Wednesday, January 22

Quote of the Week: The Cloak of Winter

Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream. ~Barbara Winkler

Monday, January 20

Vintage Recipe Monday: Potatoes Persillade

Today I have a recipe from The American Woman's Cook Book, which has had many editions over the years.  The one I have is missing it's cover, but I remember it was from the early 1900's.  If you ever run across an edition of this book, no matter what the condition, it's well worth adding to your kitchen library. It's chalk full of tips and recipes.  The recipe today I picked because it's simple and I loved the name:)

Potatoes Persillade

12 small new potatoes or 6 medium 
Juice of one-half lemon
1/2 cup minced parsley

These are dependent upon parsley, not only for their name but for their attractive appearance. Scrape new potatoes. Pare old potatoes and cut the size of a small egg or with a vegetable scoop cut them into balls. Boil until tender. Add salt just before cooking is completed. Drain, place in a saucepan with sufficient butter to coat all the potatoes, add the lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley. The potatoes should be well coated with parsley when served.

Notes: This recipe has to have fresh parsley, which is available in most grocery stores and is very inexpensive. It will keep in the refrigerator if the stems are placed standing up in a small jar of water, then covered loosely with a plastic bag.  If the water is changed every few days the parsley could last up to two weeks. 

Friday, January 17

Garden Friday: Roses in Winter

Here in Michigan we've already had an huge amount of snow, and though it warmed up slightly, we have a long winter ahead of us.  I love snow, and wouldn't want to live somewhere that I couldn't have winter. That said, I hate driving in winter.  I miss my garden in winter.  By February I am ready for spring, but in Michigan we don't really get to work in the dirt until April usually.  So, today's post is about roses.  I love roses, but so far I've had the best luck with miniature roses.  My other roses are always plagued with one problem or another but the miniatures grow like troopers right up until snow.  The pictures below are from this last summer...some are my roses and some are roses from public gardens we visited where I drooled with envy.

God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December.
~James Matthew Barrie


Wednesday, January 15

Quote of the Week: Winter Solitude

There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you ..... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself. ~Ruth Stout

Monday, January 13

Vintage Recipe Monday: Potato Soup

I've decided to start scheduling theme days to give myself a guide to blogging and the first one will start today and repeat each Monday.  I have been collecting cookbooks since college, and have everything from recipe booklets to full size cookbooks that range from the 1800's to present day.  I love recipes, especially those that are tried and true family favorites.  I'm not a fan of complex recipes with expensive ingredients, so you won't find those here.  I love recipes that use quality ingredients that can be purchased without breaking the grocery budget, and don't take all day to prepare. 

Today I'm sharing from The Ladies Union Cook Book which was published in Detroit during the early 1900's. It's bound with a string much like twine, and has good, basic recipes contributed by members of the group. This recipe is very simple, and perfect for a cold, winter's day.


Six boiled potatoes
1 quart milk
a little mace
1 small onion
salt to taste

Heat the milk, strain the potatoes through a colander, chop the onion and cook all together 15 minutes. Must be served immediately.

Notes: The milk would have no doubt been whole milk back then, and using skim or 2% would make the soup less rich. Mace isn't a spice many people have on hand, but either nutmeg or allspice can be used instead in this recipe. 

The Last of the Roses in Autumn

The milkweed pods are breaking,   And the bits of silken down   Float off upon the autumn breeze   Across the meadows brown. ~C...