Tuesday, July 31, 2018
The back cover is very nice, too. That one is simply labeled as "An Old New Hampshire Home" -- it doesn't say where it is, but the photographer was E. Greely Clark.
Back to my most recent find! The December 1946 issue features a lovely Christmas poem which I would like to share with you all.
by Adelbert M. Jakeman
Beneath the canopy of winter sky
Are hemlocks standing heavy with the snow;
Their lovely branches bend their burden low.
And meadows soft along the roadside lie.
Reflected in a golden window light
Is found contentment caught between four walls;
And resting in their rough and simple stalls
Are living things secure against the night.
Familiar sounds break through the crystal dark:
The bell that echoes from the starlit spire,
The hoofs of running horses striking fire,
And hounds that listen to their lonesome bark.
Each tiny town becomes a sparkling gem
Of beauty born of ancient Bethlehem.
I thought this poem painted a beautiful picture. "Contentment caught between four walls" would mean so much in light of the recently ended World War II. And "living things secure against the night" would speak of a blessing too, remembering that dark time when security felt very tenuous indeed.
I am not sure of the meaning of the last line, but I do know that whenever I see little towns depicted on Christmas cards -- even towns of a far different century and continent than Bethlehem -- it does always make me think of that little town where Christ was born.
This vintage poem seems like a lovely note on which to end this year's Christmas in July. See you again soon here in the Christmas Kitchen!
Monday, July 30, 2018
I always like to find ideas for special table settings that are festive yet simple. Here's one that I will definitely be filing away to use this Christmas!
You see how uncomplicated this Simple Christmas table setting is -- just a white tablecloth, red runner, then round white place mats and red fabric napkins.
I really like the color scheme that Bev has used, but it would work with many other colors as well.
The centerpiece is so pretty! Just a cake plate or server with a whimsical tree at the center and Christmas balls poured around the tree, and then a few bottle brush trees arranged at the base of the plate. This is just my style.
But in case it's not your style, Bev shares two other table setting ideas in the very same post: 3 simple holiday table settings, so head on over to Flamingo Toes and have a look. You're sure to find a bit of inspiration!
Sunday, July 29, 2018
|Photo from Maple Syrup World|
(I must add that the photo and link at the top of the page will take you to a maple fudge recipe that is not my mother's but looks a lot like it. The recipe linked to above does not contain white sugar -- only pure maple syrup, butter, cream, and nuts which are optional. Might be worth a try! I chose this particular photo because it resembled my mother's fudge more closely than others I found.)
Below is my mother's recipe.
As I mentioned, she gave this fudge frequently as a gift-- to everyone from doctors to piano teachers -- and people greatly appreciated its creaminess and true maple flavor. The fudge was often given as a thank-you gift as well. I found one letter she had written herself thanking a businessman for something very kind he had done to help my disabled brother. (Yes, my mother tended to keep rough drafts of letters. In this case, I'm glad she did.)
She wrote toward the end of the letter: "This morning, I mailed to you a package of maple candy, which is our family's Christmas specialty, and that I hope will reach you in good condition, to give you a taste of New England."
Now, on to a little more fan mail:
Then there were a couple of notes from my mom's sisters. One, who was looking after a granddaughter at the time, wrote: "The fudge is delicious but I'm afraid she'd choke on it so won't waste a crumb trying." She wasn't wasting any of that fudge!
Another sister wrote, in the card above, "We're enjoying the maple candy -- had some tonite and it's still soft and creamy. Thanks much!"
And then there was a note from the nurses at a medical practice:
She goes on, "We are wondering if perhaps we could have your recipe! ... we'd be grateful. Don't go to any trouble mailing it because there is no rush, but we would like your secret of getting it so smooth."
As I've mentioned before, my mother generously shared the recipe with everyone who asked for it -- but no one was successful with it. And she wasn't one to leave out an ingredient just to keep a recipe exclusive, as some ladies did. It was just a tricky recipe. I have no idea if the nurses were successful when they tried making the fudge, or not.
One more thing! I also remember seeing, though I can't find it now, a note from a neighbor in which she mentions that -- since the fudge had arrived at their house -- her young son declared that now it really felt like Christmas! To my mind, that was the highest praise of all.
Saturday, July 28, 2018
|Photo by Jocelyn at Inside BruCrew Life|
For that, I will put snack mixes in small tins or other containers to nestle them in the large box or basket. I love to tuck in bags of holiday coffee, boxes of small flavored creamers (the shelf-stable kind), tins of cookies, boxes of biscotti, and much more.
