Out and About

And generally terrorizing entertaining sellers at yard sales we were.

“Is this your impersonation of Yoda?” Jabber inquired.

Impersonation?  I thought you knew?  I AM Yoda………

Yoda it is.

http://www.therightplanet.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Yoda.jpg

As I was saying, off went the Brocanters to brocante.  Four there were this morning—Thumper, Girlfriend, Vanna and Jabber.  To several sales we did go………

Approaching the first sale in a nice neighborhood, we noted that the front windows were open and a workman was doing something at the window sill.  We walked up the driveway and viewed the items, seeing that a woman was standing there—the seller no doubt.

Girlfriend picked up a waffle iron and asked no one in particular, “I wonder how much this is?” 

I was standing next to her…….

A deep male voice boomed, “That’s $5 and it’s a good one!” The male voice startled us both and Girlfriend looked up and around befuddled.

Jabber asked, “God?  Is that you?”

Whereupon, of course, we all collapsed (metaphorically, not literally) in gales of laughter.  The voice came from the workman, of course, the other seller/homeowner, who we had forgotten was working on the window nearby.

Moving along, moving along………………

image  Jabber trying on ballet shoes

They fit.  Jabber had the perfect pose.  Above, Jabber does the pirouette (or some such).  Alas, the Brocanters advised that it wasn’t her. 

It just wasn’t.

Jabber left the shoes—they were only $4 and in mint condition!  Oh my………..sad she was.

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But she did buy the waffle iron.  $5.  Flips over to be a flat griddle.  “God” was right.  Buy!!!

image  The Brocanters

Seriously considering something or another…..

Vanna found THIS! for her daughter-in-law.  She reported it will be just perfect for her!

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Thumper acquired this set of pictures from the Lucille Ball show—perfect, said Thumper!  Seems she and her real sisters like to pretend they are Lucy and Ethel and often have conversations similar to some of the TV shows. 

(This is not too different from the conversations in the van, but we won’t go into detail here about that.)

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I don’t know.  I don’t have a sister.  I do have a Ricky, however.  Well, sort of…………

Just then, Thumper held up this,

and started laughing……..

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Why I know not. 

And we laughed ourselves silly.  The seller was looking at us all oddly by now……..mumbling something about straightening her hair and how she’d used that and, well……….we were paying her no attention.

And then Thumper spotted this and reported she could ‘ace’ that game, having watched about every single episode several times…….

We don’t know a lot about Thumper’s past.  This is a concern. 

But not much of one.

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Moving on, it was the usual Thumper and Vanna show in the back of the van.  Those two can come up with the strangest funniest conversations ever. 

Continuity has nothing to do with said conversations, either. 

Nope. 

Jump from one topic—say, where to go for lunch?—to the price of toilet paper ($1 a roll Thumper reported!) in one breath.  Always a  challenging and stimulating conversation, let me tell you.

Driving along through the country roads where we THOUGHT we knew where we were—but didn’t exactly…….

It turned out we were moving on to Tag,

(The previous sellers were happy to take our money and see us go.  Especially see us go I think.)

an antique shop located on Old Hillsboro Road near Franklin, Tn.  We stumbled upon it—well, actually we WERE looking for it, but didn’t realize it was on the road on which we were lost. 

Truly God does help idiots and drunks. 

(I am not saying which we are most of the time………)

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Girlfriend found an antique wedding hat!  It’s lovely:

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But she didn’t need it. 

Had the same hubby for decades and doesn’t desire a change.  Besides, the jeans jacket just didn’t work with it. 

Southern Fried Patinas is moving their location to Tag—they are in the process now of moving in.  Be sure to hop on over to see what they have to offer soon!

http://southernfriedpatinas.weebly.com/

As our travels took us to unknown places (to us), we admired some Halloween and fall decorations provided by individual homeowners and Mother Nature:

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We decided someone really had too much time on her/his hands with this one.

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Spectacular colors in the tree and bush in this neighborhood!

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Beautiful berries—blue!—in this tree.  I believe it is a Blue Cedar tree!

