector of blue depression glass myself, this display made me green with envy!

My mother was an avid collector of depression era glassware. When she passed away, my sisters and I were left with the task of disposing of all her collections - a daunting task at best. We kept what we could, but you know, you can only keep so much. The rest we sold at auction - and I so regret that now. This Museum would have been the perfect place to house her collections - if I had only known--- The displays here are stunningly beautiful.

Additional information about the American Glass Museum can be obtained by clicking here.

A priceless collection of glass vases. Absolutely beautiful.

They have the largest collection of hens and chickens in the world. Oh my gosh - they were beautiful!

These hens and chickens are housed in the store room - waiting for a place to be displayed!

A stunning collection of glass canes.

I loved this collection of little blue glass geese. (Say that three times fast!)

The Musuem is located at 230 Main Ave in downtown Weston, West Virginia.
It is open to the public 5 days a week:Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday - Noon to 4 PM.
Admission is free.