This Hot Cocoa Trail Mix, from Jocelyn at Inside BruCrew Life, looks like it will be a hit with everyone. It contains peanuts (both regular and chocolate-covered), cocoa almonds, chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows which have been coated in white chocolate. Wow. (Have you ever tasted cocoa almonds? I bought a box of the individual packs of them to take on the plane last summer when we went to Nevada. They are delicious and I imagine they will add a great flavor to this trail mix.)
This wouldn't be practical for a summer hike (unless it was kept cold), but you could certainly pack some into a tin and keep it on the counter for the snackers in your household. Give it a try! I think I probably will!
Friday, July 27, 2018
|Photo from Skip to My Lou|
At first glance this popcorn snack looks just like the sugary pink popcorn that my grandmother would make for special occasions when I was very young. Hers was just made with a sugar syrup tinted with food coloring, I am sure. But this White Chocolate and Peppermint Popcorn from Skip to My Lou would be even better.
I'm pretty sure I'll be making at least one batch of this for Christmas 2018! Maybe you would like to try it, too!
Thursday, July 26, 2018
This simple tutorial from Brenna at Life After Laundry has given me the courage to give it a try. You'll find it here: Scrappy Lighted Garland.
|Photo by Brenna at Life After Laundry|
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
|Image from The Elli Blog|
I downloaded the food tags and the recipe cards and they are very pretty. In addition, there are stickers, gift tags in both round and rectangular options, wrappers for jars or boxes, gift wrap, and much more.
The recipe cards would be great if you are giving a kitchen gift and want to include the recipe. Or you could print out a half dozen recipe cards with favorite Christmas recipes and tie them up with jute or red or green twine to make a lovely little gift or stocking stuffer.
The possibilities are endless with this free printable kit. Have fun with it!
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
|Recipe and photo from Cheryl at Tidy Mom|
I am posting this on the 24th because it's a cold brew coffee and needs to be started the night before. I've never tried making cold brew coffee, but I've heard many good things about it and so I will be giving this recipe a try tonight.
The only catch to making this in summer may be if I'm unable to find eggnog. I believe Borden's may make a canned eggnog that's available year round -- they used to -- so I will check into that. Otherwise I can just use a little extra cream, some extra spices and a dash of vanilla.
Try this and let me know what you think! Have a wonderful Rudolph Day tomorrow!
Monday, July 23, 2018
A New Hampshire Attic. As you see above, it will start tomorrow, July 24, and will go through the end of July.
All items in the "Vintage Christmas" category will be 20% off during the sale. I hope you'll stop in at A New Hampshire Attic and take a look! As always, don't feel obligated to purchase anything. I like to browse, personally, and am happy to have you browse in my shop as well. If you enjoy vintage Christmas goodies, here is your chance to find some at a bargain!
Sunday, July 22, 2018
|Photo and design by Kristi at I Should Be Mopping the Floor|
I think I would have everything that I need to make this ornament already on hand, with the exception of the craft dowels. So I just might stitch up a few this summer!
And then here is another sweet ornament I found utilizing the jute upholstery webbing:
|Craft and photo by Diana at Adirondack Girl at Heart|
Have fun with these ornament ideas!
Saturday, July 21, 2018
|This gorgeous photo is from Melissa at Bless This Mess|
I found the recipe for these festive Eggnog Cupcakes at I Heart Naptime. Eggnog is such a celebratory flavor!
The recipe and photo are by Melissa at Bless This Mess. I was very impressed by the recipe. Both cupcakes and frosting are made from scratch and contain real eggnog.
These cupcakes are a little different from the usual Christmas dessert recipes. They would make a lovely dessert for Christmas Eve supper or Christmas dinner, or they would also be a nice addition to a potluck or a dessert buffet. I'm planning to try this recipe!
Friday, July 20, 2018
Not too long ago, I found a great source for free designs: Bird Brain Designs. They also have many lovely patterns and materials for sale. If you enjoy embroidery, it will be well worth your while to visit the site. There are also designs for quilting and wool applique. A needlecrafter could get lost in this site for days.
There are many Christmas and winter designs, as well as designs for other holidays -- even the Fourth of July, for example. I think a set of tea towels in seasonal designs would make a fabulous gift!
Here's one example of a winter design:
Let It Snow tea towel. Below is a screenshot I took from Bird Brain Designs.
I've written other posts about embroidery and dish towels which you might enjoy seeing, and which give links to other sources for designs, so you might like to take a look at the following: Christmas Embroidery Designs and A Christmas Tea Towel.