 

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A charming display by homeowners above—these people were retired and had beautiful furniture to sell.  They’d updated their look inside the home.  Unfortunately, our homes are not in need of more furniture, so we had to pass up the excellent items for sale.

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Yet another spectacular orange tree. 

Our adventures to parts unknown, a new antique store and just generally being a bit lost had made us hungry.

So we went to Corner Pub and had lunch.

Hope you, too, got out and about and saw some fun and interesting sights in your area this beautiful Saturday.  Mother Nature is putting on quite a show this year, so be sure to enjoy it!

 

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All Things French at Sales

Hit the jackpot the past couple of weeks!

So many lovely finds, so many Frenchy-looking finds!  Here are some photos:

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This is an antique display stand, likely from a store display.  It says “French Milled Soap”.  And I KNOW it’s likely a real antique because the metal finish wipes off with a damp cloth.  Will be needing daughter’s assistance to fix this potential problem.  But it works perfectly in the master bath!

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French bench, mint condition, with caning.  It came with a seat cushion, also in very good condition.  I’m loving the bench, but will ask Daughter to distress and glaze it a bit—and it will live, at least for a while, in the living room.  I will show photos later.

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A reproduction of a French laundry cart—actually two of them were sold together, so I bought one for me and one for Daughter to use potentially as a display item.

I opted to store rolled towels in the master bath in the cart, but pillows, or about anything you can think of would look cute. 

Yard sales.  You can find anything at yard sales—it requires two things:  patience and persistence.  And a little bit of money—much less than retail! 

So you want to know what I paid for the items above, don’t you?

Display stand, $25

French bench, $35

French laundry cart, $15

Pinkie and Porkie

A while back, having not too much to do, I decided to paint my pig, doing, of course, what everyone does when she has some free time on her hands.   YES??

Well, what do YOU do when you have some free time?

See here:

http://harpethview.com/2014/10/08/painting-my-pig

Pinkie was painted! 

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And awaiting a chance to show himself off to the world—or at least visitors to the kitchen. 

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(That chicken is very close to Pinkie—see above.)

He waited.  And waited.  Finally, CCQ Daughter came to assist. 

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It became obvious from cries coming from the attic that Porkie wished to join Pinkie.  Porkie had been placed in storage until such time as his services were again required.  They were again required.

So yesterday, Porkie emerged from his hibernation and he and Pinkie climbed up to the top of the kitchen cabinets to their rightful places in the kitchen.

image  Porkie

 

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Pinkie

I’m not sure the roosters and chickens were pleased however. 

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Rumor going around (above)

Seems that there is an ugly rumor going around that there will be a chicken in every pot and they might be said chickens.  I will report.

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Pinkie and Porkie are distant cousins, I’m told. 

By them.

That’s who. 

Both trained in the culinary arts at fine schools, one on the west coast in Napa Valley and the other in France.  Thus, I have kept the illusion of having a French kitchen.  Julia, I know you are jealous!

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 Note chicken on left has kept far away from Pinkie.  Smart chicken.

Not to be outdone, which he never is, Henri Poirot obtained a pumpkin for his tray and stands at attention by the front door. 

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                Such a ham! 

No, wait!

That’s not right.  Pinkie and Porkie are the hams.

 

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

By a friend of mine.

A friend recently visited Costa Rica, enjoying a week of sun and water, relaxation and pampering………….errrr, well, so I thought and so she thought.  This is her report (Jabber had to interject her comments, too—they are in italics):

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Three of the four restaurants were outside restaurants where we ate with cats, raccoons, skunks, wild birds, and iguanas.  (I wonder what was offered on the menus for the cats, raccoons, skunks, wild birds and iguanas.  What do iguanas eat, anyway?) 

The monkeys stayed in the trees and just made loud noises.  (Of course, in my opinion, that is where monkeys should be—in trees.  But on another continent, mostly.)  They didn’t seem too concerned that Pepe Le Pew would scare the dickens out of everyone, make the girls, scream and spray, spray, spray!  (Pepe and his relatives, not the girls.  As far as I know.  But she isn’t clear on this…….)