Clicking the "dish towels" label on either of my blogs will also take you to posts that will hopefully inspire your own stitchery.
The slower days of summer are perfect for embroidering small projects. Have fun with these ideas!
Thursday, July 19, 2018
|Photo and design by Kelly at Live Laugh Rowe|
Like many people, I love plaid, and these printable tags are available for download in a soft red plaid, a soft green plaid, and a muted combination of both colors. They are for personal use only, but I'm sure you knew that. I like Kelly's suggestion of putting a kraft reinforcing sticker around the punched hole in the tags.
These look great with kraft or brown-paper wrapped packages, but they would also look nice with white or a solid red or green that coordinate with the colors of the tags.
Have fun with these!
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Occasionally we do crafts, and sometimes we share a snack, but most often we plan, brainstorm, and share ideas from our Christmas notebooks. It's been really helpful in keeping Christmas preparations from slipping off our radar screens.
|A glaring Kindle shot of my Christmas notebook|
So for Vicki and others who were planning on meeting tomorrow afternoon, I need to let you know that the club meeting for July 19 has been postponed due to a conflict with an ice cream social. (And who could possibly argue with that?)
The next meeting will be in August but I don't know a date yet. I'll keep you posted!
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
|Photo and design by Crafts by Amanda|
It's a great repurposing idea, because canning jar lids cannot be reused for further canning and preserving. The bands may be reused, but over time they tend to get rusty. That makes them perfect to give an antique vintage look to this project!
This ornament uses mostly materials that any crafter would have on hand. The only things it calls for that I will have to purchase are antiquing medium and Antique Mod Podge. (I have regular Mod Podge on hand, but not the Antique type.)
Right now in July many folks are making jams and jellies with fresh picked fruit or thinking about canning or pickling garden produce. If that's you, then you'll soon be buying new canning lids and sorting through your bands. If you find a few rusty bands, they'll be just the thing to use for this project -- each ornament takes 2 lids and 2 bands.
I'd really like to make a half dozen of these or more. They would be sweet dangling from an evergreen garland, maybe with a few snowflakes interspersed. If you think so too, head on over to Crafts by Amanda and get the how-tos!
Monday, July 16, 2018
|Photo from Maple Syrup World|
She gave this fudge frequently as a gift-- to everyone from doctors to piano teachers -- and people greatly appreciated its creaminess (it contains 2 cups of cream!) and true maple flavor achieved by using a dark grade of maple syrup. This very rich fudge was always cut in very small pieces --perhaps an inch square. We kids were often treated to corner pieces and trimmings -- and, truthfully, that was fine with me. This is a delicious fudge but it is very sweet. I have always preferred chocolate fudge to maple.
(Incidentally, since I have no photos of the maple fudge, I went looking on line. The photo and link at the top of the page will take you to a maple fudge recipe that does not contain white sugar -- only pure maple syrup, butter, cream, and nuts which are optional. Might be worth a try! I chose this particular photo because it resembled my mother's fudge more closely than others I found.)
As I've been cleaning out at my parents' home, I have been finding so many notes of appreciation from folks she made this candy for. Here's one of them:
Notice that Winifred says, "Seems as if the candy was the best you ever made. I follow your directions but mine is never as creamy as yours. Mine is amateur and yours professional." What an accolade!
Winifred was an elderly lady who lived at a bit of a distance. My mother apparently at some point even made some fudge specifically for this lady to give away. I imagine all that stirring would have been a bit much for an older lady to tackle. Winifred wrote in another note, "What a wonderful thing for you to make all that candy for me. A real life saver. I never expected anything like that."
Then Winifred writes more about one of her own experiences with making the fudge:
"Mine tastes good but isn't creamy and fine grain like yours. To begin with I hunted half a day for your recipe, then I measured the whole amount in the pressure cooker. [My mother always used the very heavy pressure-cooker saucepan to make her fudge in, but she did not cook it under pressure!] I have never had good luck only when I made half the amount. The phone rang twice and I had to turn off the stove. It boiled over once, and besides I got too tired." Poor Winifred! This is why I never have tried making that fudge.
Believe it or not, there is yet more fan mail for my mother's maple fudge -- but I will share that with you all another day.
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Then I have found some other nifty things, like stickers and seals.
|This title was on one side of the box. Guess what originally came in this stunning box? Men's socks!|
|I actually remember using stickers like these. I loved them and wanted to use them much more liberally than I should have. These are the type of stickers one had to lick.|
... and the above sketch, done on a used envelope. Opening this box was like opening a time capsule.