One night I woke up to a skunk smell so strong that I thought a skunk had sprayed our room.  The bathroom didn’t seem to have the scent so I pulled one of the chairs in there and spent the rest of the night there. When Husband awoke he, too, was puzzled why the room was so smelly but the bathroom was not.  After looking under the furniture we concluded that the skunk was not in our room.  (Maybe one of the monkeys got him?)

I opened the door to leave for breakfast to a little black dog that had been sprayed by Pepe Le Pew!  Of 200 doors, he chose ours to sleep by.  (But of course!  This friend is a friend to all animals.  Or most animals.  Definitely not a friend to Pepe, but Pepe is definitely a “horse of a different color” “kitty” of a different scent (and stripe).  Otherwise, said friend does love animals.  I’m not sure about monkeys, but most other animals, yes.)

(Oh alright! 

She has a dog. 

Named Mr. T. 

And she loves him.  Does that answer your question?)

What? 

You want to know why her dog is named Mr. T?  Well, that was so he could be anything he wanted to be when he grew up. 

Turns out he wanted to be a dog.

Just begs the question, ‘What’s in a name?’ doesn’t it?

Some names.  PePe Le Pew just sort of gives the whole future away, doesn’t it.  Yes, well………

The air conditioning intake was right next to where the dog spent the night!  My first response was to express sympathy for his situation.  (The dog’s situation.  Just clarifying here.)  When the dog started walking towards me, I realized that I needed a firmer less friendly voice in Spanish since this dog probably didn’t speak English!  (Maybe said dog was bi-lingual?  How did she know?  And what is a VOICE in Spanish?  See, this friend is pretty smart—smarter than me for sure—so I imagine she DOES do voice impersonations.  In Spanish.  But I have never heard her, so I can’t say for sure.) 

So, I yelled at him in Spanish.  (Now, THERE is an intelligent choice!  Yell at the poor dog in another language.  With a Spanish voice, no less.  In both languages!)

Poor baby, he looked so confused as if I had betrayed our friendship!  (Oh never mind the friendship- of-two-seconds issue.  Did he speak Spanish or English?)

Anyway, I reported the dog to guest services.  (He was a guest, too?  Good grief!!)

Their response was that the dog was trapped here because the tide was high and he couldn’t get back to the farm next door!  Once again, they didn’t seem to be concerned that at least one skunk was terrorizing their guests.  (But did they know if the dog spoke Spanish or English? and that he was contributing to the delinquency  unwanted distribution of a Pew?)

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Okay—that’s pretty harrowing hilarious.  But I don’t want to go to Costa Rica.  Certainly not to this resort!  Although she went on to report she had a marvelous massage and thoroughly enjoyed herself otherwise.  I guess with little sleep—that bathroom chair must have become pretty hard to sleep in after the first night? 

Not to mention, well SHE never mentions, who was feeding the monkeys, anyway? 

Did the dog go home when the tide went out? 

Wouldn’t he have gotten cleaner with Tide? 

We shall never know.

“Grandma’s Oatmeal Cake”

This recipe is from our “Leader” and she made and brought it to share after class yesterday along with her homemade Muscatine Grape Jelly/Jam.  Delish!

A woman of many talents besides physical fitness—she gardens extensively, grew the grapes and made the jelly/jam herself. 

“Leader” just got her hair cut—a new style for her—and I liked it so much I had to share her picture with you: 

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Looks like a model, doesn’t she!

Here is the recipe, with some of her ‘tweaks’ added:

Dry ingredients:

2 cups Quick oats

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

large pinch of salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Wet ingredients:

2 Tablespoons applesauce

1 large egg beaten

1/2 cup plain yogurt (she used non-fat Greek plain yogurt)

1/2 cup milk (non-fat is fine)

1 mashed ripe banana (or substitute 2 Tablespoons peanut butter instead)

Possible Add-ins:

1/4 cup raisins (she used golden raisins) or other dried fruit such as cranberries, chopped apricots, dates, etc.)

fresh blue berries, black berries, chopped apple (she added 1/2 large grated apple)

chopped nuts, coconut, chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375

Grease 9 X 5 meatloaf pan (she used a 9 X 6 oval white ware baking dish, but something close to these dimensions will be alright)

Pour dry Quick oats into a medium-large size bowl.  Sift in mixture of other dry ingredients (she used a small food processor instead of a sifter—faster and easier on the hands).  Stir dry ingredients until well mixed.