What do you suppose the sketch was for? I can tell you, because I happen to know. The time capsule took me back to the late 1950s and early 1960s, and my mother's preparations for the Methodist Church Christmas Fair. I described the project in the post I wrote about this fair: "The base for each pin was a smooth oval of wood. This was long before the days when such wooden shapes could be purchased pre-cut; my parents, as I recall, cut out the shapes themselves and then sanded them smoothly. Then tiny hemlock cones, yellow tansy heads, and red-orange bittersweet berries were artfully arranged on the wooden base."
|This pin, though not perfectly preserved, survived the years. I guess some of the tansy heads must have been painted green.|
Back in the day when I was in elementary school, children often carried coin purses in a pocket. Lunch money and milk money both involved coins, so the coin purse kept them safe.
I am not sure that any of the purses made by my mother at this time still exist, but I did find the magazine where she got the idea and the patterns -- the very first McCall's Christmas Make-It Book, purchased for $1 in 1958. And as you can see in the box of bits and pieces, there were many more designs than puppies and kittens. There were birds, and clowns, and snow boots, and who knows what all else. I scanned a couple of the pages to show you:
Oh, the memories brought back by these vintage crafting bits and pieces! Hope they've triggered some delightful memories for you as well.
Saturday, July 14, 2018
|Photo from Serendipity Refined|
You'll find the tutorial here: Vintage Style Glitter Star Ornament. It's a design by the very talented Kimberly at Serendipity Refined.
Other than the drill for drilling a hole at the top of the ornament, this takes very simple materials, the sorts of things almost any crafter might have on hand.
Does this inspire you as it does me? Simply gorgeous!🌟
Friday, July 13, 2018
The Angels' Song
Listen close some winter's night
and hear the angels' song,
echoing round the moonlit plains
and valleys still and long;
Listen, like the sky is full
of silence and silver stars,
like hillsides lie in sequined snow
and ice from near and far;
Listen, like the quiet creeps
along the panes and eaves,
like frost upon the shoreline grass,
like wind among the trees;
Like shepherds watching o'er their flocks
beside the firelight's glow,
and hear the strains of angels' songs
no matter where you go.
Deborah A. Bennett
I love the pictures that these words bring to my mind! Hope others enjoy them, also.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
My mother always made an extra casserole dish full of macaroni and cheese, and took it to a neighbor couple we dearly loved, for their Christmas Eve supper. On New Year's Day, Mrs. F always made a gelatin dessert called pumpkin snow, and sent it back to us in the clean casserole dish, along with a jar of custard sauce to serve with the dessert. It was a sweet tradition between neighbors.
I recently located my mother's macaroni & cheese recipe, which I had copied down many years ago. I suspect it probably started with a Betty Crocker recipe and she tweaked it from there. In case anyone else thinks macaroni & cheese sounds like a good Christmas Eve supper -- or if you'd just like to try a good recipe -- here it is:
MACARONI AND CHEESE
2 cups elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided use
3/8 teaspoon pepper, divided use
2 cups milk
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar, divided use
2 tsp. instant minced onion
1/2 tube of saltine crackers, crumbled
1/4 cup butter
Cook the macaroni as the package directs.
Melt butter in double boiler over hot water [I just use a saucepan]. Blend in flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in milk. Return to heat; heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in about half the cheese (1 1/2 cups).
Place half the cooked macaroni in a lightly greased 2 to 3 quart casserole. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the minced onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Sprinkle on half the remaining cheese (about 3/4 cup). Pour half of the cheese sauce over this layer. Repeat layers.
For topping, melt the 1/4 cup butter and crumble in the half-tube of saltines. Cook the crumbs in the butter for a few minutes, then use to top the casserole. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 375º for 35 to 40 minutes or until topping is browned and casserole is bubbly.
Makes 4 to 6 servings, I would guess.
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
A New Hampshire Attic. (Later this month, from July 24 through 31, I plan to have a Christmas in July sale in my shop. I hope to add many more vintage Christmas items between now and then!)
But for now, here is a sampling of the fun Christmas items available:
|Green candy box|
|This is a different view of the Santa candy box at the top of the post. This shows off the little string handle.|
|Another candy box|
|A pre-owned 1940s Christmas card|
|An unused Christmas card (for kids) with a snowman theme|
|Unused card from the 1960s -- a covered bridge theme|
|This is such a pretty unused card!|
|Another unused card. I have several with this unique snowflake design.|
|An unused card from the 1930s|
|The buttons are gone from this card, but I love its Christmasy look!|
|A cocktail size Santa napkin|