Add wet ingredients and mix well with large spoon.  Add raisins and/or other add-ins.

Spread evenly in greased baking pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.  Toothpick inserted should come out clean, but will be moist.

Cool for 10 minutes.  Use a dull knife to loosen around the edges, leaving the loaf in the pan.  Cover with foil and let sit for 1/2 hour.  NO TASTING!  Loosen again with the knife, lifting gently as you go around the loaf until it fully separates from the pan.  Then turn pan over; it should come out easily.  Wrap in foil and store in the refrigerator.  Serve cold, room temperature, toast lightly or heat slices in microwave for 25 seconds.  Enjoy plain, or with cream cheese, butter, jam or Peanut Butter and Jelly.

Ham and Beans Bowl

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Sunday supper—something easy and quick to put together with things in the fridge and pantry.

1 can white Northern beans (or any type of beans you like and/or have in the pantry).  Rinse and drain.

chopped onion (small handful)*

chopped red/yellow/green pepper (small handful)*

chili sauce to taste (about 1 Tablespoon)—if you don’t have this, then catsup with a bit of hot sauce mixed into the concoction, to your taste

ham chunks

small amount of chicken stock and white wine (the wine is optional)

rice (I used flavored rice, see below)

Sauté onion and pepper in olive oil (*whatever amount you like—I used about 1/3 cup chopped onion and 1/4 cup chopped peppers) until they are partially cooked.  (Note that I just grabbed a ‘handful’ of each from the freezer bags in which each is kept.  There almost always is some chopped onion and pepper to use for cooking.  If you have some chopped celery, that would be good as well.)

Add beans and ham chunks and heat, then add some chili sauce or paste—this is for flavor.  You won’t need salt (ham is salty).  Add about 1/4 cup chicken stock and about 1/4 cup white wine and allow to reduce the liquid a bit while you cook some rice.

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I used this type of rice for more flavor—it was tasty!  But you could use any type of rice you like:

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Cook the rice according to the package directions.

Serve the ham and beans over rice in a bowl.  Season to taste, if you like.  Ours didn’t require any seasoning.

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This is a hearty dish and could serve 4 people.

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Coconut Pineapple Cake

Made for Racer Daughter’s birthday (and also for Thumper’s birthday a while back).

Pineapple/Coconut Cake (3 layers with cream cheese pineapple frosting and pineapple filling).

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image  Cake from the top

(Directions and recipe below)

And, set the table with this beautiful Noritake china—a gift from friend Cupcake!  I have yet to identify the name of the China, but I’ve looked through Replacements Unlimited—to no avail.  Seems there were many patterns issued with the same maker’s mark on the back of the china, but as best I can find, these are from the 1930’s.  Cupcake was so generous bequeathing them to me!  Thank you!  They make a beautiful table setting.

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Here is the recipe and tips on how to make the cake:

First, bake the three layers—I like to bake the cakes a day or so ahead of the day I plan to serve the cake, wrap and freeze them.  This allows for easier handling of the layers when assembling the cake.

Second, you may prepare the filling and frosting ahead of time, if you like, and keep in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the cake.

Prepare your three 9 inch cake pans:  lightly spray with Pam, then cut out parchment paper circles to fit the bottom of the pans and strips to line sides of pans.  I like to cut slits in the strips of paper so that the strips fit nicely on the sides.  This makes removal of the cakes very easy once they are done.

(If you have three 8-inch cake pans, that works too—but it will take longer for your cake layers to bake.  Adjust accordingly.  Which means check the layers for doneness.) 

I also soak baking strips in water which go outside of the pans—these are oven-proof and will help your layers rise evenly (without a dome on the top).  I don’t know what they are called, but you can get them at bakery supply stores or online.  I place them around the sides of the pans right before I fill them with the cake batter and secure with the pins provided with the strips.

Set the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Ingredients:

1 (15 1/4 ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice undrained

image  I used two of these

1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened

3 cups sugar

5 large eggs

1/2 cup lemon-lime soft drink

3 cups cake flour, sifted

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1 teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Recipe for Pineapple filling and Cream Cheese frosting follows.

1 (6 ounce) package frozen flaked coconut, thawed

Cake:

I like to measure all ingredients out first, before I begin mixing.  This makes it easier to add ingredients as you are mixing the cake and also hopefully ensures you don’t leave anything out of the mixture.

Set butter in mixing bowl to soften to room temperature.  (Cut butter into smaller pieces so it will soften faster.)  Also break eggs into separate bowl and allow to come to room temperature.

Drain pineapple, reserving 3/4 cup juice.  Remove 1/4 cup reserved juice for the Cream cheese frosting, and reserve crushed pineapple for Pineapple filling.

Beat butter at medium speed in electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.  Combine 1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice and soft drink.  Add flour to butter mixture alternately with juice mixture, beginning and ending with flour.  Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.  Stir in extracts.  Now, place the outer liners (which have been soaking in water) around the cake pans (squeeze so that the strips are damp, but not dripping wet).  Pour batter into prepared cake pans.  Bake 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Let cool about 3 minutes and invert onto cooling racks immediately—remove cake pans from cake and carefully remove parchment paper.  Cool completely.  Wrap and freeze (clear plastic wrap), if desired.

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Pineapple Filling:

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup corn starch

1 cup reserved, drained crushed pineapple

1 cup water

In a saucepan, stir together (I like to use a wisk for this) sugar and cornstarch.  Then, stir in pineapple and 1 cup water.  Cook over low heat, stirring often, 15 minutes or until very thick.  Cool COMPLETELY.  Makes 3 cups. 

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You can make this ahead of time and place in refrigerator until assembling cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 cup butter, SOFTENED

1 3 ounce package cream cheese, SOFTENED

1 16-ounce package powdered sugar, sifted

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1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat softened butter and cream cheese at medium speed with electric mixer until blended. 

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Gradually add powdered sugar (or you will have a cloud of sugar all over you!), juice, vanilla, mixing well.  Makes 2 cups.

Assembly:

Place small pieces of wax paper around the edges of cake plate and then place one layer on top—make sure you can remove the wax paper once the cake is frosted, so this means around the edges under the cake.  Adjust so that you are protecting the plate from frosting, but also so that you can remove the wax paper when done.  This is a HEAVY cake.  (See photos below.)

Place about 1/2 to 2/3 cups or so of the pineapple filling on top of this layer.  It is best done when the cake layer has defrosted almost completely. 

*If you have the time, you can set the cake in the refrigerator.  This will firm up the pineapple filling and also allow the cake to completely defrost.

Remove the second layer from the freezer and allow to partially defrost, but still firm enough to handle.  When it is, place on top of first layer and let it defrost completely.  Place more pineapple filling on top of this layer.

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*If you have the time, you can set the cake in the refrigerator.  This will firm up the pineapple filling and also allow the cake to completely defrost.

Remove third layer from freezer and allow to almost defrost completely.  Place only a THIN layer of the pineapple filling on top of the third layer.  You will have more pineapple filling to use on top once you have the sides completed.

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*If you have the time, you can set the cake in the refrigerator.  This will firm up the pineapple filling and also allow the cake to completely defrost.

*Note that this takes time, but it is helpful to complete a nicely filled and ‘straight’ cake when done.

Frost the sides of the cake with the cream cheese frosting.  Pipe around the top of the cake to build up a small ‘ledge’.  You will add the final layer of pineapple filling to the top once this is firmed up in the refrigerator. 

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Before you place the cake back in the refrigerator, carefully add the coconut around the sides of the cake. 

Place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours until the cream cheese frosting is firm.  Now, add the final layer of pineapple filling to the top of the cake and place back in the refrigerator until time to serve.

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This recipe was given to me, so I don’t know who the originator was.

 

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